American Go E-Journal

EJ Mailbag: 2020, Part 3 (the fiction edition)

Wednesday December 30, 2020

Dark River
“I just wanted to let you know that go plays a pivotal role in my new novel, Dark River, in which the main character is trying to solve a 20-year-old murder,” writes Avery Jenkins. “In fact, the game provides him with the solution to that mystery — and others as well. Though the cover blurb doesn’t mention go, trust me — it’s in there.” You can find out more about the novel here.

Rain Dogs and The Vegetarian
In Adrian McKinty’s novel, Rain Dogs, the protagonist, a Northern Ireland detective investigating a murder, goes to Finland to interview the prime suspect, reports Dave Weimer. “When he arrives, he finds the suspect playing go. In a later chapter entitled ‘Kami no Itte’ the suspect cleverly eludes trial.”

Dave also reports that “On page 162 of The Vegetarian, by Han Kang (translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. London: Hogarth, 2016. Winner of the Man Booker International Prize and one of NYT 10 Best Books of 2016),” there is the following passage: “There’d been a time when she could spend hours like this weighting up all the variables that might have contributed to determining Yeong-hye’s fate. Of course it was entirely in vain, this act of mentally picking up and counting the paduk stones that had been laid out on the board of her sister’s life.”

The Andromeda Evolution
Fifty years after “Andromeda Strain” we have a sequel by another author: The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson reports the National Go Center’s Gary Smith. “He (her father) explained that life was like the game — and every word spoken, every emotion betrayed through gesture or expression, constituted a move. By controlling each of your moves, you could reduce anxiousness and win the game. Peng Wu found that she very much liked winning at weiqi and at life.”

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