Publication date: Spring 2018
103% funded
160 backers
Cover of Fukushima Dreams

A gripping literary thriller set in post-tsunami Japan, where a missing child continues to haunt his parents long after the waves have receded.

In 2011 a devastating tsunami hit the North-eastern coast of Japan causing a major meltdown at Fukushima - the worst nuclear disaster in the world to date. 16,000 people died that day, and tens of thousands more were displaced - their homes destroyed, their villages contaminated.
Fukushima Dreams is set against the backdrop of this event. Sachiko lives with her husband and infant son Tashi in a small coastal village. They are both struggling to adapt to life with their new son. When Sachiko’s village is hit, she awakes to find her family are missing. After a fruitless search she, like many others, is forced to leave the area due to radiation fallout. She moves to Tokyo, and a different life.
Harry had already planned to leave. He uses the disaster as cover, and flees to a mountain refuge. He lives there, hovering on the border of sanity and haunted by the spirit of their son. Winter sets in. Eventually he is forced to return. They must both confront the ghosts of the past.

“A harrowing tale of the failure of cross-cultural relationships” KIT FRASER

"Zelda Rhiando's second novel is a passionate hard hitting outing, not unlike her first, Caposcripti. It is a book that breaches many aspects of what it is that makes us human. Ultimately for this reader, it is mainly about memory, loss and sanity, and how as humans we often use one to cope with the other - sometimes successfully and other times with even more tragic consequences. Rhiando has managed to capture the pace and anticipation of a thriller and successfully combined it with the compassion and emotional pain of a Toni Morrison...Heartbreaking stuff.” PATRICK KELLY, BOOKMONGERS

Zelda Rhiando is a Dublin writer who has spent most of her life in London.

Her first novel Caposcripti was self-published in 2012, and went on to win the Kidwell eBook award. Described as ‘brilliantly chilling’ (Martin Millar) Caposcripti sold out four print editions, and was an Amazon bestseller. The audio version of the book has had over 57,000 listens on

Zelda travelled to Japan to research her second novel 'Fukushima Dreams' and is currently working on a third Good Morning Mr Magpie.

She is a founder of the Brixton BookJam, the quarterly literary event that has hosted readings by established and emerging writers since 2012. She regularly reads her work at book events and festivals and has been featured on Radio 4 and BBC London.

Zelda lives in Brixton, with her husband and two daughters. When not writing she can be found child-wrangling and making digital products. | @badzelda

For a long time – she didn’t know how long – there had been nothing. A kind of dream-nothing that she floated in; a mist that sometimes receded and showed the edges of the world. But still, she was not in the world. She made what brief contact was required, and then she was back in the nothing place.

The nothing place needs no thought: it is an eternal now. Balanced between yin and yang, here there is no colour. No sound. It’s like being wrapped in cotton wool, except there is no sensation of softness. It is neither comforting, nor terrifying. She doesn’t know how long she’s been here. It has been a long time.

There was life – but it didn’t work out, and she had come here, had stayed here for so long that she doesn’t remember the other place, the route back. It is lost in the mists sometime. That is the place where her body is, but she doesn’t need it any more. It’s fine here. She doesn’t think, and she doesn’t know. But she dreams.

The dreams are tiny moments; pearls on a wire. She cannot tell if they are memories or constructions. Some seem too mad to ever have been real. Is that her, on a dais, holding a chain of daisies? Is that her getting married? Is that her swimming beneath the waves, looking through bubbles at where the coral lives? Were these moments in her life that she’s returning to?

There are other moments, other dreams, other memories. But she knows when they are coming and dives back into the mist. They’re part of him, of them, of those two men in her life that she’s in flight from. Her husband. Her son.


Fukushima Dreams in the wild

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Fukushima dreams in waterstones

Spring is here, and finally Fukushima Dreams is out in the wild. I thought you might appreciate a little update on how the book is doing...well, the quick answer is that I don't exactly know. In about 5 months I'll get a profit and loss statement from Unbound and that will be the first concrete information about how the book is doing in the market. 

Meanwhile, my job is to spread the book as…

Launch date approaching!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Fukushima preview cover

It's been some time since my last update, but as increasing numbers of people have been asking what's happening with the book, now seems like a good time to let you know what's up. First of all, here's a preview of the cover, designed by the excellent Mark Ecob. I love the starkness of it, and it beautifully references a seismograph, which is very apt considering the subject matter. It's striking…

Reading at the Brixton BookJam

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


On June 5th I'll be reading from Fukushima Dreams at the Brixton BookJam - a quarterly literary event that's been running at the Hootananny in Effra Road, Brixton since 2012. If you'd like to head a reading from the book, as well as 11 other BRILLIANT writers and music from Robert 'Hacker' Jessett of Morton Valence fame, come along. It's free, and guaranteed to be good.


A sometimes lonely journey.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

01 train journey reconstruction

When news of the 2011 Tsunami reached the UK, I had a very personal reaction to it. I felt that I needed to tell the story of what happened that day, in a way that people outside of Japan could relate to. None of us know how we would react in this kind of situation - and I wanted to show that we are all frail, that none of us is perfect, also to highlight the plight of the 60,000 people who…

Navigating relationships - new audio material

Friday, 7 April 2017

First of all welcome to new supporters. 90 of you have been kind enough to support Fukushima Dreams, which is amazing, and has helped the fund to get to 64%. I'm working hard to make it to 100!

I've been recording chapters of the book and releasing them on SoundCloud as a set - so if you'd like to get an audio preview, then visit It's a great…

Why Unbound?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Aoyama cemetery blossom

So, I had an interesting conversation in the pub yesterday about why I'm crowdfunding this book with Unbound, instead of self-publishing, which is how my first book came out. I learnt many things publishing Caposcripti. I had already been working in digital publishing, producing ebooks and apps for the likes of Penguin and Tate Publishing - so the actual production was pretty easy. I found a good… flight from humanity

Friday, 24 March 2017

And so we reach chapter 5.

I tried not to judge him....

Day 6 update - Listen to chapter 4

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Japanese lady

I'm the campaign has got to 51 followers.... Thanks so much!

Now I can't wait to actually get the book out to people.


It's been really interesting making audio recordings of the chapters over the last few days; hearing it with a different ear. Here's chapter 4:

I've been looking back though some of the notebooks…

Day 5 update - Listen to chapter 3

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Zao mountain hut 2006

Chapter 3, where Harry makes the decision to leave his family:

Picture credit: Wikipedia (Crown of Lenten rose)

Day 4 update - Listen to Chapter 2

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

So today, the second chapter...


Day 3 update - Listen to Chapter 1

Monday, 20 March 2017

First of all THANK YOU to all the lovely kind supporters who will each be listed in the book.

I made an audio version of my first book, Caposcripti, and released a chapter a day. Here’s the first chapter of Fukushima Dreams for you:

I'll be releasing more of these soon, at


Day 2 update: Displaced people and fragile lives

Sunday, 19 March 2017

25040506054 25b1e4ef90 o

There were a number of reasons this book came together. First, I've always loved Japan. I had a close Japanese friend as a teenager, and visits to her house were like visiting another country - one I felt very comfortable in. I've long been a fan of Japanese writing: the sparseness of it, and the way that emotion lives between the lines rather than in the mouths of the protagonists. Writers like…

Day 1 update...and we're off!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Zao mountain hut 2006

It's been an exciting week...

First of all making my first ever book trailer - which wouldn't have been possible without the help of the very talented Jess Phillimore (, the great musical skills of Andy Dobson ( and the scriptwriting skills of Bryony Morrison. The result is a very moving piece that's made me see the book in a new light. I don't know…

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