Fukushima Dreams

By Zelda Rhiando

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

Crime | Fiction
103% funded
163 supporters

Publication date: Spring 2018

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The competition will end at midnight on Friday 30 June 2017. A random draw will be held on 1 July, after which the winner will be announced and notified.

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Limited edition a3 print based on original artwork by Zelda, created when traveling around Japan, plus paperback edition, plus your name in the back of the book.

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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


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1st edition paperback, ebook edition and your name in the list of Super Patrons in the front of the book.
  • Zelda Rhiando avatar

    Zelda Rhiando

    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 SoundCloud.com.

    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.

    www.badzelda.com | @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.

  • Zelda Rhiando has written 10 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    30th July 2018 Fukushima Dreams nominated for the Guardian's 'Not the Booker' award


    It's been a litle while since I've been in touch, but I wanted to ask for your help. There's only 1 WEEK TO VOTE for the winner of this award, and I'd love it if you voted for Fukushima Dreams! Voting is easy - just leave a comment on this article with 'VOTE: Fukushima Dreams' and why you like it...it will really help to get the book out there.


    8th April 2018 Fukushima Dreams in the wild

    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…

    31st January 2018 Launch date approaching!

    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…

    24th May 2017 Reading at the Brixton BookJam

    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.


    10th May 2017 A sometimes lonely journey.

    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…

    7th April 2017 Navigating relationships - new audio material

    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 http://soundcloud.com/badzelda/sets/fukushima-dreams. It's a great…

    26th March 2017 Why Unbound?

    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…

    24th March 2017 Hideout...in flight from humanity

    And so we reach chapter 5.

    I tried not to judge him....


    23rd March 2017 Day 6 update - Listen to chapter 4

    I'm amazed...today 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: https://soundcloud.com/badzelda/fukushima-dreams-chapter-4?

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

    22nd March 2017 Day 5 update - Listen to chapter 3

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


    Picture credit: Wikipedia (Crown of Lenten rose)

    21st March 2017 Day 4 update - Listen to Chapter 2

    So today, the second chapter...https://soundcloud.com/badzelda/fukushima-dreams-chapter-2


    20th March 2017 Day 3 update - Listen to Chapter 1

    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: https://soundcloud.com/badzelda/fukushima-dreams-chapter-1

    I'll be releasing more of these soon, at www.soundcloud.com/badzelda


    19th March 2017 Day 2 update: Displaced people and fragile lives

    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…

    18th March 2017 Day 1 update...and we're off!

    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 (http://jessphillimore.com/), the great musical skills of Andy Dobson (http://digitonal.com/) 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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