The surreality of the situation smacked author Timothy Price with the intensity of one of Godzilla’s roars. There he was, maybe one of the biggest kaiju geeks on the planet, signing autographs at last weekend's G-Fest, the annual Godzilla fan convention in Chicago, Ill. that draws nearly 2,000 fans.
Price had walked the con hall for years as a fan, but this time he returned as a guest promoting his debut novel “Big in Japan.”
As giant monsters and massive robots lay the smack down on the big screen in “Pacific Rim,” Price’s kaiju battle wages between the pages. It’s a sci-fi tale about a band of recruited rock stars saving the earth from gargantuan creatures. The novel’s action is brought to life with illustrations by Alan OW Barnes.
To add to Price’s fan boy fantasy come to life, he was spreading the word about “Big in Japan” at G-Fest alongside actor Robert Scott Field. Price had first seen Field dash across the screen as Android M-11 in 1991’s “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.” It’s a character Field jokingly describes as a “kind of cute Terminator.”
After forging a friendship at past G-Fests, Price and Field kept in touch. When Price began writing “Big in Japan” in 2012, he based the android character S.C.O.T.T. on Field himself.
The American-born Field, who resides and remains a celeb in Japan, is not only amazed at the staying power of Godzilla and kaiju culture in America, but says he could’ve never imagined that a role from more 20 years ago would inspire an author.
“It was just crazy from the beginning that Tim approached me with this character and the name being S.C.O.T.T.,” Field said. “I was very inspired myself by him being inspired by what I have done.”
In “Big in Japan,” S.C.O.T.T. lends a robotic hand to Vinyl Crush, the rock band that regularly rumbles with towering monsters. The monsters-and-music mash-up makes perfect sense to Price who’s equally comfortable collecting Godzilla toys as he is electric guitars.
Having toured North America in various rock bands, Price has the backstage stories to prove it. He draws from these personal experience by injecting road weary drama and the struggles of starry-eyed musical ambition into the imaginative science fiction found in “Big in Japan.”
In return for using Field’s likeness in the book, and the fact the Field himself will be translating the novel into Japanese, Price recently lent his musical chops to the actor. The pair collaborated on an album with Field on vocals, and the disc will be soon see a Japanese release.
Field and Price are currently planning a Japanese concert tour, which will give the author the opportunity to promote “Big in Japan” in the land of the rising sun.
“With ‘Pacific Rim’ and the new American ‘Godzilla’ movie on the way, it’s an exciting time on the kaiju scene,” Price said. “To be a part of it in my own little way is like living a dream.”
Learn more about “Big in Japan” here