Original Novels

Among other things, Shirow gets commissioned occasionally for artwork to get inserted into novels. Most of the ones I know about are commented on in Intron Depot 2, but I'm sure he's probably done art for a few since then. As I find out more information, there'll be more novels listed here, but for the moment, all I've got are these bits on Jaishin Hunter and Valeria File.

Jaishin Hunter

This is a set of two erotic novels that Shirow was commissioned for about 10 pages in each, currently this is not a planned part of my collection, maybe eventually if my collection nears that point of completion, but it's nowhere within my budget at this point in time, given all the other things I'm after. While I've come across most, if not all of, the artwork, I can safely only show you the cover arts, as the rest is naughty adults-only tentacle-sex type material. If you really want to see it, I know J-List has it in stock usually, and I've got a zip file with them, but you have to e-mail me to get it, you naughty people ;P As a side note, he also included a piece for his 2002 Heroic calendar, a sort of group shot of the cast done for the month of June.

Valeria File

This is a title that I know very little about, having only seen scans of the artwork, so I really don't have much to say about it, though I do know that it, like Jaishin Hunter, appears to be another 2-volume set. From the looks of scans I've seen, it seems to be an action/thriller story, focusing on Valeria, who is quite possibly a super spy or detective. Unlike Jaishin Hunter, however, there's no nudity involved.

Series-related Novels

Unlike the novels above, the series-related novels don't seem to contain anything in the way of Shirow artwork, even though they're based on Shirow's properties. At this time, I only know of ones existing for Ghost in the Shell SAC and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are others out there.

Ghost the the Shell SAC The Novels

Ghost in the Shell SAC The Lost MemoryVolume 1: The Lost Memory - Official Blurb:
In the not-too-distant future of 2032, the frontier dividing humans and machines has been crossed. Crimes comitted by flesh-and-metal cyborgs are investigated by Section 9, an elite counter-terrorist squad run by Chief Aramaki and his cyborg assistant, Major Motoko Kusanagi. Section 9 has faced countless adversaries in the real world and in cyberspace, but none like 'The Awakened.'It is believed that this lethal group of terrorists can take over the minds and bodies of almost anyone. Used as tools to commit crimes against the state, the victims are unaware of who or what is controlling them. When Major Kunasagi captures one of the victims, she hacks into his cyberbrain to learn the ringleader's identity-what she discovers leads her on a journey deep into the heart of cyberspace, a journey that shakes her to the core.

Unfortunately at this point, my knowledge on this is almost nil, except to say there's at least 3 books and Dark Horse just announced they'll be publishing the first one in English in April 2006, just a few days before my birthday, so I'll have to wait until then for much more information on those.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence / After the Long Goodbye

Ghost in the Shell Innocence After the Long GoodbyeOfficial Blurb:
The hulking cyborg counterterrorist Batou doesn't have a family; his electronic brain never dreams. So why did he dream the other night--and dream that he has a son? At one time, Batou had a human love for his partner, the legendary Major, before he witnessed her transfiguration into something beyond humanity. Now he has only his job, and his beloved basset hound, Gabriel. But when Batou has a near-death experience in an arranged car "accident," he returns home to find Gabriel has gone missing--perhaps, to go look for her owner's lost soul. Batou's desperate search for Gabriel leads him down surreal streets where homeless men fight tanks and yakuza racing hounds chase rabbits downloaded into their heads. Batou fears his poor dog has made a horrible mistake out of innocence--for Batou has taken a cold look inside himself...and decided that he never truly had a soul...

Some thoughts on the book as I just recently finished reading this one... As the title suggest, this one fits into the movie universe, and plays out as a hard-boiled detective story taking place just before Innocence. As it takes place in the movie universe, it's got a much more serious, philosophical bent to it than you'll find in either the manga or TV series. That's not to say that there's pages of staring of into nothing, but it does spend a lot of time pondering the concepts of love and soul. On top of the philosophical musings, Batou goes into great detail on how life as a cyborg is different than life as a normal human, and is almost worth buying for insight into those ideas alone. Of course, being a member of Section 9, there's a fair bit of hacking, counter-hacking, and explosive fights going on as well, but its too spoilerish to actually go into.

The gist of the story is that after coming home from getting his dog Gabriel(the fat and lazy basset hound so lovingly animated in Innocence - and possibly the same one as the garbage collector had in the first movie?) some dog food, Gabu(as Batou calls her) runs away and doesn't return, leading Batou on a personal crusade to find her. As his search for Gabu continues, he and Togusa get called in to do bodyguard duty protecting the chief taster for the world's largest fast food chain(which, as Batou explains at length, is no longer McDonalds) from a threat by a highly unknown terrorist known as The Breeder. The name makes for a bit of an obvious connection to Batou's missing dog, and isn't a ruse, but the trick is figuring out why he wants her and how Batou's going to get Gabriel back.

Along the way Batou runs into a number of characters from a homeless Don Quixote, encouraging Batou to go chase his giant windmills, the police's top animal trainer(trained in a field that contradicts the philosophies of what she does), a 9-year old girl that can talk with the souls of dogs, a mob boss with a grand plan, and an assassin that wants to trade information about The Breeder. The story has a happy ending(or as happy as the GitS movies get anyhow) and wraps up right as Batou gets the call to go to the opening scene in Innocence.