Umehara Katsufumi :: The Cthulhu Helix


The Cthulhu Helix
by UMEHARA Katsufumi

Translated by Jim Hubbert

“DNA contains two types of base pair sequences. Exons are meaningful templates for making proteins. Introns are meaningless, random sequences. Yet introns account for ninety-five percent of human DNA. Why is such a huge proportion of the genome reserved for useless code?"

What if all that genetic information wasn't really useless? What if it was put there by someone, something, in the impossibly distant past, for a purpose? And what if humanity's interest in understanding and engineering human DNA unlocks something that should have remained hidden?

Award-winning science fiction author Umehara Katsufumi drags you screaming into a darker future as the monsters of our own genetic code come to life, revealing all too clearly humanity's fatal misunderstanding of its place in the universe... and its very reason for existence, weaving the Cthulhu Mythos, genetic engineering, and the battle against extinction into a masterpiece of horror.

The first part of this book was originally published in Shibano Takumi's famous Uchujin fanzine, promptly winning the 9th SF Fanzine Award, and the book was nominated for both the Mystery Writers of Japan Award and the Seiun Award.

The cover to this edition is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, and was originally used on the first book edition, published in 1993 by Asashi Sonorama as a matched, 2-volume edition. Both books had "ELI ELI LAMA SABACHTANI" printed across the front cover:

Cover to Japanese first edition


  • This isn’t fan fiction, far from it.
    It is a real page-turner, with an unrelenting pace and high stakes, and so seems ready-made for a streaming platform. The classic military SF tropes—lashings of explosions, high-tech weaponry, and good old-fashioned last-gasp Hail Mary plays—sit comfortably alongside some real Hard SF science.
    Kurodahan should translate more of his output.
    —Iain Maloney, Shoreline of Infinity
  •, set in a near future where corporate greed overcomes moral considerations, with a strong militaristic sci-fi undercurrent, and media-savvy some otaku-grade Easter eggs in reference to popular culture...Using Lovecraft’s terminology and ideas without making his stories canon opened up a world of possibilities to reimagine and rework Lovecraft’s ideas into a contemporary syntax... Which is why The Cthulhu Helix works as a Lovecraftian novel.
    A word on the translation: Jim Hubbert has done great service here in rendering very smoothly-flowing prose. It’s not always easy to keep a narrative comprehensible and moving in translation, but this reads very well, especially considering the occasional breaks in format and the potential for alphabet soup. Kudos on a job well done.
    —Bobbie Derie, Deep Cuts
  • The translation by Hubbert is exceptionally smooth; a reader would not realize they were reading in English translated from Japanese. ... There were moments of great eloquence mixed in with high-octane action. The Cthulhu Helix is a definite recommendation for science fiction fans.
    —Elaine Pascale, Hellnotes


  • Pages: 387
  • Trade paperback 6" x 9" (152mm x 229mm)
  • ISBN
    Softcover: 978-4-909473-14-1
    Ebook: 978-4-909473-15-8
  • Cover: Noriyoshi Ohrai

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About the author

Umehara Katsufumi(梅原 克文; 1960–) graduated Kanto Gakuen University (Economics), publishing the first version of this text in the Uchujin fanzine to widespread acclaim in 1990. It remains in print. Other enormously popular works include Soliton no Akuma, dealing with unknown monsters of the deep sea, originally published in 1995. It won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1996, and was nominated for the The Nihon SF Taishō Award, among others.