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Nukina Shun'ichi. - [Senman Muryo : Hoshi Sekai Ryoko - Dai-ichi-hen].

Kyoto, Nukina Shun'ichi 1882 (Meiji 15). 18x13cm publisher's cloth backed thin printed boards; [6],144,[3]pp, one full page and five half page illustrations. A couple of pin holes in the back cover, title a touch browned; an astonishingly good copy of a most vulnerable book. ¶ First edition of the first Japanese science fiction novel. This is proper interplanetary - intergalactic even - space travel, not old fashioned fantasy or fable. The title translates literally as 'Star World Travel'. For a while this was apparently regarded as a Jules Verne translation until someone figured out that there is no Jules Verne novel like this to translate. Maybe there is undoubted Verne influence but since this has never been translated and there is virtually nothing written in English and very little in Japanese on Nukina and his novel I can't help much. What does emerge from the few brief notices I have found is that on one planet the work is done by artificially created organic creatures - androids or robots - that are governed by three rules. It would be hard to argue that either Capek or Asimov pinched their ideas from Nukina but once again we find that no great notion doesn't have a precursor. This is volume one - containing five chapters - there is no volume two. At the end is a teasing hint of what chapters six to twelve might contain but we are unlikely to ever know for sure.
AUD 3800.00 [Appr.: EURO 2385.75 US$ 2700.79 | £UK 2027.5 | JP¥ 305573] Book number 10815

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