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The Great Romance: A Rediscovered Utopian Adventure (Bison Frontiers of Imagination)

1 rating: 3.0
A book by The Inhabitant.

The Great Romance is a science fiction and Utopian novel, first published in New Zealand in 1881. It had a significant influence on Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, the most popular Utopian novel of the late nineteenth century.      … see full wiki

1 review about The Great Romance: A Rediscovered Utopian...

Lost Classic Comes to Life

  • Feb 27, 2011
The Great Romance
By The Inhabitant
Edited by Dominic Alessio
University of Nebraska Press/Bison Books

Summary: A second section of a short novel originally published in New Zealand in 1881 is recently discovered. This short story contains some of the earliest hard sf ever written in the English language.

Summary the 2nd: John Brenton Hope revolutionizes the 'future' of the 1950s with his mechanical design genius and then drinks a suspended animation potion. He reawakens in the far future of 2143. Humanity is now telepathic and lives a utopian existence.  Hope falls in love, makes friends, is recognized for his genius and leads the first interplanetary expedition to Venus, where he meets and befriends the intelligent natives.

Summary the 3rd: Dominic Allessio writes an introduction that ably explores the history of this newly recovered tale, provides an excellent literary CV - including plausible identities of its anonymous author and explores the numerous ground-breaking (for 1881) concepts detailed in the text.

HIghlights: Aerobraking, the physical effects of zero-G, and an astounding (for 1881) exposition on celestial mechanics.

Key Themes: Interplanetary travelogue, future utopias, telepathy

Datedness: cobwebs and bookworms in this one

Audience: If you can handle Mary Shelly, HG Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this ought to be a piece of cake. If you are into steampunk - REAL steampunk, give it a read.  If you are a student or historian of science fiction, its a must.

Fan Rating: Would be relatively low, except for the great historical importance.

Special Note: Alessio's introduction deserves four or more walking sticks if taken as a separate piece.

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February 28, 2011
This is a classic that I've been meaning to read! Even given the datedness :P Thanks for sharing!
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