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article imageFirst-time English translation of 1909 German sci-fi novel

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jul 18, 2013 in Entertainment
Bradley Hall has published an English-language translation of a little-known early-20th-century German science-fiction novel.
Robert Heymann’s Der Rote Komet was first published in 1909, but is set in the year 2439.
On group blog Boing Boing, Hall says, “I’ve been translating old public-domain German-language books that I have been finding on”
To date, he has completed two: Japanische Marchen, which is a book of Japanese fairy tales; and now, the sci-fi story The Red Comet (Der Rote Komet).
Karl Alberti's German-language edition of Japanische Marchen was originally published in 1913, and comprises 24 Japanese fairy tales. According to Amazon, this English translation has been published “for the first time, to celebrate its 100th anniversary [many of which] have never before been read by English-speaking audiences.”
Of The Red Comet, Hall says, “[It’s] interesting because it takes place in the year 2439, there’s a comet on its way to crash upon the Earth. A comet. Not a meteor.”
In the year 2439, a comet is on a collision course with Earth. If nothing is done to somehow divert the comet's path, all life on Earth will die. The famed astronomer, Romulus Futurus, works around the clock trying to solve the mystery of the comet. But, can he solve it in time? Every day the Capella gets worse. The Capella is a a red light that has encapsulated the Earth since the comet's first appearance. Every day the Capella grows darker, and as it grows darker, so does mankind's thirst for blood. Wars and revolutions are popping up all over the Earth. Can Romulus Futurus save mankind while there's still a mankind to save? This book was originally published in 1909 in Germany. This is its first English translation.
Hall adds, “[The] most noteworthy invention is a special camera created by Romulus Futurus (now that’s a Sci-Fi name).”
Bradley Hall is also the editor of No Safe Harbor, the 2012 nonfiction book of essays published by the United States Pirate Party that examines the phenomenon of pirate parties.
All three books can be purchased via the Bradley Hall page.
More about Bradley Hall, Der Rote Komet, Boing Boing, The Red Comet, Japanische Marchen
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