Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
Pseudonym of unidentified New Zealand author (? -? ) whose Sleeper Awakes tale – published in two volumes as The Great Romance, Vol 1 (1881 chap) and The Great Romance, Vol 2 (1881 chap), with a possible lost third volume, the first two assembled as The Great Romance: A Rediscovered Utopian Adventure (omni 2008) – may be the first sf text to convey its protagonist into the future via Suspended Animation. The frame story is, unusually, set in the future (in 1950), while the main action takes place in the Utopia established on Earth by the year 2143. Certain similarities in protagonists' names, in some of the action, and in the meliorist utopia of 2143, have suggested to Dominic Alessio, editor of the reassembled text, that Edward Bellamy may have been directly influenced by The Great Romance. The suggestion, though intriguing, requires Bellamy's familiarity with an extremely obscure text published in rural New Zealand; but Alessio does more safely suggest, along with others, that Bellamy may have been influenced by The Diothas (1883) by Ismar Thiusen, who was much interested in New Zealand, wrote about it extensively, and may have been familiar with The Great Romance. The tale itself describes the world of the future, though briefly, in a hysterically telegraphic style; subsequent sections carry the cast to other planets (see Colonization of Other Worlds), where Aliens are encountered, and miscegenation (see Sex). [JC]
- The Great Romance, Vol 1 (Ashburton, New Zealand: The Guardian, 1881) [chap: pb/]
- The Great Romance, Vol 2 (Dunedin, New Zealand: The Daily Times, 1881) [chap: pb/]
- The Great Romance: A Rediscovered Utopian Adventure (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2008) [omni of the above two: edited by Dominic Alessio: pb/]
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