Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
English readers can for the first time read the classic science-fiction novel “Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights,” (Hyaku-oku no Hiru to Sen-oku no Yoru) 44 years after it was first published in Japanese.
Ryu Mitsuse’s novel, published in 1967, deals with complex themes surrounding the birth of space and became widely known in Japan after it was made into a manga in the 1970s by Moto Hagio. The new translation, by Alexander O. Smith, is published by Haikasoru, an imprint of the U.S.-based publisher Viz Media.
Mitsuse started his career as a writer in the 1960s, and produced many science-fiction novels and books for boys until his death in 1999.
Viz Media launched the Haikasoru imprint in 2009 to publish English translations of Japanese sci-fi novels. Recent additions to the series include Miyuki Miyabe’s “The Book of Heroes” and “The Cage of Zeus” by Sayuri Ueda.
Japanese science fiction has recently been enjoying a surge of popularity in the English-speaking world. A Hollywood live-action adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s “All You Need Is Kill” is in the pipeline, and “Harmony” by Keikaku Ito, better known as Project Itoh outside Japan, received the Special Citation award by the judges of the Philip K. Dick Award.
“Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights” costs $25.99 (2,020 yen), and is also available as a $9.99 e-book from Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK and Apple’s iBooks stores.
For more information, visit Haikasoru’s website at (http://www.haikasoru.com/).
Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.