Saturday June 14, 2008
An obscure book first published in New Zealand in 1881 and republished last month, is being called as significant as Pride and Prejudice.
The Great Romance deals with "ground-breaking" themes such as interplanetary colonisation by humankind, sexual relations with aliens and the problems of space flight _ including space shuttles, spacesuits and air locks _ academics and reviewers say.
Written by an anonymous author who used the pseudonym "The Inhabitant", the novella was published as two separate volumes.
The first comprised 55 pages, the only known original of which is held in the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.
The second instalment is just 39 pages. A copy is still held by Dunedin's Hocken Library.