Juza Unno book released in Spanish (classic Japanese SF)

By | September 24, 2021

I’ve translated over ten stories by Juza Unno (海野十三), an important figure in Japanese science fiction (which you can find in both E-book and paper book form here), probably more stories than I’ve translated by any other author. One of my goals in publishing these stories was to allow English speakers around the world to be able to enjoy and appreciate the world Juza Unno has to offer, and I feel I’ve succeeded in that endeavor. For the time being I’m focusing on other authors, but I may come back to do more of Unno’s dark SF someday.

Regardless of how many people can read English fluently around the globe, there are many other languages and millions of other people who are not yet able to experience Unno’s stories. That’s why I’m always glad to help out getting his stories published in other languages.

Just a few months ago a book with a Portuguese version of a few of these stories (based on my English translations) was released. Today I’m glad to announce that recently Spanish versions of some of these stories was published as “El baño de música de las dieciocho” by Abducción, a small Chilean publisher who showcases interesting works of fiction including those by H. P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick.

The title of this book comes from “Eighteen O’Clock Music Bath” (十八時の音楽浴), a dystopian tale about a government who brainwashes the populace using a special type of music, arguably one of Unno’s most famous and best works due to the various technological ideas presented (as well as the reference to a gender change, surprising since the story was written in 1937). As far as I know, it’s the first dystopian story written in Japanese.

I took a few years of Spanish, but that was many years ago and due to lack of practice my current Spanish reading ability is pretty rough. But I will say that the book is beautiful both in terms of typography and especially the cover, which is a manga-style drawing that extends to the back and inside cover, and includes a key character from “Eighteen O’Clock Music Bath”. There’s also a six-page introduction by the translator, Nicolás Pérez Ferretti (who was a pleasure to work with, by the way).

It’s great to have these stories available in another language, and I’m hoping eventually translations in even more languages will be published. If you are a translator or publisher interested in acquiring the rights to use my English versions of these stories for translation purposes, feel free to contact me.

Viva la ciencia ficción japonesa!

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