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About Kepler's Somnium

Athough originally written in Latin, Kepler's Somnium ("The Dream") has been translated into English.  In her 1976 article about the textual history and reception of the Somnium,  Gale E. Christianson explains the import of the work in the history of science fiction as a genre and in the context of Kepler's scientific research.  Noting the numerous translations of the work that are now available, Christianson explains that while the "translation of the Somnium into English was first undertaken by Joseph Keith Lane, a candidate for the Master of Arts degree at Columbia University in 1947."  However, since Lane's  thesis was never published, "the first complete published translation in English appeared in 1965 as Kepler’s Dream trans. by Patricia Frueh Kirkwood with an interpretation by John Lear (Berkeley and Los Angeles). A subsequent translation appeared in 1967: Kepler’s Somnium, trans. with a commentary by Edward Rosen (Madison and London)." (SF Studies, 1976, https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/8/christianson8art.htm)  In addition to the translations mentioned by Christianson, there is also a 1962 translation by Normand Raymond Farlardeau, the full text of which is currently accessible on the web via the Creighton University database of theses and dissertations.

Below you will find a list of different editions of the book with links when available.


Lane English Edition (1946)




See also: Marjorie Hope Nicolson's article "Kepler, the Somnium, and John Donne" and Landis, Geoffrey A. "Spaceflight and Science Fiction." (AAIA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2012)