Lot 93: Percy Greg: Across the Zodiac First Edition Book
11th April 2018
Rare first edition book: Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record, Volumes I and II. First edition. London: Trubner & Co., 1880. Hardcover bound in original brown cloth with gilt-stamped spine labels, 5.5 x 7.75, totaling 584 pages. Book condition: VG/None, with edgewear and bumped corners, some scuffing to exteriors (most significantly to Volume II), bookplates with ownership inscriptions to pastedowns, some repairs to hinges, and pencil bookseller's notations to the half-title page and free end page in Volume I. Greg's influential early sci-fi novel chronicles a flight to Mars aboard a spacecraft, known as the 'Astronaut,' powered by an anti-gravitational energy called 'apergy.' This may be the first English-language use of the term 'astronaut.' The book also contains what is believed to be the first alien language in any work of fiction, spoken by the diminutive inhabitants of the planet. In 2010, a Martian crater was officially named 'Greg' in recognition of his contributions to Mars lore.
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