Translated by Alexander O. Smith.
Ten billion days — that is how long it will take the philosopher Plato to determine the true systems of the world. One hundred billion nights — that is how far into the future Jesus of Nazareth, Siddhartha, and the demigod Asura will travel to witness the end of all worlds. Named the greatest Japanese science fiction novel of all time, Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights is an epic eons in the making. Originally published in 1967, the novel was revised by the author in later years and republished in 1973.
Born in Tokyo in 1928, Ryu Mitsuse graduated from Tokyo University of Education with a degree in the sciences, after which he took up the study of philosophy. He debuted with “Sunny Sea 1979” in 1962, and his work — which often combines Eastern philosophy and hard science fiction — includes Tasogare ni kaeru (Returns in the Twilight) and Ushinawareta toshi no kiroku (The Chronicle of a Lost City). Mitsuse made SF history when his short story “The Sunset, 2217 A.D.” was translated into English for inclusion in Best Science Fiction for 1972. With artist Keiko Takemiya, he created the manga Andromeda Stories. Ryu Mitsuse died in 1999.