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Boris and Arkady Strugatsky

Arkady Strugatsky (1925-1991) and Boris Strugatsky (1933-2012) began to collaborate in the early 1950s after Arkady had studied English and Japanese and worked as a technical translator and editor and Boris was a computer mathematician at Pulkova astronomical observatory.
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Roadside Picnic: Russian SF classic with parallels to Vandermeer’s Area X

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Roadside Picnic by Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic (1972) is a Russian SF novel written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. This was back when authors and publishers were subject to government review and censorship. Since it didn’t follow the Communist Party line, it didn’t get published in uncensored book form in Russia until the 1990s despite first appearing in a Russian literary magazine in 1972. So its first book publication was in the US in 1977. Since then Roadside Picnic has been published in dozens of editions and languages over the years, and inspired the 1979 Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker, which the Strugatsky brothers wrote the screenplay for.

The story is set after the Visitation, when aliens briefly stopped on the Earth and left six Zones where strange alien technolog... Read More

The Doomed City: A fascinating and thoughtful work of Russian science fiction

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The Doomed City by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, translated by Andrew Bromfield

The Doomed City is a late 1980’s work by, according to my jacket liner, the two “greatest Russian science fiction masters”: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Having never read their other works, or much at all by any other Russian sci-fi authors, I can’t speak to the validity of that statement. But certainly The Doomed City, translated here by Andrew Bromfield, is a fascinating and thoughtful work, one that I thoroughly enjoyed even as I sensed I was probably missing some of the layers/allusions more specific to their homeland.

The setting is a roughly 50-square-kilometer metropolis lit by an artif... Read More