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Arkady & Boris Strugatskie




(art by Elena Evtushenko)

"Bednye Zlye Lyudi"
(also as "Molitva")
© 1963, original
1988, Zheleznodoroznhik Povolzhya
1991, Kuznetski Rabochi
1993, FantaKrim Mega
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"Belyi Konus Alaida"
(also as "Porazhenie")
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1959, Znanie-Sila
Shest Spichek - as "Porazhenie", 1960
1961, Ural / Detgiz - as "Polden..."
(engl "The White Cone of the Alaid")
© Last Door to Aiya, 1968

"Bespokoistvo" (nv)
(also as ""Ulitka Na Sklone" in very diff. form)
© 1966, Ellinski Sekret (in part), Lenizdat
1968, Baikal
Posev Publ. Munchen, 1970
Molodoi Leninetz, Volgograd 1983
Smena, 1988 (full version)
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Blagoustroennaya Planeta"
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1961, Ural / Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962

"Chastnye Predpolozheniya"
© 1959, Zarya Kommunizma, Lithuania
Alpha Eridana, 1960 -a
Shest Spichek, 1960

"Chelovek Iz Pasifidy"
© 1962, Sovetski Voin
Fantastika-72, 1972

"Chetvertoe Tzarstvo"
© 1952, original
Strugatkie website, 2003
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award

--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"Dalekaya Raduga" (nv)
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1963, Novaya Signalnaya, Znanie
1964, Molodaya Gvardiya
--novella : 1980 Locus /11
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Desantniki"
(also as "Strannye Lyudi")
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1958
Polden, 22 Vek, 1961

"Dorozhny Znak"
(prolog to "Trudno Byt Bogom")
© 1962, unpubl.
Trudno Byt Bogom, 1964

----------------------------------------------

"Gadkie Lebedi" (nv)
"Гадкие Лебеди"

(also as "Vremya Dozhdya"
"Время дождя"
)
© 1964
1987, Daugava
(as "Prekrasny Utenok")
© 1986, Izobretatel
NF # 34, 1990
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

A little bit of a masochistic pleasure: deep and deeply troubled, downbeat and depressing condemnation of a communist era, devoid of hope and gray in imagery. Somebody had to write such Russian novel of a "still life" (literally), and Strugatskie did it, imbuing it with a large dose of surrealism and allegory. I am still awed by the fact that these writers (among other dissident figures of that generation) had to write "into a drawer" for decades(!) fighting the silencing veto placed on all their activity. Certainly, this piece of fiction trashes communist powers, but as a work of art it is quite harmless. But I remember a time in the Soviet Union when sending a fax, or making a copy (any copy of anything) was unlawful and condemned, not to mention any speaking with foreigners (in some cases, for the period of 15 years or more). It was a truly crazy lifestyle, and knowing that fantastic literature is eager to pick and exaggerate such anomalies, we have a "theater of the absurd" in guise of a novel, as a result.
review: 31-Aug-06 (read in 1989)

----------------------------------------------

"The Gigantic Fluctuation"
(also as "Rasskaz o gigantskoj fluctuacji")
(part from "Stazhery")
© 1962, Stazhery
Journey Across Three Worlds, 1973 -a

"Gluboki Poisk"
(also as part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1960, Shest Spichek
1962, Kapitan Zvezdolyota -a
Polden, 22 Vek, 1992 edition
--/ cool space sf story

"Grad Obrechenny" (nv)
© 1970, original
1987, Znaniya-Sila
1988, Neva
Grad Obrechenny, 1990
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Ispytanie "Skibr"
© 1959, Izobretatel
Shest Spichek, 1960

"Izvne" (nv)
(also as "Prisheltsy")
© 1958, Tekhnika Molodezhi
Izvne, Lenizdat 1963
Nenaznachennye Vstrechi, 1980
--/ cool sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Kak Pogib Kang"
© 1947, original
Strugatkie website, 2003
--/ rare find

"Khischnye Veschi Veka" (nv)
© 1965, Leninskaya Smena, Alma-Ata
Molodaya Gvardiya, 1965
Zhuk V Muraveinike, 1983
--/ cool sf novel

----------------------------------------------

"Khromaya Sudba" (nv)
"Xромая судьба"
(also contains "Gadkie Lebedi")
© written in 1975
1986, Neva
Kromaya Sudba, 1990
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

This is my first review of a Russian SF book. I am fully aware that most of Russian science fiction is not translated into English and will not be known to the english reader; I am also aware of an incredible treasure of wonder and ideas contained in these works, completely different in their stylistic and philosophical approach. Languages are born to haunt us with their humbling diversity and an impossibility to learn all of them. We know that it serves to obstruct our wicked plans and to keep us humble, but it's a bit depressing to see cultural barriers grow as a result. Knowing more than one language immensely enriches a person when he reads (and digests) the best of a different culture. In this case, the strange and deeply introspective ventures into Russian fantastic literature may illuminate some forgotten and vast soul-realms that the american culture tends to overlook or simply bypass in haste. The Strugatskies have written both thrillers and psychological dramas, with an equally deft touch - but this novel is an experiment even by their own standards. They wrote it never intending to publish, or rather without a hope of it being published. It can hardly be classified as SF, as it has only minimal fantastic elements. It's a fascinating look into a life of a banished writer, its struggle with the government and other systems of the world. It is surreal and strange in composition (it contains a full, separate novel inside). A beautiful artistic achievement, though not perfect, of course. The title roughly translates as "An Impaired Destiny".
review: 31-Aug-06 (read in 1989)

----------------------------------------------

"Letayuschie Kochevniki"
(also as "Pervye Lyudi Na Pervom Plotu")
(also as "Vikingi")
© 1963, original
1968 Koster, as "Letayuschie..."
1988, Zarya Molodezhi, as "Vikingi"
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ rare find


"Malysh" (nv)
( engl. "Space Mowgli")
© 1971, Avrora
Nenaznachennye Vstrechi, 1980
Escape Attempt, Macmillan 1982
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award


"Mashina Zhelani" (nv)
(adapted from "Piknik Na Obochine")
("Stalker" movie script)
© 1981, NF # 25

"Noch'yu Na Marse"
(also as "Noch V Pustyne")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1960, Znanie-Sila
Put Na Amalteyu, 1960
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
Put Na Amalteyu, 1960
© 1967, Detgiz
- expanded version of 1961
--/ cool space sf story


"O Stranstvuyuschikh
I Puteshestvuyuschikh"
(engl. "Wanderers And Travellers")
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
© 1963, Fantastika-63
Path Into the Unknown, 1966 -a
International Science Fiction, Nov 1967
Polden, 22 Vek, 1977
--/ cool sf story

"Obitaemy Ostrov" (nv)
© 1968, Znaniya-Sila (first chapter)
serial - Neva, 1968
serial - Komsomoletc Tatarii, 1968
Detskaya Litreatura, 1971
(very diff. version)
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Otel "U Pogibshego Alpinista" (nv)
(also as "Delo Ob Ubiistve")
© 1970, Yunost
Komsomoletc Tatarii, 1970
Znanie Publ, 1982
--/ fourth place sf novel
--/ adventure award

"Otyagozchenye Zlom" (nv)
© 1988, Yunost
Prometei Publ, 1989
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Patzienty Doktora Protosa"
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1961, Ural / Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
- omitted in later editions!

"Paren Iz Preispodnei" (nv)
(engl. "The Kid from Hell")
© 1974, Avrora
1976, Nezrimy Most, Estonia
Escape Attempt, Macmillan 1982
--/ cool sf novel
--/ adventure award

"Pervye"
(part of "Strana Bagrovykh Tuch")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1950,
1959, Detgiz
--/ cool space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Pervye Lyudi Na Pervom Plotu"
(also as "Letayuschie Kochevniki")
(also as "Vikingi")
© 1963, original
1968 Koster, as "Letayuschie..."
1988, Zarya Molodezhi, as "Vikingi"
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ rare find


"Piknik Na Obochine" (nv)
(aslo as "Stalker")
© 1972, Avrora (full version)
Nenaznachennye Vstrechi, 1980
(abridged version)
--second place : 1978 Campbell Memorial /2
--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ style award
--/ adventure award


"Pochti Takie Zhe"
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1960, Put Na Amalteyu
© 1961, Ural / Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962

"Polden, 22 Vek" (nv)
(exp. as "Vozvraschenie")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1961, Ural / Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962
expanded with additional stories - 1967, Detgiz

"Ponedelnik Nachinaetsya V Subbotu" (nv)
(also as "Sueta Vokrug Divana")
(NIICHAVO series)
© 1964, Fantastika-64, MK, Iskatel
1965, Detgiz
--/ fourth place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award


"Popytka K Begstvu" (nv)
("Escape Attempt")
© 1962, Fantastika-62
Khischnye Veschi Veka, 1965
Escape Attempt, Macmillan 1982

"Porazhenie"
(also as "Belyi Konus Alaida")
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1959, Znanie-Sila
Shest Spichek - as "Porazhenie", 1960
1961, Ural / Detgiz - as "Polden..."
(engl "The White Cone of the Alaid")
© Last Door to Aiya, 1968

"Prekrasny Utenok" (nv)
(also as "Gadkie Lebedi" )
(also as "Sezon Dozdei")
© 1964
© 1986, Izobretatel
1987, Daugava
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Prisheltsy"
(also as "Izvne")
© 1967, Fantastika I Priklyucheniya
as "Izvne" -
1958, Tekhnika Molodezhi
Izvne, Lenizdat 1963
--/ cool sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Put Na Amalteyu" (nv)
("Destination: Amaltheia")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1960, Put Na Amalteyu
1961, Nauka I Tekhnika
1963, in English
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Sezon Dozdei" (nv)
(also as "Gadkie Lebedi" )
© 1964, original
© 1986, Izobretatel
(as "Prekrasny Utenok")
1987, Daugava
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Shest Spichek"
(engl. "Six Matches")
© 1959, Doroga V 100 Parekov
1959, Znaniya-Sila
The Heart Of The Serpent, 1970 -a

"Skazka O Troike" (nv)
(NIICHAVO series)
© 1968, Angara (abridged)
Komsomoletc Tatarii, 1968
Grani # 78 (western edition), 1970
Smena, 1987 (full version)
Ponedelnik Nachinayetsya V Subbotu, 1989
--second place : 1978 Campbell Memorial /2
--/ fourth place sf novel
--/ humour award
--/ emotion award


"Spontanny Refleks"
© 1958, Znaniya-Sila

"Stazhery" (nv)
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1962, Molodaya Gvardiya
Vtoroe Nashestvie Marsian, 1968

"Strana Bagrovykh Tuch" (nv)
(also as "Pervye")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1950 - 1957
© 1959, Detgiz
--/ cool space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Strashnaya Bolshaya Planeta"
© 1957, original
(Dalegaya Raduga series)
Strugatkie website, 2003
--/ third place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ emotion award
--/ rare find


"Sueta Vokrug Divana" (nv)
(also as "Ponedelnik Nachinaetsya V Subbotu")
© 1964, Fantastika-64, MK, Iskatel
1965, Detgiz
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award


"Svechi Pered Pultom"
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1961, Yantarnaya Komnata, Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962

"Trudno Byt Bogom" (nv)
© 1964, Dalekaya Raduga
Ponedelnik Nachinayetsya V Subbotu, 1966
Trudno Byt Bogom, 1980
--/ cool sf novel

"Ulitka Na Sklone" (nv)
(also as "Bespokoistvo" in very diff. form)
© 1966, Ellinski Sekret (in part), Lenizdat
1968, Baikal
Posev Publ. Munchen, 1970
Molodoi Leninetz, Volgograd 1983
Smena, 1988 (full version)
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"V Nashe Interesnoe Vremya"
© 1960, Nedelya, unpubl.
1990, Molodaya Gvardiya
1993, FantaKrim Mega
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Volny Gasyat Veter" (nv)
© 1985, Znaniya-Sila
1987, NF # 32
--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award

"Vozvraschenie" (nv)
(expansion of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(also as "Blagoustroennaya Planeta")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1961, Detgiz
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962
expanded with additional stories - 1967, Detgiz

"Vremya Dozdya" (nv)
(also as "Gadkie Lebedi" )
© 1964
© 1986, Izobretatel
(as "Prekrasny Utenok")
1987, Daugava
--/ cool sf novel
--/ emotion award

"Vtoroe Nashestvie Marsian" (nv)
(engl. "The Second Martian Invasion")
© 1967, Baikal
Komsomoletc Tatarii, 1967
Stazhery, Molodaya Gvardiya, 1968
Vortex, 1970 (engl)

"Za Milliard Let Do Koncza Sveta" (nv)
© 1976, Znaniya-Sila
Tikho-okeanski Komsomoletz, 1983
Za Milliard Let Do Koncza Sveta, 1984
--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award
--/ style award


"Zabyty Eksperiment"
© 1959, Shest Spichek

"Zateryanny V Tolpe"
© 1957,
Polden XXI Vek Online, 2003

"Zhuk V Muraveinike" (nv)
© 1979, Znaniya-Sila
Leninetz, Ufa 1981
Zhuk V Muraveinike, 1983
--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award

"Zloumyshlenniki"
(part of "Polden, 22 Vek")
(exp as "Vozvraschenie")
(Mir Poludnya series)
© 1962, Znaniya-Sila
Mir Priklyucheni, 1961
Vozvraschenie, Detgiz 1962

"Zvezdolyot Astra - 12"
 © 1957, original
Strugatkie website, 2003
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

--------------------------------------------------

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"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
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--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

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altogether wild

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mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

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