Some Subversive Soviet-Era Science Fiction, Perhaps?


Those of you seeking unconventional speculative fiction would do well to delve into the works of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. They wrote in the Soviet Union from the late 1950s through the late 1980s. Their novel Roadside Picnic was the inspiration for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, and Melville House recently released a new edition of their mindbending short novel Definitely Maybe, which blends metaphysical speculation and satire born of the paranoia of living in an authoritarian state.

And now Chicago Review Press, who also released a new edition of Roadside Picnic, have plans to release a new translation of their 1964 novel Hard to Be a God in June. Ursula K. Le Guin called the book’s 1974 edition “a sweet-tempered, melancholy, robust, imaginative, satisfying book,” which also sounds promising. There’s also an introduction to this edition by Hari Kunzru, which, as bonuses go, seems to be a pretty excellent one.

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