In our morning reading: new nonfiction from Colson Whitehead, Anna Prushinskaya, and Roxane Gay; interviews with Chelsea Hodson and Tom Scharpling; Russian science fiction; and more.
#tobyreads: Getting International (and Interplanetary)
I’ve been slowly working my way through the works of Russian science fiction novelists Arkady and Boris Strugatsky–following Definitely Maybe and Roadside Picnic, I checked out Hard to Be a God (in part because I’d been reading about a recent film adaptation of it). It’s a deeply strange book, in the best way: though set in a world that resembled medieval Europe, it’s also a work of science fiction. The protagonist hails from a future Earth, and while he’s a participant in this society, he’s […]
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.