Boris Strugatski (1933 – 2012)
Sadly, Boris Strugatski has passed away.
With his brother Arcadi (1925 – 1991) they wrote a string of interesting, usually banned sf novels in the USSR from the late 1950s through to the late 80s.
My first encounter with their work was a novella in the Vortex collection of Soviet SF which was called The Second Invasion From Mars. In a small town on the steppe, news of an alien landing is more like gossip and facts are hard to come by. I really enjoyed it and have read it several times. There’s also another translation of it called The Second Martian Invasion.
Their best known work was the novel Roadside Picnic, later filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky as Stalker, which was also the title of the computer game also later developed. In it, there are several quarantined sites around the world at which aliens have landed briefly and left behind various inexplicable items, much as humans might leave rubbish behind after a picnic…
Other novels, like the others pictured here, tend towards the fantastical as they portray weird convoluted bureaucracies that varied scientists have to negotiate to achieve anything.
The last major work of theirs I read was The Snail on the Slope, which was apparently published as two separate stories and only when it was published as a book with their chapters alternating did people realise it was a single piece! It’s probably my favourite of the dozen or so novels of theirs I’ve read.
Arkadi died over 20 years ago; now Boris. Oh, well, maybe I’ll go re-read 2nd Martian Invasion.
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Please see the Brian Ruckley page for details of how to obtain a signed copy of his new book, fantasy novel The Free. Due in October.
Transreal Fiction is a shop dedicated to selling science fiction, fantasy & related books, together with a limited selection of other merchandise.But really, it’s about books. Transreal Fiction opened in April 1997 in Cowgatehead and moved to it’s present location nearby in June 2011. The owner, Mike Calder, first sold sf & f books many years ago and has worked in the business either part- or full-time since. For years he also had a respectable job as well, but that’s another story…
The shop is named after the term coined by Rudy Rucker to describe his fiction and I thought it an apt name for a shop specialising in speculative fiction. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, Rudy Rucker was happy to allow me to use of the term as a name for my shop.