In the far future, in a world dominated by an elite caste of omnipotent experts, Kammerer stalks his elusive quarry, Lev Abalkin--a maverick, the "beetle in the anthill," whose very presence on the planet threatens the precarious social order. Unaware of the full meaning of his mission, Kammerer plunges into a bizarre, terrifying rite of passage. Gradually he discovers the true scope of the dark mystery before him, as he learns that the secret of Abalkin's identity is interwoven with the fate of many other lives--lives that must remain maddeningly impenetrable.
A hilarious spoof on the classic country-house murder mystery, from the Russian masters of sci-fi--never before translated When Inspector Peter Glebsky arrives at the remote ski chalet on vacation, the last thing he intends to do is get involved in any police work. He's there to ski, drink brandy, and loaf around in blissful solitude. But he hadn't counted on the other vacationers, an eccentric bunch including a famous hypnotist, a physicist with a penchant for gymnastic feats, a sulky teenager of indeterminate gender, and the mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Moses. And as the chalet fills up, strange things start happening--things that seem to indicate the presence of another, unseen guest. Is there a ghost on the premises? A prankster? Something more sinister? And then an avalanche blocks the mountain pass, and they're stuck. Which is just about when they find the corpse. Meaning that Glebksy's vacation is over and he's embarked on the most unusual investigation he's ever been involved with. In fact, the further he looks into it, the more Glebsky realizes that the victim may not even be human. In this late novel from the legendary Russian sci-fi duo--here in its first-ever English translation--the Strugatskys gleefully upend the plot of many a Hercule Poirot mystery--and the result is much funnier, and much stranger, than anything Agatha Christie ever wrote.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In its first-ever unexpurgated edition, a sci-fi landmark that's a comic and suspenseful tour-de-force, and puts distraction in a whole new light: It's not you, it's the universe!Certain he is on the verge of a major scientific discovery, astrophysicist Dmitri Malyanov is happy that his wife has gone out of town so he can work home alone on the project he's sure will win him the Nobel Prize.But then a beautiful woman shows up at his door, claiming to be an old friend of his wife's and saying she needs a place to stay. Then someone delivers a crate of vodka and caviar. Then his neighbor comes over and wants to tell him a personal secret. Then several of his friends--also scientists--show up, too. Their problem? They all felt they were on the verge of a major discovery when ... they got distracted ...Is there some ominous force that doesn't want scientific knowledge to progress? Or could it be something more...natural?In one of their most important works, offered here for the first time in an uncensored edition, the legendary Strugatsky brothers bravely and brilliantly question authority. It's a book that's not so much brilliant science fiction, as it is simply brilliant literature.
A chilling tale about bizarre and terrifying things suddenly disrupting the lives of the world's leading scientists. Amid all the mysterious events, only one thing is clear--they cannot work any longer. Something or someone is preventing scientific knowledge from advancing. The tension mounts as more and more frightening and inexplicable events take place. Are they being attacked by something supernatural, a supercivilization, or just an innate character of the universe that won't allow more than some level of organization? The scientists struggle on, until one by one they begin to drop out, leaving astrophysicist Dmitri Malianov to decide for himself the ultimate question--what price truth?
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely considered the greatest of Russian science fiction masters, and their most famous work, Roadside Picnic, has enjoyed great popularity worldwide. Yet the novel that was their own favorite, and that readers worldwide have acclaimed as their magnum opus, has never before been published in English. The Doomed City was so politically risky that the Strugatsky brothers kept its existence a complete secret even from their best friends for sixteen years after its completion in 1972. It was only published in Russia in the late 1980s, the last of their works to see publication. It was translated into a host of major European languages, and now appears in English in a major new translation by acclaimed translator Andrew Bromfield. The Doomed City is set in an experimental city bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its sole inhabitants are people who were plucked from Earth's history and left to govern themselves under conditions established by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a diehard believer in the Experiment, even though he's now a garbage collector. And as increasingly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.
Don Rumata has been sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to save what he can. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler, and a brawler, he is never defeated, but yet he can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the first minister to the king. But given his orders, what role can he play? This long overdue translation will reintroduce one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience.
Someday, far in the future of our planet, "if you are twenty years old, can't do anything well, haven't the vaguest notion of what you want to do ... and are still naive enough to imagine yourself making fabulous discoveries in unexplored space ..." then the IRU--Independent Reconnaissance Unit--will provide you with an alien world for exploration. Just pick up the catalog, open it at random, stab blindly, and set off into the wild blue yonder. If you are lucky circumstances will not leave you stranded. Set on one of these alien worlds, Prisoners of Power paints the grim picture of a civilization that has survived a nuclear holocaust. Everything is dusty, flat, and gray, and the rivers run with radioactivity. Into this bleak, depressing world comes young Maxim, an earthling who--by our standards--possesses highly developed physical, intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities. Stranded, but resourceful, and able to withstand the conditions and treatment that the inhabitants of this randomly chosen island cannot, he gradually learns that this strange world--more like ours than his--needs to be changed. But to change it he must become involved. He must discover the meaning of hatred, ignorance, and cruelty. He must understand the drive for power in both himself and others, and form new bonds of friendship, loyalty, love. Slowly, first as a Robinson Crusoe, then as Legionnaire, Terrorist, Prisoner and finally Earthling, he comes to know the workings of the island, its puppets and its people: the mutants who inhabit the outlying regions, the evil Strannik, his friends Guy, Rada, Zef, Ordi--and eventually even the mystery of the All-Powerful Creators.
Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a "full empty," something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he'll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems. First published in 1972, Roadside Picnic is still widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction novels, despite the fact that it has been out of print in the United States for almost thirty years. This authoritative new translation corrects many errors and omissions and has been supplemented with a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin and a new afterword by Boris Strugatsky explaining the strange history of the novel's publication in Russia.
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