Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vale: Boris Strugatsky.

Roadside Picnic was probably the first Russian novel I ever read.

Written by brothers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, it tells of the post-visitation of alien beings - aliens who stayed only a short time, were not seen, did not communicate with us, or showed any recognition of our existence. The sites of the visitation are littered with dangerous anomalies and artifacts - many of which hold amazing powers and are highly sought after.

These artifacts, while valuable to humans, are theorised as being no more than discarded rubbish left after a 'roadside picnic'.

Arkady passed away many years ago, but Boris (born 1933) has just died of heart problems and pneumonia. A computer scientist and astronomer until he became a fulltime writer in the 60s, he was a major writer, not only in Russia but worldwide.

R.I.P. Boris.


Anonymous said...

That's a great loss. I never read the novel, but the (light) film adaptation, Tarkovsky's 'Stalker' is my favourite film. It's a long 2 parter, but at no point does the movie seem drawn out, slow or pointless.

- Dillon, your ex student who browses your blog sometimes

Gitte Christensen said...

My introduction to the Brothers S was 'The Ugly Swans'. In fact, it's still on my SF book shelf. When you hang onto a book for that long despite multiple moves, one from overseas, you know it means more to you than the average book.

Steve Cameron said...

Gitte, I've never read any of his (their) other work. I might have to check it out.

Dillon. Great to see you here. Thanks for re ading. I've heard of the film but need to check it out.