2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
The creative activity of the Strugatsky brothers fell mainly during the years of Soviet power. But even under conditions of total communist ideology and strict censorship, they, dissident writers, became the most famous science fiction writers in the USSR. Many works of the Strugatskys were published abroad much earlier than at home, most of the works were not published in full, in parts or with changes. But the stories and tales of writers diverged in the country from hand to hand, in the form of read books and typewritten reprints.
Since 1986, the fiction of the brothers-co-authors began to be massively published and became available to all fans of the genre, and films based on the works of the Strugatskys added to the list of films created in the Soviet years. Their books have become classics of the genre of Russian literature, but even today they have not lost their relevance in many ways.
Monday starts on Saturday
Of all the works of the Strugatsky Brothers, this story is considered the most popular. Since 1986, it has been annually republished by central and regional publishing houses. "Monday" captivates not only with an entertaining plot and bright characters, the narrative is permeated with smart intelligent humor and subtle satire.
Leningrad programmer Sasha Privalov, who is the main character and narrator of the story, near the city of Solovets, drives two fellow travelers by car. In gratitude, they offer Alexander an overnight stay and leave him in a bizarre place with peculiarities of folklore color - a hut on chicken legs. Almost immediately, strange events begin to occur that go beyond rational explanation.
It turned out that the fellow travelers are scientists from the local research institute NIICHAVO, which employs highly qualified sorcerers, magicians and supernatural beings. The hut is an institute museum, where all the items turned out to be exhibits with magical properties: a self-collecting tablecloth, a magic mirror, a wish-fulfilling pike, a talking cat, an irreplaceable nickel and others. And the sofa on which Privalov slept is a magical translator of reality. After a series of unusual incidents, the main character is offered a job as a computer programmer at the Research Institute of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, Privalov joins a wonderful team of wizards, faces many mysteries and adventures.
DisplayingSoviet administrative-command system, the Strugatskys outlined social phenomena that are still relevant today: bureaucracy, careerism, ignorance of leaders, profanation in science, as well as the desire for freedom of creative and scientific research, the eternal dream of romantics - doing what they love, for which a salary is charged. Many phrases from "Monday" have become common sayings and aphorisms. Based on the work, in 1982, the musical film "Magicians" directed by K. Bromberg was released on television.
World of Noon
In a series of novels and stories written from 1962 to 1986, the Strugatskys' fantasy created an ideal world of happy people that could come in 100-150 years. The content of the works is not connected by a single storyline, but most of them feature common characters and some events that occurred on Earth and space.
The list of works of the Strugatskys related to this cycle begins with the story "Noon, XXII century", which consists of 20 short stories. They tell in detail and fascinatingly about the near future of earthlings (year 2119), who have reached a new moral, ethical and technological level. This is an exciting story about how the earth of the future looks like, how its social society works, about space exploration, interstellar flights, courage, friendship, selfless courage of people. From the "Noon" cycle, the most popular are the novel "The Snail on the Slope" and the story written in the form of a detective story "The Beetle in the Anthill". However, other works of the Strugatskys from this series are no less interesting and rich in adventure, theycomplement and in some ways explain each other.
A novel with a difficult publishing fate, which was the most criticized and always understood ambiguously. Its original and more detailed version is the story "Anxiety". The work was completed by the science fiction brothers in 1966, it was published in full in 1972, and even then, abroad in Germany. Only 16 years later, at the beginning of perestroika, the novel was first fully published in the USSR. The Strugatskys considered Clue on the Slope to be the most significant and perfect of their works.
The action takes place on the planet Pandora with its misunderstood and hostile nature for earthlings. On a high cliff, towering above the Forest full of dangers, people erected a "Department", which is engaged in the study, organization of expeditions, collection and statistics of data on local flora and fauna.
The work contains two loosely connected storylines. One of them tells about the researcher Candide, lost in the Forest, who lost his memory, lived among the natives for several years and is trying to return to the biostation. The action of another part of the plot takes place in the "Office", where the second main character Pepper arrives with his research program. In his attempts to get permission and visit the Forest, he encounters the sloppiness and bureaucratic absurdity that thrives in the "Administration" system.
Beetle in the anthill
In this fantastic detective story, the maximumthe intriguing theme of the civilization of the Wanderers is revealed, which passes in passing in some of the previous works of the Strugatskys from The World of Noon.
The action takes place on Earth in 2178. One of the main characters, progressor Lev Abalkin, being on the verge of a nervous breakdown, arbitrarily interrupted the task on the planet Sarkash and fled to Earth. Its action may pose a threat to the home planet. Maxim Kammerer, an employee of the KOMKON-2 organization, is sent in search of the fugitive and clarification of the alleged danger.
The plot is woven into a fascinating story about an expedition to the planet Nadezhda, conducted a few years earlier by Abalkin and Shchenko, a representative of the dog-like race of Sarkasha.
Among all the works of the Strugatskys, this story has the largest number of foreign translations and is the most popular abroad. By the early 2000s, Picnic had been published in 22 countries by 55 publications.
The time of action in the story is the 1970s. In Harmont, a provincial town of a certain English-speaking state, there is a Zone. This is one of the six points of the Earth, where 13 years ago there were inexplicable phenomena (anomalies) that are not subject to the physical laws known to mankind. People in the Zone are exposed to unpredictable, often deadly effects. The population from the anomalous regions has been evacuated, the territories are carefully guarded, and scientists are trying to carefully study them. There are several hypotheses regarding the origin of anomalous territories, one of which isextraterrestrial interference.
The town of Harmont after the emergence of the Zone is in decline, many houses are empty. The only activity that brings a decent income is the trade in artifacts, strange objects that have either dangerous, or useful, or incomprehensible properties. Artifacts are taken out of the Zone at great risk to life by stalkers, people who can recognize and bypass anomalies. Their activities have given rise to many legends, true and fictional stories. The occupation of stalkers is outlawed, but no one knows the Zone better. Therefore, some of them become official guides accompanying scientists to anomalous territories. Among these daredevils there are heroes and losers, some died or were left crippled. But none of the stalkers can refuse attacks in the Zone, which attracts them with its magnetic attraction, changes consciousness and influences fate.
In 1979, director A. Tarkovsky, based on the work, shot the feature film "Stalker", which received a prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980.
The best works of the Strugatskys include the story "Ugly Swans", a cult work of the 70-80s of the last century, which, without passing the censorship, dispersed throughout the country in samizdat reprints. And also published by 24 publishing houses in 13 foreign countries, the story "Inhabited Island", which has become one of the classic examples of world science fiction. The last novel by the Strugatsky brothers, The Doomed City, is the mostphilosophical and controversial work. It was the result of the work of writers, which, in the conditions of a changing social reality, affirmed the constancy of eternal universal values.
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