Molecular Cafe - Soviet Science Fiction Stories
THE MOLECULAR CAFE by Ilya Varshavsky 10
WANDERERS AND TRAVELLERS by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky 14
CRABS ON THE ISLAND by Anatoly Dneprov 29
THE SECRET OF HOMER by Alexander Poleshchuk 59
I’M GOING TO MEET MY BROTHER, Watch for the "Magellan," Journey by Night, and The Fourth Sun by Vitaly Krapivin 76
GOODBYE, MARTIAN by Romen Yarov 118
THE BLACK PILLAR by Evgeny Voiskunsky and Isai Lukodyanov 126
This book contains stories published by Soviet science-fiction writers. Of course, neither the selection of the authors nor the stories themselves can offer a comprehensive idea of Soviet Science fiction, which is so diverse and multiform. Science fiction is extraordinarily popular in the USSR. Millions of copies of stories by Soviet and foreign writers are published every year. “Sci-fic” is read by people of all ages and professions. Upon thousands of readers look to it for, and discover, a reflection of the wonderful processes taking place at the present time in human society; they look for and discover new problems of history, sociology, and anthropology, which for one reason or another have not been touched by classical realist literature; they look for and discover new trends springing today from the thick of humdrum human activities and imperceptibly forming the new world of the future.
Ilya Varshavsky is one of the most interesting Soviet, Science-fiction writers. His stories are paradoxical and fresh. "Wanderers and Travelers" is the only short story published by the author. "Crabs on the Island" is a felicitous combination of an antiwar pamphlet and a technical picture of the vast potentialities of cybernetics. "The Secret of Homer" is interesting and original, devoted to the ways of knowledge and the strange and contradictory fates of discoveries. Poleshchuk's heroes are gifted and forceful and always follow the unbeaten track. "The Secret of Homer" is unusual for Soviet science fiction, and for that very reason, perhaps, has a particularly special interest. "The Crew of the Mekong" is a lively and thrilling adventure story. "The Black Pillar" is about ideas of internationalism and friendship between peoples, and the authors' predilection for exciting subjects, their humor, and their quite exceptional scientific knowledge.
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