Hard to Be a God. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, trans. from the Russian by Olena Bormashenko. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $ trade. I’ve been rereading the Strugatsky Brothers, prompted perhaps by the recent death of Boris Strugatsky. It’s been ten years or so since I last immersed myself in . But for Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who lived and worked in the Soviet Union at One of the central novels in the Noon Universe is Hard To Be a God ().

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Now lets suppose that evolution follows a linear course. A lot of hand-wringing and inner monologue. Don Reba reveals that he has been watching Don Rumata for some time — in fact he recognizes Rumata as an impostor — the real Rumata having died a long time ago.

Strange Horizons – Hard To Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky By Gautam Bhatia

And because it could be everything and nothing, it becomes easier to read Hard To Be a God as a good science fiction yarn than an unsubtle critique of Soviet hubris. Lists with This Book. Rumata has attempted to save the most talented poets, writers, doctors and scientists, smuggling them abroad into neighboring countries. As far as the relation between film and literature is concerned, the Strugatsky brothers are to Russian and Soviet cinema what Philip K. All these things flow in one direction and travel along with their own unalterable velocities.

It certainly doesn’t feel like any other connotation is implied here. After confessing that he, in fact, kidnapped Dr. But inwhen the Soviet Writers’ Union was caught up in a wave of puritan-nationalistic fervour, a backlash against the thaw of the Khrushchev years, the Strugatskys realized that “the time of ‘light things,’ the time of ‘swords and cardinals’ seemed to have passed.


Hard to Be a God

There was something distinct added to the story when long flowing sentences were used to depict the thoughts of the author. Especially not on his actions.

Rumata returns to his home to discover his most loyal servant killed during a fight with a squad of Reba’s stormtroopers who had gained entrance into the house; a unit of the Holy Order then saved the rest of the household. Every planet capable of housing life develops similar lifeforms as our Earth with the primates ultimately adapting into primitive versions of the human race.

Filthy, Squalid, Genius: Why It’s ‘Hard to Be a God’

Then a little bit more. Anton is one among fifty “operatives” sent by Earth to strugatky themselves into the society and culture of that world. We are told that the purges are affecting the society negatively, but never really feel it.

Terminological confusion brings about dangerous consequences” p. His mental condition gently starts to deteriorate as he spends time in a vastly different environment than he is accustomed to. The player eventually discovers the truth and begins to use the advanced weaponry of Earth offered during the mission.

At least the rating is still the same: One of the most popular Strugatsky ‘s novels, Hard to Be a God was adapted multiple times on different media. Rumata — faced with the horrible consequences of his power-play — goes into a drunken stupor. In the afterword, the author first says this was planned a historical adventure story, like ‘The Three Musketeers’.

Meanwhile, he also battles the tendency to lose sight of his identity; he finds himself becoming more and more like the callous, boorish aristocrat he is impersonating. Doesn’t help that the female characters are, as in many old books, abysimal.

Filthy, Squalid, Genius: Why It’s ‘Hard to Be a God’ – Flavorwire

Stalinist totalitarianism’s sacrifice of individual freedom and autonomy to the iron constraints of the march towards an illusory utopia has served as the political backdrop for a number of science-fiction novels—from Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Wewritten in the earliest years of the Soviet Union, to Orwell’s If struhatsky the social evolution of these alien civilizations worked in the opposite direction than they had initially thought.


This review is part of our fo drive bonus. Despite their ability to wield the powers of a civilisation a millennium ahead, they are forbidden from interfering with the natural progress of history.

I was fascinated by the sound of this when I came across it in the library, because I really liked Roadside Picnic, and because the foreword mentions parallels with Star Trek and Iain M. I’ve waited a long time to read this book, due to its rarity and price, but it was thankfully recently republished and I had to get my hands on it, being such a fan of Soviet science-fiction and the Strugatsky brothers in particular Roadside Picnic He is not convinced by that excuse, and neither are we.

I did not like it. It is unfortunate this book is so hard to get a hold of, as I found it an excellent albeit confusing read.

The translation features an afterword by Boris Strugatsky in which he writes that the original plan for Hard To Hars a God was that of a “fun story in the spirit of The Three Musketeers ” p. The frame of the book and so the film is relatively straightforward.