Editorial Reviews. Review. “[A] vivid new translation it has survived triumphantly as a classic. Roadside Picnic (Rediscovered Classics) by [Strugatsky, Arkady, Strugatsky, Boris] . Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are the most famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, and the authors of over 25 novels and . Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky, , available at Book by Ursula K. Le Guin and a new afterword by Boris Strugatsky explaining the. Reading it now, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky’s novel (translated by Roadside Picnic spans eight years in the life of Redrick “Red” Schuart.

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Its lighthearted title notwithstanding, Roadside Picnic Piknik na obochineis a serious inquiry into the consequences for humans of prolonged proximity to the Unknown, with all anr marvels, dangers, and ineffability. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky tackle this centuries-old theme via one of the great stories of science fiction: First Contact, the first encounter of humans with entities not of this earth. In Roadside Picnicthe aliens have come and gone. To humans, the detritus the visitors left behind is, variously, inscrutable, invaluable, or very dangerous.

Regions of each Zone manifest deadly apparent violations of physical law.


Some who live near a Zone are inexplicably infected with hitherto unknown genetic or phenotypic mutations. From a nearby cemetery, corpses rise to rejoin their families.

Roadside Picnic

Now, thirteen years later, entry to the Zone near the town of Hartmont is restricted. Those who enter legally are scientists or military.

But others sneak in, seeking alien artifacts to feed the thriving black market that has sprung up around the Zone. The Strugatskys focus on a single stalker, Redrick Schuhart. Red is hardly a conventional sf hero: Yet he genuinely loves his wife and mutant daughter and incessantly struggles with the rage seething inside him. In thus transforming a literary, psychological sf novel into a metaphysical cinematic parable, Tarkovsky created the least science-fictional sf film ever, one some viewers find an unwatchable bore and many others including me consider an epiphanic masterpiece.

Very little actually happens in Stalker. Yet, bizarrely, this minute art film spawned three highly popular first-person-shooter video games and a series of Russian pulp novels based on them.

Stalker must be experienced uninterrupted, in solitude, in darkness. They are rambling, free-associational, egocentric.

When this approach works, it works sublimely. At first, these sometimes interesting, often funny asides—many in footnotes, others embedded in the text itself—are mildly amusing.

Then they become frustrating. Their unpredictable, eruptive nature makes it maddeningly hard to focus on whatever Dyer is trying to say about the film. Zona is not without merit.


Reading Zona is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. In any case, by all means read Roadside Picnic. Morrison University of Oklahoma. Hard to Be a God and Definitely Maybe: A Manuscript Discovered under Strange Circumstances.

Skip to main content. Roaeside November November Book Reviews. ISBN Its lighthearted title notwithstanding, Roadside Picnic Piknik na obochineis a serious inquiry into the consequences for noris of prolonged proximity to the Unknown, with all its marvels, dangers, and ineffability.

Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky | Skulls in the Stars

Other Reviews in this Issue. Tzoni kai Loulou Vasia Tzanakari. The Watch Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya. Tomboy Thomas Meinecke, Daniel Bowles, tr. Table of Contents Editor’s Note, November The Life and Times of Perry Mason: Of Prisons and Freedom: Liberation in the Work of Assia Djebar.

Roadside Picnic – Wikipedia

A Brief Conversation with Johan Unenge by. Two Poems, Aaron Fagan by. Three Poems, Bijan Jalali by. What to Read Now: