20 November 2012, 15:37

In memory of Boris Strugatsky

In memory of Boris Strugatsky

Prominent Russian science-fiction writer Boris Strugatsky died in Saint Petersburg on November, 19, aged 79.

Astronomer and mathematician, Boris Strugatsky became a science-fiction writer. His elder brother Arkady died 20 years ago. The two worked in tandem and were known all over the world as the Strugatsky brothers. 

Their legacy comprises thirty stories and novels that remain popular not only in Russia but abroad. Their most popular works are Roadside Picnic, Monday Begins on Saturday, Hard to be God.These books have been republished more than 500 times and were translated into 42 languages. Famous Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem praised the Strugatsky brothers for going beyond all the rules in sci- fi prose once outlined by Herbert Wells and other writers who mastered this genre. Lem called his Russian colleagues ‘realists in the world of science-fiction’. The Strugatsky brothers earned their international acclaim when they received the Jules Verne prize for the best novel of the year published in Swedish and a prize ‘For independent thinking’ in Great Britain. 

Being a science fiction writer, Boris Strugatsky yet went far beyond the frames of his genre and focused much on trying to foretell different changes in the society. He was more than a sci-fi writer but a philosopher. Left by his elder brother, Boris did not give up writing and published two more novels, the last one, The Powerless Ones of This World, saw the light of day in 2003. 

Boris Strugatsky remained active almost until the very last days of his life and remained an influential figure among his younger colleagues. He used to hold seminars and even founded his own prize for sci-fi writers, The Bronze Snail.He closely watched all 15 screen adaptations of the Strugatsky`s novels which have been made until now. Among directors who adapted Strugatsky`s prose for the screen there were Andrei Tarkovsky, who made his Stalker based on Roadside Picnic,and Alexander Sokurov whose Days of Eclipse was inspired by One billion years before the end of the world.

All his life Boris Strugatsky argued with those who have a too ‘earthy’ mode of thinking and do not let their mind loose. “There is a widespread opinion that people should not think about the future but focus on today, and bother just about not being unemployed and hungry. But it is easier said than done- I think, it is impossible not to think about the future”, the writer said. 

Now we have to accept the fact that thinking about the future will no longer be as interesting as it used to be when Boris Strugatsky was alive.

End of Strugatsky era (PHOTO)

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