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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This is a very novel approach to a first contact story. I’m interested in the story, the characters, and the world.

Red Schuhart is a “stalker” – a “riffraff” taking frequent quick forays into the Zone to smuggle out the alien artifacts that are valued on the black market, undeterred by having to live on the outside of the law, always at risk of horrific side effects or death inside and imprisonment outside.

The afkady revolves around Redrick “Red” Schuhart, a tough and experienced young stalker who regularly enters the Zone illegally at night in search of valuable artifacts for profit. What happens when aliens arrive on Earth and leave again without so much as a hello, leaving behind all their rubbish?

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky book review

No wonder that in popular culture Chernobyl and Strugatsky’s “stalker” became intertwined. But in order to understand Roadside Picnicwe need bodis understand both what the Zone means to the fictitious characters involved in the narrative and what it means to the Strugatsky brothers as a part of their conceptual meta-narrative.

Redrick wants to help his daughter but afraids strugatsly instead of it ball will grant him money or health or whatever he truly wishes for himself not for others.

They merely stopped for a ‘roadside picnic’ and the powerful artifacts, the reality-distorting and deadly zones – borid of these are nothing more than discarded bits of pieces of junk and swathes of pollution from their activities, much like a group of humans might toss a few beercans around a campsite and leave a stinking puddle of oil behind from their leaking car.


The version I listened to was followed by a rather boring, excessively detailed history of the difficulty the authors had in getting the book snd. Some who live near a Zone are inexplicably infected with hitherto unknown genetic or phenotypic mutations. To sum up Roadside Picnic has a strugwtsky premise, and is endlessly inventive, but I personally find the execution to be less than satisfactory.

Review updated on October, 26 There are quite a few mysterious objects like this in the book but the descriptions are quite elaborate so I will leave you to discover them for yourself. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Hard to Be a God and Definitely Maybe: Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Redrick strugahsky a criminal, an upstart, a man chased by the police for actions that we are not privy to.

Should any of these things be toyed with?

To humans, the detritus the visitors left behind is, variously, inscrutable, invaluable, or very dangerous. There is also a nice irony, in full-blown arthouse cinema being used to attack the intelligentsia and uphold the pulp values of the original sf book. The result is a very rich narration, especially for such a short book. What causes the mutations? Many of the philosophic dimensions of this earth-shattering breakthrough are explored more in depth later on in the book. It is widely rumored that incursions into the Zone by stalkers carry high risk of mutations in their children, even though no radiation or other mutagens had been detected in the area.

This novel is influential for good reason, and it’s well worth your time. After they get to the location, surviving many obstacles, Arthur rushes towards the sphere shouting out his wishes only to be savagely dispatched by the meatgrinder.

I tend to like stories done in this way, when it’s done well, and it is done well here. In the translation, in the introduction, the references to the time of the visit now correctly refer to “thirteenth anniversary”, etc. One might even say this is a masterpiece.

A few video games are also indebted to the Strugatsky brothers. Arkady Strugatsky died in While several characters like to load the alien visitation with purpose and the Zones that were created as a result, there seems to be no message to decode. This was very influential and even contained a Vonnegut reference; a classic in the genre and a must read for fans.


The Zones are dangerous, but the artifacts are highly prized and so some people called stalkers smuggle things from Zones. View all 14 comments. The Eagle and the Raven Pauline Gedge. Predictably, this caused a huge backlash, opening up a large and messy debate. Like many great books, the meaning of the ending is left up to the reader.

Yet the novel also has its hefty share of the metaphysical. The novel is set in a post-visitation world where there are now six Zones known on Earth that are full of unexplained phenomena and where strange happenings have briefly occurred, assumed to have been visitations by aliens.

Damn it all, I can’t think of anything, except those words of his All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.

Inside these Zones are akin to an alien junkyard; a trash heap.

Roadside Picnic

ariady He soon finds himself on one last mission for a golden sphere that he has to find before The State robots get there first. Look into my heart.

The Zone does something to them. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Like her father and the Stalkers, Monkey is known by her nickname, but rather than earning that name by venturing into the Zone, Monkey gets her name by being, much like the Stalkers, a creature of the Zone: During the progress of the story Red pays the price of visiting the Zone in full.

In all honesty, I can’t recommend Roadside Picnic: