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Book Title: Escape Attempt|
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Reader ratings: 7.1
The author of the book: Arkady Strugatsky
Edition: Macmillan Publishing Co.
Date of issue: May 1st 1982
ISBN 13: 9780026152501
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.24 MB
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An interesting, though at times difficult to read, series of three science fiction novellas, each dealing with a different extraterrestrial world. It would appear that the main weakness of all three is the authors' erstwhile efforts to maintain as detailed an imaginative construct as possible: an effort which results in a plethora of description at the expense of actual narrative action.
In 'Escape Attempt', Saul Pepnin, an historian, gets Vadim and Anton to allow him to accompany them on their vacation trip into space. Rather than going takhorg hunting on a known planet, he persuades them to visit an uninhabited planet. The hellish conditions they discover there among the wretched inhabitants whom they had not expected to encounter are truly frightful. 'This was a dark misery, an anguish and a complete hopelessness ... you felt an indifferent despair when no one hopes for anything, when ahead there is nothing but death, alone in an apathetic world.' Their attempts to help the poor people are rebuffed, and they seem to be totally powerless to do anything about the wretched conditions they've encountered. The time travel requirements necessitated by Saul's eventual revelation of his true identity make this strange world even stranger and harder to comprehend.
In 'The Kid from Hell', the main character is a professional soldier named Gack, a member of the Fighting Cat troop who are at war with 'the ratcatchers'. Grievously wounded, he is removed by the supposedly benevolent Kornei to Earth, where he is overwhelmed by the architectural, zoological and edible creations of this new world. However, he soon develops a strong suspicion of Kornei's ultimate motives. It appears possible that the more-developed Earth is simply trying to mediate and bring to a conclusion the seemingly fratricidal conflict on Gack's home world, but the motivation for such an action remains an elusive one. The protagonist's eventual return home is somewhat abrupt and inconclusive.
In 'Space Mowgli' an expedition from Earth tries to terraform another seemingly uninhabited planet by altering its flora and fauna. This effort is made on behalf of the people of Panta, whose sun is about to change, making their home planet uninhabitable. The expedition encounters the destroyed remains of a spaceship from Earth, with the bodies of the husband and wife team who manned this expedition several years earlier. 'The Kid' - who believes himself to be the sole inhabitant of this world - is their offspring, and it appears that the subterranean-dwelling natives of the planet worked to help him survive by altering both his psyche and his physiognomy . Dissension among the four members of the expedition from Earth highlight what is a largely unresolved development of the attempt to use 'The Kid' as a conduit to contact with this extraterrestrial race of beings. To this point in future time, contact has been made with twelve such extraterrestrial races, three of which are non-humanoid. Of the remaining nine, only three have chosen to have any contact with Earth; thus the importance of this expedition's findings. Once again, however, no definitive resolution to the issues raised in such contact is postulated; the effort seeming to be more to raise questions than to provide possible solutions.
Definitely the weakest of the three Soviet science fiction works I've read (the others being the superb Andromeda and the interesting Aelita), this book is nonetheless a credible effort at an imaginative understanding of what issues will confront the human race once inter-planetary contact becomes a regular reality. Although not all that engaging, still an interesting read.
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Read information about the authorArkady Natanovich Strugatsky [Russian: Аркадий Стругацкий] was born in August 1925 in Batumi in the family of intellectuals critic Nathan Zalmanovich Strugatsky, who worked as a newspaper editor, and Alexandra Ivanovna Litvinovoj, honored teacher who taught Russian language and literature.
17-year-old Arkady Strugatsky, first participated in the construction of fortifications of the besieged city, then went to work at the factory, which produced shells.
After the evacuation of the sick younger Strugatsky – 9-year-old Boris his mother stayed with her son in the city. Arkady’s father was taken on the «road of life» across Ladoga in the beginning of 1942. He never saw his parents again. Dad became sick and died in Vologda. That Arkady himself survived was a miracle. The train, which transported the refugees, including young Strugatsky, was bombed; some people survived, the future writer among them.
In the summer of 1942 Arkady Strugatsky resided in a small village close to Tashla in Orenburg. For short time he worked at the point of purchase of products and was even appointed head of. Earning money on the road, he was able in the spring of 1943 to pick up his mother and younger brother Boris from hungry Leningrad.
When he was 18, Arkady Strugatsky began studying at Berdichev artillery school, which was located in the rear Sittwe. After graduating, he was assigned to a Military University, where he taught foreign languages. He graduated from the Institute in 1949 with a degree in interpreter of English and Japanese languages.
After graduation destiny brought Arkady Strugatsky North. Until 1955 he served as an interpreter on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Arcady has worked as a Japanese teacher in one of schools located in the city of Kansk. After retirement Strugatsky moved to the capital.
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