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Red Star Tales: 100 Years of Russian Science Fiction

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For over a century, most of the science fiction produced by the world’s largest country has been beyond the reach of Western readers. This new collection aims to change that, bringing a large body of influential works into the English orbit. 

A scientist keeps a severed head alive, and the head lives to tell the tale… An explorer experiences life on the moon, in a story written six decades before the first moon landing... Electrical appliances respond to human anxieties and threaten to crash the electrical grid… Archaeologists discover strange powers emanating from a Central Asian excavation site… A teleporting experiment goes awry, leaving a subject to cope with a bizarre sensory swap… A boy discovers the explosive truth of his father’s “antiseptic” work, stamping out dissent on distant worlds…

The last 100 years in Russia have seen an astonishing diversity and depth of literary works in the science fiction genre, by authors with a dizzying array of styles and subject matter. 

This volume brings together 18 such works, translated into English for the first time, spanning from path-breaking, pre-revolutionary works of the 1890s, through the difficult Stalinist era, to post-Soviet stories published in the 1980s and 1990s. 



"This is an impressive and ambitious anthology that reflects an admirably high quality of editorial skill and translator acumen. It is a clear marriage of pleasure and academic rigor as practiced by an estimable group of scholars and translators.... a singularly enjoyable and scholarly book that should serve as a gateway to Russian science fiction for readers of every stripe"

– Jonathan Stone, SEEJ Journal

"Red Star Tales is a labor of love by some of the top scholars and translators of Russian and Soviet science fiction… Howell’s introduction… is highly accessible to the non-specialist and, at the same time, an invaluable resource for the Russian scholar who may be new to science fiction…. The translations are excellent, and the book as a whole is carefully edited… One can only hope that the appearance of Red Star Tales marks an upsurge in the teaching of Russian and Soviet science fiction. Equally important, this collection is a fun read and opens a portal onto a fascinating world of speculative fiction previously unavailable to Anglophone science fiction fans."

– Eric Laursen, The Russian Review

"Would this make the two hours before boarding a plane, or an afternoon at the beach or such summer vacation destination enjoyable? The answer is yes, quite so… Toss it in your summer bag/gym bag/soccer practice/honor bang hangout bag and enjoy the trip to different realms of the universe. You will even enjoy contemplating switching your vision with your hearing and vice versa!"

Language and Literary Criticism Head

"None of the 18 stories included in the collection has ever been translated into English until now, and because of this book we can truly appreciate the dramatic and dynamic scope of Russian science fiction from the end of the 19th century, through the Soviet era, and into modern times…. by all means grab a copy of Red Star Tales. You’ll be glad you did."

Rachel Cordasco, SF Signal


Introduction  ~ Yvonne Howell

Karazin: Meteorologist or Meteorurge? ~ Nikolai F. Fyodorov
On the Moon ~ Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Rebellion of the Machines  ~ Valery Bryusov
One Evening in 2217  ~ Nikolai Fyodorov
Mutiny of the Machines  ~ Valery Bryusov

Professor Dowell’s Head  ~ Alexander Belyaev 
The Lunar Bomb  ~ Andrei Platonov
Rays of Life  ~ Yuri Dolgushin 
The Nur-i-Desht Observatory  ~ Ivan Yefremov
Explosion  ~ Alexander Kazantsev

The Spontaneous Reflex  ~ Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Soda-Sun  ~ Mikhail Ancharov
The Exam  ~ Sergei Drugal
Mixed Up  ~ Vladimir Savchenko
Jubilee-200  ~ Kir Bulychev
Those Burdened by Evil  ~ Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Doorinda  ~ Daliya Truskinovskaya
My Dad’s an Antibiotic  ~ Sergei Lukyanenko 


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Product Reviews

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  1. Red Star Tales: 100 Years 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 26th Apr 2017

    Red Star Tales: 100 Years of Russian Science Fiction

  2. Excellent 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Jul 2016

    Great compilation of Russian/Soviet sci-fi

  3. Hooray, Red Star Tales! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 6th Jul 2016

    Excited to read these stories!

Other Details

Yvonne Howell
Translations Editor:
Anne O. Fisher

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