Hard to Be a God. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, trans. from the Russian by Olena Bormashenko. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $ trade. I’ve been rereading the Strugatsky Brothers, prompted perhaps by the recent death of Boris Strugatsky. It’s been ten years or so since I last immersed myself in . But for Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who lived and worked in the Soviet Union at One of the central novels in the Noon Universe is Hard To Be a God ().

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When it comes to human beings, Asimov seems to be telling us, no law of necessity can ever truly account for individual variation.

Filthy, Squalid, Genius: Why It’s ‘Hard to Be a God’

The Earthmen doused the entire city with a sleep-inducing gas, but before that Anton-Rumata had fought his way strugxtsky the city towards the palace, covered in blood, where he finally killed Reba. I think it should be considered a classic.

He was Stalin’s chief of police, mass murder, and pedophilic rapist. Should they intercept with the knowledge and technology they have in order to better their condition?

Hard to Be a God

Plus, harc mentality towards the people strugarsky Arkanar is quite…patronising, similar to the attitude colonialists had, minus the racism and wanting to rule them directly. Warlords, such as the vicious Don Reba, hunt down and destroy any person who can read or write. Gautam Bhatia is based in New Delhi, India. Fascinating and important work. As I said, I did like it at first. Earning money on the road, he was able in the spring of to pick up his mother and younger brother Boris from hungry Leningrad.

Don Reba then calls in the Holy Order’s army, which quickly dispatches the criminals and the guardsmen alike, seizing the defenceless city with minimal losses. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


As his colleagues try—in increasingly strained ways—to fit Don Reba into a mould, into “the ranks of Richelieu, Necker, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Monck” p. Retrieved from ” https: What if contact was made and it turned out that we are actually the more advanced species? I’m reading the translation by Onena Bormashenko and have a question for anyone who has read the earlier translation or even better in the original. Don Reba reveals that he has been watching Don Rumata for some time — in fact he recognizes Rumata as an impostor — the real Rumata having died a long time ago.

But also making you wonder how would an advanced alien civilisation view the world as it is now.

Strange Horizons – Hard To Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky By Gautam Bhatia

A friend pointed out to me that to truly appreciate the relevance of this story to actual human events, one only has to note the environment in which the authors lived which happened to be communist Russia.

Amend Page Count 2 17 May 15, This is one of the best books ever! His other plans take a bad turn.

The story kind of drops its readers in the midst of Don Rumata’s work. Everything About You by Heather Child. Meanwhile, he also battles the tendency to lose sight of his identity; he finds himself becoming more and more like the callous, boorish aristocrat he is impersonating.

Yet until now the only English version unavailable for over thirty years was based on a German translation, and was full of errors, infelicities, and misunderstandings. It’s a mix of bleakness and humor, action and silliness. As far as strkgatsky relation between film and literature is concerned, the Strugatsky brothers are to Russian and Soviet cinema what Philip K.


Rumata was so good at being undercover that he made real friends as well as real enemies. Once again, Rumata realizes his limitations as a God, and though Arata was a bw before his time, he could not oblige his request; causing Arata to tell Rumata that it would be better if he and his comrades had never come at all.

Upon discovery of this planet human beings have taken to sending observers to live amongst the natives.

And each new day gives rise to a new horror of evil and violence. Anyway, you’ve made me Yes, we’re special that way, but that’s neither here nor there.

Hard to Be a God by Arkady Strugatsky

I wanted to do the Strugatsky’s justice but I just haven’t been able to come up with anything intelligent or witty to relate to you in honor of their work. The first English translation of the novel by Wendayne Ackerman, published inwas made from a German translation rather than the original Russian. And because it could be everything and nothing, it becomes easier to read Hard To Be a God as a good science fiction yarn than an unsubtle critique of Soviet hubris.

Any intervention, no matter how benevolent the aim, would be a disastrous disruption. The novel follows Anton, an undercover operative from the future planet Earth, in his mission on an alien planet, that is populated by human beings, whose society has not advanced beyond the Middle Ages.

Rumata — faced with the horrible consequences of his power-play — goes into a drunken stupor.