Russian sci-fi author Boris Strugatsky dies

November 19, 2012

Russian writer Boris Strugatsky, famous for co-authoring Soviet-era science-fiction novels critical of the authorities with his late brother Arkady, passed away on Monday at 79, his foundation said.

Born in 1933 in Saint Petersburg, Strugatsky was educated in math and worked in Russia's main in Pulkovo before the Strugatsky brothers became full-time writers and classics of science fiction.

The Strugatsky brothers began publishing their deeply philosophical works in the 1960s amid the country's infatuation with space travel, but their writing quickly turned away from utopian social realism, focusing on the darker sides of modernity, with a dose of satire on the Soviet system.

One of their best-known works, "Roadside Picnic", follows a protagonist who illegally ventures into the Earth's dangerous paranormal zones to look for artifacts he later sells on the market, losing his son in the final quest.

The book was censored countless times and later made into the acclaimed film "Stalker" by director Andrei Tarkovsky, and was seen as prophetic due to the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe aftermath 15 years after its publication.

The Strugatsky writer tandem broke apart with the death of Arkady in 1991, but their works inspired generations of science fiction authors and a broad fan base that picks apart their novels for hidden philosophical meanings.

Boris Strugatsky published two novels on his own after his brother's death, which were not as widely read, and was known for his active stand on political issues, frequently criticising President and calling his policies a return to stagnation of the late Soviet era.

In 2009 he engaged in a long correspondence with jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which was later made public, discussing the nature of authoritarianism and the future of humankind faced with global challenges like the end of oil.

Most recently he participated in political petitions demanding the release of jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot and of protesters arrested on the eve of Putin's inauguration in May.

The writer lately had heart troubles and was in the hospital undergoing dialysis, RIA Novosti quoted a close friend who requested anonymity. The Arkady and Boris Strugatsky foundation confirmed his death on its official site.

Explore further: Russian court website defaced in support of Pussy Riot

Related Stories

Russian court website defaced in support of Pussy Riot

August 21, 2012

An unidentified computer hacker broke into the official website of a Moscow court that sentenced Pussy Riot band members to jail, defacing its front page with obscenities and an anti-Vladimir Putin slogan, a court spokeswoman ...

Tycoon delays Russia's first hybrid car launch

September 3, 2012

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's auto division announced Monday it was delaying until late 2014 this year's planned launch of the petrol-guzzling country's first hybrid vehicle.

NASA: Arthur C. Clarke will be missed

March 19, 2008

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a statement Wednesday, mourning the death of renowned scientist and author Arthur C. Clarke.

Russian bomb physicist Ginzburg dead at 93

November 9, 2009

Nobel Physics prize winner Vitaly Ginzburg, who helped develop the Soviet hydrogen bomb, has died at age 93, the Russian Academy of Sciences said Monday.

Recommended for you

Frog choruses inspire wireless sensor networks

January 21, 2019

If you've ever camped by a pond, you know frogs make a racket at night; but what you might not know is how functional and regulated their choruses really are. Frogs communicate with sound, and amid their ruckus is an internally ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.