This review is part of our fund drive bonus. Read more about Strange Horizons ' funding model, or donate, here. In his introduction to Danilo Kis's A Tomb for Boris Davidovich , a collection of chilling stories about the individual's mental and moral degradation under Stalinism, Joseph Brodsky writes:. Unlike them, he can afford to treat tragedy as a genre, and his art is more devastating than statistics.
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Presidents' Day. Veterans Day. Shopping Cart Checkout. Follow Us. Audio Downloads. Activity Kit. Hard to Be a God. Overview Reviews Author Biography Series Overview Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely known as the greatest Russian writers of science fiction, and their novel Hard to Be a God is considered one of the greatest of their works.
It tells the story of Don Rumata, who is sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to influence, but never to directly interfere. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler and a brawler, Don Rumata is never defeated but can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the First Minister to the king.
But given his orders, what role can he play? Hard to Be a God has inspired a computer role-playing game and two movies, including Aleksei German's long-awaited swan song. Yet until now the only English version out of print for over thirty years was based on a German translation, and was full of errors, infelicities, and misunderstandings. This new edition—translated by Olena Bormashenko, whose translation of the authors' Roadside Picnic has received widespread acclaim, and supplemented with a new foreword by Hari Kunzru and an afterword by Boris Strugatsky, both of which supply much-needed context—reintroduces one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience.
The writing is well paced and the narrative is beautifully structured. Author Biography. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than 25 novels and novellas to their names, including The Doomed City, The Inhabited Island, and Roadside Picnic. May we also suggest Published Sep Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, year-old Amber St. Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II.
From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the Great Plague and the Fire of London to the intimate passions of ordinary—and extraordinary—men and women, Amber experiences it all. But throughout her trials and escapades, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she really loves, the one man she can never have.
Frequently compared to Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber is the other great historical romance, outselling every other American novel of the s—despite being banned in Boston for its sheer sexiness.
A book to read and reread, this edition brings back to print an unforgettable romance and a timeless masterpiece. Published Apr From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the s, at the height of his talent.
His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood's Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there's more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.
Published Oct Spanning three generations, this historical novel tells the tale of Boudicca, the most famous warrior of ancient Britain, and Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who sets out to unite the people of the Raven and lead them against Rome. Caradoc's objective is not easily accomplished as the Roman army advances into Britain, raping Celtic women and burning villages to the ground.
Published Sep Throughout a single day in , John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father. Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period in which he lives, a rural land of springlike women, shady gamblers, wandering vagabonds, and soapbox orators. Yet here on the banks of the Shawmucky River, which weaves its primitive course through Raintree County, Indiana, he also feels and obeys ancient rhythms.
A number-one bestseller when it was first published in , this powerful novel is a compelling vision of 19th-century America with timeless resonance today.
Published Oct This classic bestselling novel about a man who encounters a woman whose power to destroy is as strong as her power to love evokes Hemingway in its naturalistic portrayal of elemental forces in both nature and humanity.
When he found that she returned his adoration, he could marry her with joy, bothered just momentarily by a strange premonition. It was only later, when the premonition became a horrifying reality, that he realized the glowing loveliness of the woman he had married was the true face of evil. His name was Connor Winslow, and Mary quickly discovered that he thought she was his cousin—a girl supposedly dead these past eight years. Alive, she would be heiress to an inheritance Connor was determined to have for himself.
Published Dec Bringing to life the heady days of the American Revolution through the eyes of a heroine who played a brave and dramatic part in the conflict, this novel follows Celia Garth, a Charleston native, as she transforms from a fashionable dressmaker to a patriot spy.
When the king's army captures Charleston and sweeps through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood, fire, and debauchery, the rebel cause seems all but lost. But when Francis Marion, a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army known as "The Swamp Fox," recruits Celia as a spy, the tides of war begin to shift. This classic historical novel captures the fervor of 18th-century Charleston, the American Revolution, and a woman who risked her life for the patriot cause.
Published May The history of California in the midth century comes alive in this captivating historical novel. Garnet Cameron, a fashionable young lady of New York, is leading a neat, proper life, full of elegant parties and polite young men, yet the prospect of actually marrying any of them appalls her.
Yearning for adventure, she instead marries Oliver Hale, a wild trader who is about to cross the mountains and deserts to an unheard-of land called California. During Garnet and Oliver's honeymoon in New Orleans, she meets a dance-hall performer on the lam who calls herself Florinda Grove and is also traveling to California. Along the Jubilee Trail, Garnet and Florinda meet kinds of men never known to them before, and together they make their painstaking way over the harsh trail to Los Angeles, learning how to live without compromise and discover both true friendship and true love.
But a palpable terror is crouching in the shadows. Only his son Raoul, a handsome, sardonic man who drives himself and his car with equally reckless abandon, seems able to stand up to him. When an accident deep in the woods nearly kills Linda's innocent charge, she begins to wonder if someone has deadly plans for the young count. Published May This brilliant Arthurian epic cuts through the mists of pagan, early Christian, and medieval splendors that have gathered about the subject and tells the authentic story of the man who may well have been the real King Arthur—Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century.
Presenting early Britain as it was after the departure of the Romans—no Round Table, no many-towered Camelot—the setting is a hard, savage land, half-civilized, half-pagan, where a few men struggled to forge a nation and hold back the Saxon scourge. Richly detailed, the story chronicles the formation of a great army, the hardships of winter quarters, the primitive wedding feasts, the pagan fertility rites, the agonies of surgery after battle, the thrilling stag hunts, and the glorious processions of the era.
Stripped of the chivalric embellishments that the French applied to British history centuries ago, the Arthurian age here emerges as a time when men stood at the precipice of history—a time of transition and changing values and imminent national peril. This realistic retelling of the legend shows Arthur severing the bonds of bastardy, vanquishing the Saxons, and loving one woman. Never before has a telling of the Arthur story made the breathtaking drama of this charismatic king more real or moving.
Published Apr David Champlin is a black man born into poverty in Depression-era New Orleans who achieves great success and then sacrifices everything to lead his people in the difficult, day-by-day struggle of the civil rights movement. Sara Kent is the beloved and vital white girl who loved David from the moment she first saw him, but they struggled over David's belief that a marriage for them would not be right in the violent world he had to confront.
First published in , this epic has become one of the most loved American bestsellers. Published Apr Nicola Ferris, impetuous, attractive, and on holiday from the British Embassy in Athens, arrives in Crete a day ahead of schedule and discovers adventure and romance. Blithely savoring the wild beauty of the countryside, she stumbles across an assured young Englishman hiding out in the hills who is less than pleased to have been found. Before long, events begin to spiral in an alarmingly perilous fashion, leading to a stunning climax among the fishing boats of Agios Georgios Bay.
With her keen delineation of character, Mary Stewart once again casts an enviable spell of suspense on readers. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century.
Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle's disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance. Published Sep Rose Cottage, a tiny thatched dwelling in an idyllic English country setting, would appear the picture of tranquility to any passersby.
But when Kate Herrick returns to her childhood home to retrieve some family papers in the summer of , she uncovers a web of intrigue as tangled as the rambling roses in its garden. The papers are missing. The village is alive with gossip. Did her elderly neighbors, suspected of being witches, really see nighttime prowlers and ghosts in the cottage garden?
Kate's search for the truth brings her together with many childhood friends and neighbors and leads her down a trail of family bitterness, jealousy, and revenge. She ends up discovering a long-hidden secret that will change her life dramatically—along with romance in a place she least expects.
First published in and a major bestseller, Rose Cottage is, to date, the last and most mature novel from one of Britain's greatest writers.
Published May First published in , this bestselling historical novel is cherished and remembered as one of the finest retellings of the Civil War saga—America's own War and Peace. In the first hard pinch of the Civil War, five siblings of an established Confederate Virginia family learn that their father is the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln. The family's story, and the story of their descendants, is presented in this tale that includes both soldiers and civilians—complete with their boasting, ambition, and arrogance, but also their patience, valor, and shrewdness.
The grandnephew of General James Longstreet, the author brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods in history, and details war as it really is—a disease from which, win or lose, no nation ever completely recovers.
Le Guin, Translated by Olena Bormashenko. Published May Red Schuhart is a stalker, a young rebel who is compelled, despite extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect mysterious alien artifacts. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in alien products.
But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together, something goes terribly wrong. The news Red receives from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he'll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems. Back in print after 30 years, this brand new translation of a science-fiction classic has been supplemented with a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin and a new afterword by Boris Strugatsky that explains the strange history of its original publication in Russia.
Published Feb Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, year-old Amber St. Published Sep First published in , this haunting novel of suspense and romance set in the Scottish Hebrides blends pungent description with sheer terror as only Mary Stewart can.
Most visitors to the Isle of Skye are there to climb the jagged peaks of Blaven or fish the many sparkling streams, but Gianetta Brooke came to forget Nicholas Drury—the husband she had painfully divorced. Then, upon the treacherous slopes of Blaven, a murder is committed, and although Gianetta missed the first act of an eerie, unearthly crime, the murderer is set to strike again and again before a thrilling finale that pits Gianetta face-to-face with a madman.
As a minor player in the London theatre herself, Lucy naturally wishes to meet him—that is, until her sister indicates, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that all is not well with Sir Julian and that his composer son discourages visitors, particularly strangers. Yet Lucy has already encountered Sir Julian's son on the morning of her arrival, in a tempestuous run-in that involved the attempted shooting of a friendly dolphin.
First published in , this spirited novel will hold Mary Stewart fans breathless as it uncovers a series of mystifying and frightening events, tinging the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with dark hues of violence.
Published Jan Written in , this visionary novel about class struggle anticipates the political upheavals of the s and beyond. Published Jul Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely considered the greatest of Russian science fiction masters, and their most famous work, Roadside Picnic, has enjoyed great popularity worldwide. Yet the novel that was their own favorite, and that readers worldwide have acclaimed as their magnum opus, has never before been published in English.
The Doomed City was so politically risky that the Strugatsky brothers kept its existence a complete secret even from their best friends for sixteen years after its completion in It was only published in Russia in the late s, the last of their works to see publication. It was translated into a host of major European languages, and now appears in English in a major new translation by acclaimed translator Andrew Bromfield.
Hard to Be a God
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely known as the greatest Russian writers of science fiction, and their novel Hard to Be a God is considered one of the greatest of their works. It tells the story of Don Rumata, who is sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to influence, but never to directly interfere. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler and a brawler, Don Rumata is never defeated but can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the First Minister to the king. But given his orders, what role can he play?
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. The novel's core idea is that human progress throughout the centuries is often cruel and bloody, and that religion and blind faith can be effective tools of oppression, working to destroy the emerging scientific disciplines and enlightenment. The title 'Hard to Be a God' refers to Anton's known as his alias Don Rumata throughout the book perception of his precarious role as an observer on the planet, for while he has far more advanced knowledge than the people around him, he is forbidden to assist too actively as his assistance would interfere with the natural progress of history. The book pays a lot of attention to the internal world of the main character, showing his own evolution from an emotionally uninvolved 'observer' to the person who rejects the blind belief in theory when confronted with the cruelty of real events. The prologue shows a scene from Anton's childhood, in which he goes on an adventure with his friends Pashka Paul and Anka Anna and plays a game based on melodramatic recreations of events on the unnamed medieval planet. The children live in a futuristic utopia, and the teenagers feel drawn to adventure. While the children play they find an abandoned road with a road sign reading "wrong way".
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Somethings must have been lost in translation. Proper names and places evoked the wrong meanings for me so maybe it's my fault I didn't enjoy it more. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.