Revered science fiction writer Boris Strugatsky died in a St. Petersburg hospital late Monday after a grave illness, media reports said. He was 79.
President Vladimir Putin called Strugatsky "one of the brightest, most talented and popular writers of all time" and the "ruler of the dreams of many generations" in a statement posted on the Kremlin's website.
Strugatsky wrote several dozen novels with his brother Arkady Strugatsky from the 1960s until his brother's passing in 1991. Their books were printed in 321 editions in 27 countries, according to the Strugatsky Brothers Fund. Boris Strugatsky also accused film director James Cameron of taking the plot for the hit movie "Avatar" from his novel "World of Noon."
Strugatsky signed an open letter in 2005 calling on the international community to recognize Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a political prisoner, according to a biography of the writer on Ekho Moskvy's website.
Strugatsky supported Putin in the 2000 presidential election, but in a February 2010 interview with the opposition-sympathetic Novaya Gazeta newspaper he condemned Putin's continued rule as "authoritarian."
Strugatsky's family has yet to decide on the place and time of the funeral.