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On This Day in 1959 Science Fiction Was Revolutionized

Boris and Arkady Strugatsky's first novel was published.

On this day in 1959, the Strugatsky brothers, Arkady and Boris, published their first sci-fi novel, “The Land of Crimson Clouds.” The tale of a dangerous trip in the 1990s to Venus, covered in crimson clouds, was the first work the brothers wrote and the only work they each wrote parts of separately. Legend has it that they wrote it on a dare from either friends or Arkady’s wife, depending on the source.

It would be the first of dozens of novels and short stories, many of which take place in the not-too-distant future where the world has settled into a rational society where the common good is the highest value and yet individuals are encouraged to develop their talents. But the action takes place in strange and often extremely dangerous places with mysterious physical laws.

Many of their works were made into films in the Soviet Union, Russia and abroad. Andrei Tarkovsky used their novel “Roadside Picnic” as the basis for “Stalker,” and more recently Konstantin Lopushansky filmed “The Ugly Swans,” Fyodor Bondarchuk produced “The Inhabited Island,” and Alexei German released “Hard to Be a God.”

Today the Google Doodle is dedicated to the novel and Strugatsky brothers. 

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