I’m putting together a brief list of major Russian literary and cinematic extraterrestrials for the Ashgate Encyclopedia of Monsters (forthcoming 2012). If you hadn’t thought of aliens in teratological terms before, I can only agree – ghosts and witches count as monsters too for the purposes of the encyclopedia. I only have 600 words to cover Russian ETs, alas, and as the encyclopedia is prejudiced in favour of English-language monsters, I’ve had to cut mercilessly. In the process of research (i.e., by asking Matthias Schwartz), I discovered this astonishingly detailed online list of Russian-language extraterrestrials (with a few Western ones too). At the moment I’ve included:
- Bogdanov’s Martians
- A.N. Tolstoy’s Martians
- The Strugatskys’ Wanderers, Visitors (from Piknik na obochine) and Martians (from Vtoroe nashestvie marsian)
- Siniavskii’s “Pkhents”!
- Solaris, via Lem AND Tarkovsky
- Efremov’s tentacled nasties from the iron sun’s satellite in Tumannost’ Andromedy
If anyone picks up an outrageous omission, or would like to put forward an especially interesting alien, please comment here and I will try to include it. MM