That Martian Stranded On Earth

A quick mention that two reviews of Toronto-based scholar Nikolai Krementsov’s fascinating biography of Aleksandr Bogdanov, A Martian Stranded On Earth: Alexander Bogdanov, Blood Transfusions, and Proletarian Science (University of Chicago Press, 2011) have now appeared in the UK press.’This slim volume is an example of genuinely interdisciplinary, readable, erudite science history,’ says Yvonne Howell, writing in the THE, on 29 September 2011. (Read more here). In the TLS (January 13, 2012), Muireann Maguire claims that Krementsov’s book is the first study ‘to place Bogdanov’s three personae – literary, personal, and scientific – vividly and accurately in context. If Bogdanov was martyred, he willingly sacrificed himself to the naive hubris of Soviet utopian science’. Read more here – if you can navigate the paywall.

If you’d like to re-post something on this blog, or to submit your a review of your own, please contact the editors.


promotion, and a bit of self-promotion

I want to shout out to everyone who visits this blog about Nikolai Krementsov’s new book, A MARTIAN STRANDED ON EARTH: ALEXANDER BOGDANOV, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND PROLETARIAN SCIENCE (U Chicago Press, 2011). It’s not just for scholars and readers of science fiction, but for anyone interested in Russian and Soviet history and culture. Perhaps someone could post a review on this site? (Perhaps I will when I get a bit more time…)

Reposting (from SEELANGS) a list of SF sources that Kevin Reese just posted there in response to a question from a list member:


1. Geller, Leonid. Vselennaia za predelom dogmy: razmyshleniia o sovetskoi fantastike.
London: Overseas Publications Interchange Ltd, 1985.

2. Gakov, Vladimir, et al. Entsiklopediia fantastiki: kto est’ kto. Minsk: Galaksias,

3. Prashkevich, Gennadii. Krasnyi sfinks: istoriia russkoi fantastiki ot V. F. Odoevskogo do Borisa Shterna. Novosibirsk: Svinin i synov’ia, 2007.

The best fit is Geller: his work is a proper historical-literary study, with some references to translated works. Gakov’s book is really just a reference work, but with many entries on non-Russian writers. (Gakov reads English well, so an entry on an English-language sf writer does not imply the existence of a translation.)

Stite’s _Revolutionary Dreams_, while not a study of science fiction, contains many references to early Soviet sf writers.

Finally, as concerns influential non-Russian sf writers, there is an extremely detailed bibliography of translations of H. G. Wells into Russian. Many of the translations from the 1920s were edited by Zamiatin, who wrote some very fine essays on Wells:

Levidova, I. M. and B. M. Parchevskaia. Gerbert Dzhorzh Uells: Bibliografiia russkikh perevodov i kriticheskoi literatury na russkom iazyke: 1898-1965.
Moskva: Kniga, 1966.


And I’ll finish with a bit of self-promotion: A monumental (990 pp.) book for teaching about science fiction, SENSE OF WONDER: A CENTURY OF SCIENCE FICTION (ed. by Leigh Ronald Grossman, Wildside Press, 2011), includes a new translation of two chapters of Zamyatin’s WE by a recent Swarthmore graduate, Alex Israel, and my brief survey article on Russian and East European Science Fiction (both included in pp. 106-09).

Best wishes to everyone!