Russian Science Fiction

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From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
Another field in which our chums from the Volga contest leadership. Russian stf tends to be clankety-clunk and rabbit-from-the-hat, and ends on a strong upbeat note (or else, one gathers): Yefremov's "Lake of the Mountain Spirits" fires off a nice series of Mystic Experiences and other aberrations, which the hero at length shows to have been caused (in the best 1930-Gernsback style) by mercury vapor from deposits in the surrounding mountains. He is promptly overjoyed to have found such a treasure trove for the Soviet industrial system.

Equally, attacks on US stf are in order; notable was one in which Literarturnaya Gazeta of Moskva, a serious literary magazine, whopped us (27 March '48) to this effect: "To support the propaganda of the mighty imperialist war machine [that's our armed forces they're describing] 'scientific fiction' of America shamelessly threatens with atomic scarecrows" declared Bolkhovtinov and Zakharchenko, citing R. F. Jones' Renaissance as "a monstrously open fascistly-tending story". (It involved a machine which sent children "with any superhuman quality" to a world parallelling ours.) This, they opined, was "fantasy" and the product of "lurid imagining." "The authors of all these arch-reactionary, clamorous-jaunty pages... cannot hide their fear of the future which encompasses the capitalist world", said the Gazeta.

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