4-561. Strugatski, Arkadi, and Boris Strugatski (U.S.S.R.).
Hard to Be a God. Seabury, 1973, $6.95. DAW, $1.25. Tr. by
Wendayne Ackerman of Trudno byt bogom, 1964.
Twenty-odd agents from post-capitalistic Earth oversee the
development of civilization in a medieval period on a
colony planet. Planet's inhabitants superstitiously regard agents as
gods. If you're human, being a god is impossible. Manipulating backward
civilization for its own good is beyond human wisdom. Compare de Camp's
Rogue Queen [4-196] and Robert's Pavane [4-481].
4.688. Path into the Unknown: The Best of Soviet
Science Fiction. Delacorte, 1968.
In an introduction, Judith Merril cites as the first Soviet SF
anthology which suits current American tastes. Certainly an improvement
on the likes of Soviet Science Fiction and More Soviet
Science Fiction (both Collier, 1962) with its (as Asimov terms it
in an introduction) technology dominant SF, but still a
little old fashioned by F&SF, let alone New Worlds,
standarts. Some of the translations seem weak. Of the eight stories
(original publication date not given), Krapivin's Meeting My
Brother and A.Strugatsky's Wanderers and Travellers
are especially strong. A more recent anthology of a similar nature is
The Ultimate Threshold: A Collection of the Finest in Soviet
Science Fiction, edited and translated by Mirra Ginsburg (Holt,
1969), which contains such Analog-type stories as Altov's
Icarus and Daedalus and Dneprov's When Questions Are
// Barron Neil. Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction. –
New York; London: R.R.Bowker Company; A Xerox Education Company,
1976. – P. 261, 297.