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Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
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Roadside Picnic Paperback – May 1 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613743416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613743416
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 354 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"[A] vivid new translation... it has survived triumphantly as a classic." —Publishers Weekly
"[Roadside Picnic] reminds us how well science fiction explores humanity" —Sacramento News & Review
"A new translation of Roadside Picnic is a major event. The novel is routinely included in lists of the 100 greatest science fiction novels, and its influence of popular culture is immense....Besides [Ursula] Le Guin's foreword, the Chicago Review Press edition contains a witty afterword by Boris Strugatsky." —The Oregonian


"The story is carried out with a controlled fierceness that doesn't waver for a minute."  —Kirkus Reviews


"Brilliantly and beautifully written . . . a truly superb work of science fiction."  —Infinity Plus


"Lively, racy, and likable . . . complex in event, imaginative in detail, ethically and intellectually sophisticated." —Ursula K. Le Guin


"Amazing. . . . The Strugatskys' deft and supple handling of loyalty and greed, of friendship and love, of despair and frustration and loneliness [produces] a truly superb tale. . . . You won't forget it."  —Theodore Sturgeon


"No doubt: a powerful, classic work of science fiction. Certainly recommended."  —The Complete Review 


"If you're going to read just one Soviet-era Russian science fiction novel, it should be Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's dark, ambiguous Roadside Picnic." —io9

 


"The Strugatskys' worldview remains both uniquely cutting and replete with humanity . . . The characters' conflicted views of their troubled world make for a read that still feels fresh today. It's also a book that's bound to make you feel a little less sure of humanity's place in the universe."  —Discover 
 
 


“Go read Roadside Picnic. It’s a phenomenal book.” —SF Signal


"[T]his is a fantastic book. One of my favorite recommendations of the year." —Boing Boing

About the Author

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are the most famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, and the authors of over 25 novels and novellas. Their books have been widely translated and have been made into a number of films. Arkady Strugatsky died in 1991. Boris Strugatsky died in November 2012. Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, and other science-fiction classics.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book and read it countless times. Now, I bought it again just to be able to have it in my library. The ideas are fresh regardless of how long has been since it was written. This is one of those science-fiction books that invite introspection into human soul and approach the subject of extraterrestrial contact from a completely different position. I think it is a must for any book lover!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Borrowed this soft cover book from the library because I couldn't find it anywhere else. However have since purchased the e-book version from Amazon and have added to my collection of books that I will read again. The cover is actually an image from the movie "Stalker" which is very loosely based on this book.

I had played a game called "Stalker: Call of Pripyat" (very good FPS) and had heard that it was loosely based on both the Roadside Picnic and the movie Stalker. So after playing the game I decided to check both of them out. Both the movie and game use the Roadside Picnic as a source but of course have deviated considerably to create their own unique experience.

The Roadside picnic deals with an apparent Alien visitation that no one witnessed. However the Aliens have left their mark by leaving their "debris" scattered about. One of the scientist refers to this visitation as having a roadside picnic and leaving your garbage behind for the creatures to use not knowing if its beneficial or destructive (e.g. food crumbs to oil stains from the car). This debris is referred to as "artifacts" and no knows how to use them or what their purpose is. Some seem to be beneficial and some are very deadly. Five areas in world are affected by this but the story focuses only one area which is not really identified and for some reason most critics assume it is in Canada. However being Canadian I don't actually read that into the description.

The effected area is called the "Zone" and is militarily cordoned off. Its illegal to the enter the zone and retrieve the artifacts which in turn creates a black market for these artifacts. People who make a career of sneaking onto the zone are called "Stalkers".
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Format: Paperback
Several alien spaceships have visited Earth at some point in the late twentieth century. Their landing sites seem to have been chosen at random, and during their visit they made almost no attempt at contact with humans. When they finally left, their landing sites were permanently altered and “polluted” with various artifacts and substances, and the sites themselves exhibit many strange and troubling behaviors. In the years and decades following the aliens’ departure a vast array of scholars, scientists, technology experts, military interests, and black market opportunists tried to make sense of the visit and leverage the landing sites for their own varying interests. However, exploring the sites was always a very risky activity, and those who dared to venture within their carefully guarded perimeters frequently exposed themselves to harmful and often lethal consequences. These landing site visits, however brief, had impact not only on the explorers, but also subsequently on almost everyone who the explorers came in touch with.

This short Sci Fi novel reduces the subgenre of the alien visit to its most basic elements: the landing sites themselves, mysterious left-over artifacts, and the fundamental and irrevocable change that this visit has brought upon the human civilization. Within this minimalistic setup it is still possible to extract a surprising amount of narrative richness and human and intellectual drama. The main protagonist, Redrick “Red” Schuhart, is a hard-nosed “stalker” – an opportunistic and illegal rummager of the visitation zones – who is trying to make the most of his ability to extract valuable artifacts and sell them on the black market. Red is an almost prototypical antihero who is nonetheless guided by some high-minded principles and moral standard.
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Format: Paperback
One of the best science fiction novels published last year is, oddly enough, among the oldest; Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's "Roadside Picnic", the inspiration for Andrei Tarkovksy's critically acclaimed film "Stalker". When it was published originally in its abbreviated English translation decades ago, none other than Theodore Sturgeon acclaimed "Roadside Picnic" as the product of "....[the] Strugatskys' deft and subtle handling of friendship and love, of despair and frustration and loneliness [produces] a truly superb tale..... You won't forget it." These are sentiments which I not only share but I believe are strongly emphasized in the newly translated edition of the entire original text of "Roadside Picnic", which is considered still as the greatest Russian science fiction novel of the 20th Century, as an excellent example of the traditional science fiction trope of "First Contact", but as Ursula Le Guin notes in the foreword to this edition, it is a "First Contact" tale in which aliens have visited Earth and ignored us, leaving behind in several areas, "Zones", debris that is potentially useful - and dangerous - to humans, especially to those willing to scavenge - "the stalkers" - it. Set somewhere unspecified in English-speaking North America, most likely Canada, "Roadside Picnic" is a most memorable odyssey of a young stalker, Red Schuhart, who is willing to test the limits of friendship and loyalty, love and desire in realizing that he must return again and again to the nearest "Zone" as a means of finding himself, as a means of finding solutions to all the problems he is facing.Read more ›
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