Roadside Picnic to be Re-Issued

Scott Tortorice

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I was surprised to discover that Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic is scheduled to be re-issued in the near future (May). :joy: For the longest time, the book could only be obtained by downloading the imperfect "crypto-maoist" edition on the internet because the two brothers refused to sign an exclusive publishing deal as they wanted their classic novella to be available to everyone. Guess that changed. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Roadside-Picnic-Rediscovered-Classics-Strugatsky/dp/1613743416/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=IVKOULALMN93E&colid=15BSY3PLQBFXT

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Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of the extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.


First published in 1972 and immediately acclaimed as a science-fiction classic, Roadside Picnic is included on almost every list of the hundred greatest science-fiction novels, despite the fact that it has been out of print in the United States for almost thirty years. It was the basis for Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmic masterpiece Stalker and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video games, which have proven immensely popular.

This brand-new translation, which corrects many of the errors and omissions of the previous one, has been supplemented with a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin, and a new afterword by Boris Strugatsky explaining the strange history of its publication in Russia. Finally, one of the greatest science fiction novels—and one of the most popular pieces of Russian fiction—is back in print in an authoritative edition.
I find it interesting that they have chosen to use a scene from Andrei Tarkovsky's classic Russian film for the front cover. :smoke:

I wonder if we should read something bigger into this publication? Why now, for example? There has been a rumored film in the works for a while now (starring John Travolta, who is supposed to be a big fan of the novella), but it has never left pre-production status. Perhaps it has been given the go-ahead? Or perhaps this has more to do with the survival of GSC and Stalker 2?

Regardless, I am definitely going to pre-order my copy as I love that novella. Think I'll watch the movie again, too. :)

In related news, the first English spin-off book has also been released:

http://www.amazon.com/S-T-L-K-R-Southern-Comfort/dp/1466220724/ref=pd_vtp_b_1

To outsiders, the former USSR is always been a place where everything is strangely different. All the more so in the Exclusion Zone around the ill-fated Chernobyl power plant, where after a secret experiment went wrong in 2006, the laws of physics are bent and mysterious phenomena manifest. In 2011, another Zone is apparently created after Al-Qaeda detonated nukes in Afghanistan. Ukrainian authorities send a research team to verify the claims. The scientists go missing and a search and rescue operation is launched. For Mikhailo Tarasov, officer in the armed forces who desperately try to contain the Exclusion Zone, this mutant-infested wilderness is his home turf. But when he sets out on his mission into the New Zone, he soon finds himself facing perils he has never encountered before. His mission becomes a struggle against evil permeating the wastelands, confronted with the shadows of the country’s troubled history at each step. Tarasov is aided by unlikely allies – outcasts, adventurers, renegade US Marines and a mysterious woman who appears to be the keeper of dark secrets. But beyond all the perils, the ultimate danger awaits: betrayal. The noir, post-apocalyptic narrative of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Southern Comfort goes is a contemporary voyage into the heart of darkness, where not only the laws of physics are bent but the rules of the outside world as well. This is an alternative reality where outcasts prevail, the oppressed take revenge and the faithful revolt.
Think I'll give it a try, too. :)
 

Morbii

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Awesome, thanks for the heads up. I understand that the book may be a bit different, but the Russian film is the greatest film ever made, IMO.
 

Scott Tortorice

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Good news everybody! You can now watch the entirety of Stalker, complete with English subtitles, on Youtube! Enjoy! :)

Part 1:

[video=youtube;JYEfJhkPK7o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYEfJhkPK7o[/video]

part 2:

[video=youtube;hUHBgqx8YP8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUHBgqx8YP8[/video]
 

Morbii

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Good news everybody! You can now watch the entirety of Stalker, complete with English subtitles, on Youtube! Enjoy! :)

Part 1:

[video=youtube;JYEfJhkPK7o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYEfJhkPK7o[/video]

part 2:

[video=youtube;hUHBgqx8YP8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUHBgqx8YP8[/video]
:eek: I've had the Mosfilm DVD for years :D I believe Image now has it released, assuming that one is still in print (Mosfilm version is not).
 

Scott Tortorice

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I have the Kino International 2-Disc set. The extra features, which includes some interviews, as well as excerpts from Tarkovsky's other works, is quite nice.
 

Morbii

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I have the Kino International 2-Disc set. The extra features, which includes some interviews, as well as excerpts from Tarkovsky's other works, is quite nice.
I don't recall if the Mosfilm version has exerpts or not (for me it matters not, as I have his entire catalogue), but it does have a number of extras. I believe the Image disc is actually identical to the Mosfilm one, too.
 
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