SOVIET Sci-Fi : MILD SPOILERS ONLY
I'ma recommend a Strugatsky Brothers story in all its forms (two films based on one novel)
I saw Hard to Be a God (2013) on the big screen and was astounded by it (spoilers follow)
Imagine a medieval world. Not damsels in dainty shoes so much as rabid ignorance, filth and disease: bare buttocks shittin out windows.
And one of these guys, a knight or Lord in armor, wielding two swords, plays, in his off hours a, like, steampunk clarinet
There's another film version (1989) -very fun, but see them in this order. In this one, the same character looks through a telescope
And each case we solidly feel the anachronism.
The novel (read it last) is remarkable in many ways and suggests so much more than it explains!
Le Guin's The Dispossessed
Iain M Banks' Inversions
I haven't read the Strugatsky brotherss since I failed to read them in Russian class in college. (I'm really weak with foreign languages.) I'll look for this. Thanks!
Tools, Not Rules.
Martin L. Shoemaker
3rd Place Q1 V31
"Today I Am Paul", WSFA Small Press Award 2015, Nebula nomination 2015
Today I Am Carey from Baen
The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon, October 2019) and The Last Campaign from 47North
Ok, not Soviet, but I mentioned it in comparison to Hard to Be a God and it got me thinking: Hadn't read it since I was a kid, LeGuin's The Dispossessed (1974).
I'm not quite done with the re-read but it's more powerful to me today, as an adult, than it was to my idealistic youth.
Not Communist, LeGuins Moon People are Anarchists, have no government, no generals, and almost nothing else, either.
But they have each other, the infuriating, difficult, loving and needing other.
A kind of Einstein --the physicist who will enable LeGuin's amazing Ansible, the instantaneous communication that will hold her Hanish cycle together-- travels from the moon to the home planet, where he encounters a kind of antique America- a 20th cent. America, as if in the Renaissance.
He brings not only the equations that will make simultaneity possible, but also a message that, in the face of suffering and death, each other is all we really have.
This is a Cold War book that imagines the Eastern Bloc as if it had managed something more than, in our timeline, it ever could: the liberation of humanity.