'Roadside Picnic' a classic sci-fi novel

Itchers, death lamps, rattling napkins, Witches' jelly, exploding rainbows and the Golden Sphere are a few of the prizes that await those brave enough to risk the Visitation Zone in Boris and Arkady Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic.

An incredible tale. For two days aliens visited 6 small zones on the face of the planet earth. Then they left. No one saw them. No one understands why they came. All we know is they left behind a lot of potentially dangerous, potentially awesome stuff and we've got to have it.

People's lives, their bodies, and human culture as a whole are changed irreversibly by this alien visit. Instead of hope for a better future, augmented by these incredible new technologies, it appears most of the characters we meet are lost, struggling to understand their place in a universe where humanity may be nothing more than ants carrying away the crumbs of an alien roadside picnic.

This is a fantastic book. One of my favorite recommendations of the year, and I'm thrilled to share it with you!

Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky

Thanks, Mouse Reeve!

Notable Replies

  1. One of my long-term goals is to learn enough Russian to read an untranslated copy. Also there's a good film based on RP by the name of Stalker. Which in turn launched a few video games. And some LARPs.

  2. I always remembered this as being written by Stanisław Lem. Oops.

  3. Stalker is in my top three favorite films. I think Tarkovsky is the greatest creator who ever lived. That said, the book and the film are, to me, two entirely different things. Sort of like the difference between Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Blade Runner. No problem.

  4. Could it be because Solaris, another Tarkovsky great, is by Lem?

  5. Is it wrong for an American to like the name "Arkady" so much? That's okay, right?

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