Chicago Review Press has just released a new edition of The Snail on the Slope, written in 1968 by Russian authors Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, and first published in the United States in 1980.
The science fiction novel follows two different separate people — Peretz and Candide — in two different settings — the Kafkaesque Administration and the dangerous, bizarre underworld of the Forest below it. Peretz is someone who works for the Administration, but is intrigued by the Forest and wants to go there to see if all the strange things he’s heard about it are true. Candide, on the other hand, crash-landed in the Forest years ago and longs to escape the mysterious surroundings.
The new edition, which is part of the publisher’s Rediscovered Classics line, has a new English translation provided by Olena Bormashenko, and includes an Afterword by Boris Strugatsky.
The Snail on the Slope is a neglected masterpiece by Russian science fiction greats Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who thought of it as their “most complete and important work.” now, in a stunning translation, this tour de force is ready to be introduced to a new generation of American readers.
The novel takes place in two worlds. One is the Administration, an institution run by a surreal, Kafkaesque bureaucracy whose aim is to govern the forest below. The other is the Forest, a place of fear, weird creatures, primitive but garrulous people, and violence. Peretz, who works at the Administration, wants to visit the Forest. Candide crashed in the Forest years ago and wants to return to the Administration. Their journeys are surprising and bizarre, and readers are left to puzzle out the mysteries of these foreign environments. Brilliant, enigmatic, and revelatory, The Snail on the Slope is one of the greatest literary works to come out of Soviet Russia.
Newly translated by acclaimed Russian translator Olena Bormashenko, and complete with an afterword written by Boris Strugatsky, The Snail on the Slope will satisfy science fiction and Russian history fans alike. Seasoned Strugatsky readers especially will revel in discovering this long-overlooked part of their oeuvre.