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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Soviet science fiction Wormeli, Charles Theodore Jr.


The purpose of this paper is to explore Soviet science fiction; that is, all science fiction published in Russia after 1917 to about 1967. The selection of literature from the 1960's was random; the selection from previous years was determined principally by its availability: about three-fourths of all the works examined belong to the last decade insofar as I can determine from publishing dates and critical sources; somewhat less than three-fourths of all the authors whose works were read wrote mainly in the post World War II era, and half of the novel-length works used in the preparation of the paper were published before World War II. It is impossible to ascertain if these proportions accurately reflect the varying production of science fiction during this period, but it is probably true that much more sf was published in the last decade in Russia than in previous years. What are the themes with which the authors of science fiction are occupied? Have they changed since the 'twenties? How closely does science fiction resemble the rest of Soviet literature? Has it become, as American science fiction after World War II became, a vehicle for social criticism? It is a rapidly growing body of literature that has just recently begun to attract serious consideration of its literary merits. It has a small but devoted audience. I intend to explain what this audience reads and evaluate the genre objectively and critically.

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