Washington Independent Review of Books

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Speculative Fiction Book Club - HARD TO BE A GOD

Location Lost City Books 2467 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20009 United States
Date Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Duration   1 hours
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On Wednesday, May 29th at 7 pm, Lost City Books in Washington D.C. will host the Speculative Fiction Book Club to discuss the newly re-translated classic Russian sci-fi novel Hard to Be a God by renowned authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. This profoundly philosophical work, considered one of the greatest in the Strugatsky brothers' revered catalog, has finally received a new English translation by Olena Bormashenko after being out of print for over 30 years. Attendees have the rare opportunity to experience this influential 1964 novel in its proper form, no longer marred by errors and infelicities from the previous flawed German-to-English translation. Hard to Be a God tells the story of Don Rumata, an observer from Earth sent to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with strict instructions to influence events through indirect means only. Masquerading as an arrogant, brawling nobleman, the compassionate Rumata finds himself deeply conflicted as he bears witness to the oppressive machinations of the villainous Don Reba while falling in love with a local girl named Kira. The novel explores profound questions about the role of the observer, the limits of non-interference, and the moral dilemmas one faces when granted the power to change the course of history. With a new foreword by Hari Kunzru and an afterword by Boris Strugatsky providing essential context, this newly translated edition reintroduces an uncompromising visionary work of Soviet sci-fi to a contemporary audience. Whether you're a longtime fan of the Strugatsky brothers or simply a lover of thought-provoking speculative fiction, this book club promises an engaging discussion you won't want to miss. Spaces are limited, so secure your spot to analyze this highly influential yet criminally under-read novel alongside fellow sci-fi enthusiasts.

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