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"[A] surprisingly moving story." -The New Yorker "Bogdanov's novels reveal a great deal about their fascinating author, about his time and, ironically, ours, and about the genre of utopia as well as his contribution to it." -Slavic Review "Bogdanov's imaginative predictions for his utopia are both technological and social...Even more farsighted are [his] anxious forebodings about the limits and costs of the utopian future." -Science Fiction Studies "The contemporary reader will marvel at [Bogdanov's] foresight: nuclear fusion and propulsion, atomic weaponry and fallout, computers, blood transfusions, and (almost) unisexuality." -Choice A communist society on Mars, the Russian revolution, and class struggle on two planets is the subject of this arresting science fiction novel by Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), one of the early organizers and prophets of the Russian Bolshevik party. The red star is Mars, but it is also the dream set to paper of the society that could emerge on earth after the dual victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions. While portraying a harmonious and rational socialist society, Bogdanov sketches out the problems that will face industrialized nations, whether socialist or capitalist.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780253203175
ISBN-10: 0253203171
Format: Paperback
(5969mm x 3963mm x 14mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1984
Country of Publication: United States


US Kirkus Review » Scientist and revolutionary Bogdanov (1873-1928), an associate of Lenin, is regarded as one of the pillars of modern Soviet science fiction; these three utopian pieces, however, while of academic interest (shrewd extrapolations, deft political analyses, the historical context), are too nearly propaganda to make for satisfying fiction. In the title novel (1908), narrator Leonid is conveyed to Mars just as the (doomed to fail) revolution of 1905 gets under way. The humanlike Martians have achieved a stable, democratic socialist utopia but, prophetically enough, face overpopulation, food shortage, and pollution threats - so they've decided to colonize other planets. One faction favors Venus; another, led by scientist Sterni, intends to wipe out humanity and take over the Earth. In a fury, Leonid kills Sterni, then sadly returns to Earth. Engineer Menni (1913) is a "Martian historical" tale describing how, three centuries before Leonid's arrival, dedicated Martian engineers built the canals as the socialist revolution overtakes the planet. There's also a poem (1927) about a Martian stranded on Earth. Skillfully handled inspirational/didactic material, then, but without much drama, excitement, or plot: i.e., all but unreadable as sf today. Leland Fetzer's Pre-Revolutionary Russian Science Fiction (1982), which includes Red Star, is a more broadly interesting introduction to Soviet sf roots. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Alexander Bogdanov

Loren R. Graham is Professor of the History of Science at MIT and author of many books on the history of Soviet science. His most recent book is Moscow Stories (IUP, 2006). Richard Stites is Professor of History at Georgetown University. His most recent book is Serfdom, Society, and the Arts in Imperial Russia. Charles Rougle is Associate Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Albany. He is editor of Red Cavalry: A Critical Companion and translator of many works from Russian.

Books By Author Alexander Bogdanov