May 31, 2008 4:00 PM |
['Quiz Me Quik' is a new weekly GameSetWatch column by journalist Alistair Wallis, in which he picks offbeat subjects in the game business and interviews them about their business, their perspective, and their unique view of life. This time, a Russian literary game adaptation is probed.]
Unfortunately, what I know about Russian literature could fit on the back of a business card. It could, in fact, fit on the back of a business card even if you were using really, really big writing and a big thick permanent marker to write it, and then had to cross out a bit and rewrite it because you'd misspelled a few of the words. I could name maybe three or four authors, but that’s about it.
I know enough to divine, though, that the Strugatsky brothers – Arkady and Boris – are pretty damned popular in the former Soviet territories. They're like, say, Noel and Liam Gallagher, if they wrote science fiction books. Oh, and if they hadn't released complete crap after their first two albums and were still regarded as masters of their craft.
Actually, the Eddings brothers would probably be a more apt comparison, come to think of it. Yeah. Maybe ignore that bit about Oasis, if you could.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Lazily using Wikipedia to fill in the gaps: "The Strugatsky brothers (Бра́тья Струга́цкие), as they are usually called, became the best-known Soviet science fiction writers with a well developed fan base. Their early work was influenced by Ivan Yefremov. Their most famous novel Piknik na obochine has been translated into English as Roadside Picnic in 1977 and was filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky under the title Stalker."]
The brothers' 1963 book Hard to be a God, dealing with "an alien humanoid world passing the phase of Middle-Ages", is one of their most popular – it's been filmed twice, once in 1989 and again this year. It's also now been made into a PC “hack 'n' slash RPG” by developer Akella.