This 1963 masterpiece is widely considered one of the best novels of the greatest Russian writers of science fiction. Yet until now the only English version (unavailable for over thirty years) was based on a German translation, and was full of errors, infelicities, and misunderstandings. Now, in a new translation by Olena Bormashenko, whose translation of the authors’ Roadside Picnic has received widespread acclaim, here is the definitive edition of this brilliant work. It tells the story of Don Rumata, who is sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to save what he can. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler and a brawler, Don Rumata is never defeated, but can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the first minister to the king. But given his orders, what role can he play? Hard to Be a God has inspired a role-playing video game and two movies, including Aleksei German’s long-awaited swan song. This long overdue translation will reintroduce one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than 25 novels and novellas to their names. Hari Kunzru is the author of highly praised novels including Gods Without Men and The Impressionist. Olena Bormashenko is the acclaimed translator of the Strugatskys’ Roadside Picnic.
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