Read The Dead Mountaineer's Inn Online

Authors: Arkady Strugatsky

The Dead Mountaineer's Inn

BOOK: The Dead Mountaineer's Inn
3.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
PRAISE FOR
DEFINITELY MAYBE


Definitely Maybe
, further proof that knowledge can be a dangerous game, is a work of towering wit and intelligence.”

—
NPR, BEST BOOKS OF 2014

“Like the best speculative fiction,
Definitely Maybe
doesn't show its age: the fundamental questions it addresses are timeless—and effectively and entertainingly framed by the Strugatsky brothers. It remains an intriguing, unsettling work.”

—
THE COMPLETE REVIEW

“One of the Strugatsky brothers is descended from Gogol and the other from Chekhov, but nobody is sure which is which. Together they have now proved quite definitely that a visit from a gorgeous blonde, from a disappearing midget, from your mother-in-law, and from the secret police, are all manifestations of a cosmic principle of homeostasis, maybe. This is definitely, not maybe, a beautiful book.”

—
URSULA K. LE GUIN

“Surely one of the best and most provocative novels I have ever read, in or out of sci-fi.”

—
THEODORE STURGEON

“Provocative, delicately paced and set against a rich physical and psychological background, this is one of the best novels of the year.”

—
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

PRAISE FOR
ROADSIDE PICNIC

“It's a book with an extraordinary atmosphere—and a demonstration of how science fiction, by using a single bold central metaphor, can open up the possibilities of the novel.”

—
HARI KUNZRU,
THE GUARDIAN

“Gritty and realistic but also fantastical, this is a novel you won't easily put down—or forget.”

—
IO9

“It has survived triumphantly as a classic”

—
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

PRAISE FOR THE
STRUGATSKY BROTHERS

“The Strugatsky brothers demonstrate that they are realists of the fantastic inasmuch as realism in fantasy betokens a respect for logical consequence, an honesty in deducing all conclusions entirely from the assumed premises.”

—
STANISŁAW LEM

“[In writing
Gun, with Occasional Music
], I fused the Chandler/Ross MacDonald voice with those rote dystopia moves that I knew backwards and forwards from my study of Ballard, Dick, Orwell, Huxley, and the Brothers Strugatsky.”

—
JONATHAN LETHEM

“Successive generations of Russian intellectuals were raised on the Strugatskys. Their books can be read with a certain pair of spectacles on as political commentaries on Soviet society or indeed any repressive society.”

—
MUIREANN MAGUIRE,
THE GUARDIAN

“Their protagonists are often caught up in adventures not unlike those of pulp-fiction heroes, but the story line typically veers off in unpredictable directions, and the intellectual puzzles that animate the plots are rarely resolved. Their writing has an untidiness that is finally provocative; they open windows in the mind and then fail to close them all, so that, putting down one of their books, you feel a cold breeze still lifting the hairs on the back of your neck.”

—
THE NEW YORK TIMES

THE DEAD MOUNTAINEER'S INN
 

ARKADY
(1925–1991) and
BORIS
(1933–2012)
STRUGATSKY
were the most acclaimed and beloved science fiction writers of the Soviet era. The brothers were born and raised in Leningrad. Arkady was drafted into the Soviet army and studied at the Military Institute of Foreign Languages, graduating in 1949 as an interpreter from English and Japanese. He served as an interpreter in the Far East before returning to Moscow in 1955. Boris studied astronomy at Leningrad State University, and worked as an astronomer and computer engineer. In the mid-1950s, the brothers began to write fiction, and soon published their first jointly written novel,
From Beyond
. They would go on to write twenty-five novels together, including
Roadside Picnic
, which was the basis for Andrei Tarkovsky's film
Stalker
;
Snail on the Slope
;
Hard to Be a God
;
Monday Begins on Saturday
;
Definitely Maybe
; and
The Dead Mountaineer's Inn
, as well as numerous short stories, essays, plays, and film scripts. Their books have been translated into multiple languages and published in twenty-seven countries. After Arkady's death in 1991, Boris continued writing, publishing two books under the name S. Vititsky. Boris died on November 19, 2012, at the age of seventy-nine. The asteroid 3054 Strugatskia, discovered in 1977, is named after the brothers.

JOSH BILLINGS
is a writer and translator who lives in Rockland, Maine. His translations of Alexander Pushkin's
Tales of Belkin
and Alexander Kuprin's
The Duel
were published by Melville House.

JEFF VANDERMEER
is an award-winning novelist and editor. His
New York Times
–bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy was named one of
Entertainment Weekly
's ten best fiction books of 2014, in addition to many other commendations. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America's
American Fantastic Tales
and multiple year's-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for
The Atlantic
,
The New York Times
,
Los Angeles Times
, and
The Guardian
, among other publications.

THE NEVERSINK LIBRARY

I was by no means the only reader of books on board the
Neversink.
Several other sailors were diligent readers, though their studies did not lie in the way of belles-lettres. Their favourite authors were such as you may find at the book-stalls around Fulton Market; they were slightly physiological in their nature. My book experiences on board of the frigate proved an example of a fact which every book-lover must have experienced before me, namely, that though public libraries have an imposing air, and doubtless contain invaluable volumes, yet, somehow, the books that prove most agreeable, grateful, and companionable, are those we pick up by chance here and there; those which seem put into our hands by Providence; those which pretend to little, but abound in much
.

—
HERMAN MELVILLE
,
WHITE JACKET

THE DEAD MOUNTAINEER'S INN

Originally published under the title
U Pogibshyego Al'pinista
Copyright © 1970 by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Translation copyright © 2015 by Josh Billings
Introduction copyright © 2015 by Jeff VanderMeer

First Melville House printing: March 2015

Melville House Publishing
145 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

and

8 Blackstock Mews
Islington
London N4 2BT

mhpbooks.com
      
facebook.com/mhpbooks
      
@melvillehouse

      Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Strugatskii, Arkadii, 1925–1991, author.
   [Otel' “U pogibshego al'pinista”. English]
   The Dead Mountaineer's Inn : (one more last rite for the detective genre) / Arkady and Boris Strugatsky; translated by Josh Billings; introduction by Jeff VanderMeer.
    pages; cm
ISBN 978-1-61219-432-5 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-1-61219-433-2 (ebook)
  I. Strugatskii, Boris, 1933–2012, author. II. Billings, Josh, 1980– translator. III. VanderMeer, Jeff, writer of introduction. IV. Title.

PG3476.S78835O8413 2015
891.73'44–dc23

2014045420

Design by Adly Elewa

v3.1

INTRODUCTION
BY JEFF VANDERMEER

1.


Every man wears the face he deserves
.” Or put another way, the mournful cry of “Luarvik L. Luarvik!” from within the besieged Dead Mountaineer's Inn might as well be the mating call of some obscure species of Alps-dwelling penguin. Who is this Mr. Luarvik? Do we believe his version of dire events, or do we believe the hypnotist/motorcycle enthusiast? How about the physicist? Surely a scientist is more objective than a magician!
But how can you be sure when dealing with preternatural events that might just be very imaginative lies?
This is the dilemma facing the earnest but sometimes stumbling detective Peter Glebsky who narrates the novel you hold in your hands. Poor man—he just wanted a vacation away from the family, and instead has to not only solve a crime but also parse varying versions of reality. Back home, he's a cop who covers “bureaucratic crimes, embezzlement, forgery, fraudulent papers.” Not exactly someone who deals with … 
murder
. Much less metaphysics!

Also: Avalanche! Ghosts! Pranks! A lot of creeping around at night!

Confused? Don't be. Think instead of the movie
Clue
or any number of British slapstick mystery-comedies. Perhaps with a hint of
The Twilight Zone
. Because not only does every man wear the face he deserves, but in
The Dead Mountaineer's Inn
the Strugatsky brothers, creators of the Forbidden Zone
in their classic science-fiction novel
Roadside Picnic
, give every reader the farce they deserve—with possible infernal devices thrown in to spice up the recipe.

BOOK: The Dead Mountaineer's Inn
3.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Bride of a Bygone War by Fleming, Preston
The Great Bike Rescue by Hazel Hutchins
My Policeman by Bethan Roberts
Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack
Coyote Gorgeous by Vijaya Schartz
Lost in Transmission by Wil McCarthy
Exquisite by Ella Frank
Laura Lippman by Tess Monaghan 05 - The Sugar House (v5)