Saturday, August 9, 2014

Anatoly Dneprov

Last week I bought a pile of good old mid 1960s sic-fi paperbacks. Among the summer reading gems is  an anthology of Soviet SF, in which I encountered a (for me) unknown writer, Anatoly Dneprov (1919-75)
His tale The Purple Mummy is uncanny. He's writing in the early 60s probably, in the Soviet Union no less, about stuff that is in the air today. The first part of the story is Zamyatin-ish, full of par-for-course lucid utopian city infrastructure. But soon, disquietingly, he discusses machines that we are trying to build now, 3-D printers, making plastic facsimiles of objects gleaned from digital transmissions. Good god, these things are still on their baby steps 50 years later!

If that weren't enough, he's discussing the diagnoses of cancer through these 3D imaging--what the!
That he wrote this when and where he did it, is as uncanny as the story itself. Here I was, sitting under the apple tree, thinking I would encounter some good old future nostalgia, and I get my socks blown off.


  1. I googled it and someone has a pdf of "The Purple Mummy" online...I'll read it tonight!

  2. Those Eastern Bloc science fiction writers had fabulous imaginations. I just read a good novella from that era, Daughter of Night, by Lydia Obukhova.