[The stories of the Strugatsky brothers] present a curious blend of action and introspection. 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.
This sense of proximity to deeper mysteries is oddly underscored by reading the Strugatskys' fiction in translation. Unlike Stanislaw Lem,...
(The entire section is 525 words.)