Chtenia: Readings from Russia issue #30 is themed Science Fiction. “Let’s be honest,” the editors write. “There really is something fundamentally different about Russian literature.”
In her issue introduction, Curator Yvonne Howell writes, “The first remarkable feature of Russian science fiction is the fact that it existed at all,” and goes on to discuss the historical context of 19th century Russia. While science fiction is generally understood to have come as a ‘hope and fear’ response for the “collective fate of humanity” at the turn of the twentieth century when science and technology were burgeoning, Russia, Howell explains, was “in a technologically backward empire at the margins of the Western world.” Yet, like all science fiction, Howell credits Russian writers, who faced with “conditions where practical tehcno-scientific improvements were lagging” were able to take “the scientific imagination . . . in unexpected directions.”
See a full list of the issue’s content here.