About the Author
Alexander Belayev (1884-1942). A notable writer of fiction whose life was strange and hard. For years tuberculosis of the spine kept him confined to his bed, yet he was able to enjoy a full and interesting life. He studied law, attended lectures at the Conservatoire, enjoyed working on newspapers and periodicals and was, deeply interested in science and technical problems. Belayev produced a whole library of attractive books of science fiction. Hoity-Toity, one of the stories in this volume, is from a series of excellent stories collected under the title Professor Wagners Inventions.
Alexander Kazantsev (b.1906) is a master of adventure stories and science-fiction books.
A Visitor from Outer Space and The Martian, two of the stories included in this volume, occupy a special place in Kazantsevs creations. It was Kazantsev who, in 1946, put forward his hypothesis regarding the Tungus meteorite and a space ship from Mars which, at the time, provoked numerous arguments which have not abated to this day.
Vladimir Savchenko (b. 1933) is a capable physicist who specializes in semi-conductors.
Recently he wrote a science-fiction story Black Stars which deals with problems of nuclear physics, and also a sketch called The Rocket Is No Answer. The present volume includes Savchenkos Professor Berns Awakening (1956).
The names of the Strugatsky brothers Arkady and Boris are frequently met with in Soviet popular scientific journals. In fact there are few who do not know that these authors of interesting stories about robots or strangers from outer space are not writers by profession but people who merely devote their leisure time to science fiction.
Boris Strugatsky (b. 1933) is an astronomer working in the computer laboratory of Pulkovo Observatory. Arkady Strugatsky (b. 1925) is a linguist specializing in the Japanese, a translator and reviewer.
Georgy Gurevich (b. 1917), a building engineer by training, is a professional writer of science fiction. Problems of climatic changes, biology, journeys to the stars, mans use of the ionosphere all find a place in Gurevichs books. The Infra-Draconis, included in this volume, is a story which tells of what awaits man behind the half-open door to outer space.