Gusliar Wonders (Best of Soviet Science Fiction)
A writer of Soviet science fiction that is perhaps the mostsimilar to Stanislaw Lem that I've read. Maybe not as good, butwell worth the read.What is behind the strange goings-on in the village of GreatGusliar? Who is responsible for the unauthorized construction atthe edge of town, and who drew three legs on the workman in theclumsy "Under Construction" sign? How did Kornely Udalov suddenlybecome fluent in Spanish and French, and how do you account for theten-legged octopus?These are only a few of the otherworldly wonders in thisremarkable collection of stories by Kirill Bulychev, the SovietUnion's most imaginative writer of science fiction. The "UnderConstruction" sign is the work of aliens who were forced tocrash-land their vehicle on the outskirts of Great Gusliar, and areworking feverishly to repair the damage to the roads, lest they bethought to be extraterrestrial slobs. Kornely Udalov's suddenerudition is the result of a gift from an alien visitor thatenables him to absorb the contents of any book he comes near. Andthe ten-legged octopus is not an octopus at all, but rather anintrepid water-breathing creature who cannot understand whyEarthlings choose to live above their atmosphere rather than withinit.