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Hard to Be a God
Hard to Be a God

Hard to Be a God

Rediscovered Classics


256 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Trade Paper, $16.95 (CA $19.95) (US $16.95)

Publication Date: June 2014

ISBN 9781613748282

Rights: US, CA & MX

Chicago Review Press (Jun 2014)


eBook Editions Available

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Don Rumata has been sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to save what he can. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler, and a brawler, he is never defeated, but yet he can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the first minister to the king. But given his orders, what role can he play? This long overdue translation will reintroduce one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience.


“An enjoyable, exciting, and gratifying novel.”  —New York Times

“A thoroughly good book . . . robust, imaginative, satisfying.”  —Ursula K. Le Guin

“One of the most skillfully written, heavily freighted science fiction novels I have ever read. . . . The writing is well paced and the narrative is beautifully structured.”  —Theodore Sturgeon

“[A] rewarding new translation.” —Publishers Weekly

"A quick, fun read." —Shepherd Express

“This is a crisp, new translation of a highly influential 1964 Russian sf novel by the Strugatsky brothers… the story and themes will resonate as much with modern audiences as they did with readers in the mid-1960s.” —Library Journal

“This long-overdue translation will reintroduce one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience.” —Literalab

“Hard to be a God is at once a plucky adventure novel and an anxious, sensitive vision of rising totalitarianism...sandwiched between an excellent introduction from novelist Hari Kunzru and an enlightening afterword from coauthor Boris Strugatsky, Hard to be a God is a worthwhile read, one that entertains even as it provokes.” —Weekly Alibi

Author Biography

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than 25 novels and novellas to their names, including The Doomed City, The Inhabited Island, and Roadside Picnic. Their books have been widely translated and made into a number of films. Hari Kunzru is the author of several highly praised novels, including Gods Without Men and The Impressionist. Olena Bormashenko is the acclaimed translator of the Strugatskys’ Roadside Picnic.