Entry updated 2 April 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1925-1988) Russian author who wrote as Nikolai Arzhak, under which name in the early 1960s he published his stories abroad, without permission. After he was found guilty in a 1966 show trial of "anti-Soviet activity" for the writings published in book form later that year as Ici Moscou (coll trans anon 1966; trans Stuart Hood, Harold Shukman and John Richardson as This Is Moscow Speaking, and Other Stories 1968), he and his friend and fellow dissident, Andrey Sinyavsky, were imprisoned for five years of hard labour in Siberia. It is now generally thought that his and Sinyavsky's defiant refusal to plead guilty was a significant instigating moment in the swell of opposition that ended the Soviet state. Daniel's work is a peripheral demonstration of the use of science fiction to mock from within, as did Aesop once, an oppressive regime. As usual – because of the humourless stupidity characteristic of any belief system in a position of power – his sf is basically Satirical. At least two of his four dissident stories are of sf interest: in "This is Moscow Speaking", 10 August 1960 is declared to be Public Murder Day, in which random killings are allowed; the eponymous character in The Man from MLSP (trans M V Nesterov; 1967 chap) has the power of predetermining the sex of any child from his loins. [JC]
see also: Taboos.
Yuli Markovich Daniel
born Moscow: 15 November 1925
died Moscow: 30 December 1988
- Ici Moscou (Paris: Sedimo, 1966) [coll: trans by J Bonnet and others from various sources: all originally as by Nikolai Arzhak: pb/]
- This Is Moscow Speaking, and Other Stories (London: Collins and Harvill Press, 1968) [coll: trans by Stuart Hood, Harold Shukman and John Richardson of the above: all originally as by Nikolai Arzhak: contains The Man from MLSP below as "The Man from MINAP": hb/]
- The Man from MLSP (London: Flegon Press, 1967) [story: chap: trans by M V Nesterov from manuscript: pb/]
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