Review of “Wanderers and Travellers” (1963)


Arkady Strugatsky (writer), Boris Strugatsky (writer).

Read in 2020.

Read in The Molecular Café (1968).

Part of the brothers’ “Noon Universe”, it is an unusually relaxed take on the idea of alien modes of thought and superior species checking out humankind. This is achieved through a very nice metaphor in mise en abyme, where the lowest level is a stenohaline (“stenogalinaceous” in the anthology’s broken translation) mutant cephalopod wandering outside its native habitat by stuffing itself with wet weeds.

References here: Roadside Picnic (1972), “Cephalopods: Aliens of the Deep” (2020).

text fiction