About the Author
Alexander Belayev, the first-and very nearly the best-Soviet science fiction writer, was born in 1884 in Smolenak. When a little boy Alexander was full of ideas. One of them was to fly. And he did fly - from the rooftop - until one day he fractured his spine. This was put right, but at the age of 32 he developed bone tuberculosis and was bed-ridden for nearly six years and later for shorter stretches.
His first novel, Professor Dowell's Head, serialized in a popular magazine in 1926, was an immediate success. Since then Belayev wrote fifty-odd novels - many of them as topical as if written today - reaching the one-million copy mark by January 1942 when he died near Leningrad. His best known books are the Amphibian, A Jump into Nothingness and the Island of Dead Ships.