Along with a number of his peers, sf writer Konstantin Skvorecky, whose autobiography is this novel, was summoned to a dacha and told by Stalin himself to come up with a plausible alien-attack scenario. Just as suddenly, they were told to leave and forget everything that had happened. Konstantin spent the next years drinking and smoking himself to death, until he became one of the two Russians who don’t drink. In 1986 he encounters Jan, who was also at the dacha and now works for a government ministry. Jan believes that everything they imagined is now coming true, which means they have a pressing need to get to Ukraine. If Jan is right, someone is going to blow it up and must be stopped. Disaster awaits, for Konstantin is blown to bits at Chernobyl. Then his story gets really interesting, and the laws of reality get bent to nearly the breaking point. Roberts conjures the atmosphere of Konstantin’s era perfectly, makes his journey fascinating, and even makes him a pretty likable crotchety old man. --Regina Schroeder
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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