A. Dneprov


A. Dneprov’s The World in Which I Disappeared

International Science Fiction No. 2 page 82From International Science Fiction No. 2 (June 1968):

The second tale in this issue by A. Dneprov, from the U.S.S.R., is a humorous one. “The World in Which I Disappeared,” translated by Mirra Ginsburg, is built on two ideas: resurrection of the dead and creating the perfect society—both through science.

In the words of Harry Woodrop, Doctor of Medicine and Sociology and Honorary Member of the Institute of Radio-Electronics:

Schizophrenics, professors and senators are trying to improve our society with the aid of committees and subcommittees, foundations, voluntary commissions, economic conferences and ministries of social problems. Nonsense! All it takes is four hundred and two triodes, one thousand, five hundred and seventy-five resistors, and two thousand, four hundred and ninety-one condensers, and
the whole problem is solved.

That’s the theory anyway. In practice, Dr. Woodrop’s experiment requires daily adjustments until its dead-man-walking participant concludes things when he adds one of his own.

A. Dneprov’s Island of the Crabs

International Science Fiction No. 2 page 49From International Science Fiction No. 2 (June 1968):

The U.S.S.R. grabs the spotlight with “The Island of the Crabs” by A. Dneprov, an issue highlight. Isolated on a tropical island, an engineer conducts a Darwinian experiment with self-replicating, evolving robotic crabs.

Cookling squatted down and began to chortle.
“Will you stop grimacing like an idiot!” I shouted. “Where did the second crab come from?”
“It was born! It was born during the night!”

Theoretically, the crab’s military potential could be unlimited, but the engineer soon learns that playing Mother Nature is not for the ill equipped.

Anatoly Dneprov (1919–1975) was a distinguished physicist who worked at an institute of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. His best known story is “The Maxwell Equations,” published in English in 1963. His short story “Formula for Immortality” was included in the New Soviet Science Fiction anthology (1979), edited by Theodore Sturgeon.