Mirra Ginsburg


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.

Parnov & Yemtsew’s Last Door

ISF No. 2 page 8From International Science Fiction No. 2 (June 1968):

We head back to the U.S.S.R. for the opening story in ISF #2, “The Last Door” by E. Parnov and M. Yemtsew, translated by Mirra Ginsburg. The story’s pace begins slowly, with plenty of detail to transport the reader into a fictive future where Sashok Yegorov visits his friend and colleague Vasily Nechiporenko in Musikovla.

Nechiporenko has recently returned from an expedition to Mars. He describes the surface of the planet as fairly level. The Martian’s giant cities are concealed deep underground.

“Dead cities. Not a single Martian is left; we found only billions of strange dry shells. Perhaps the chitin coating of insects, or some sort of clothing.
“The only interesting conclusion we obtained is that the Martians were preparing to leave for Aiya. But what is Aiya? And how were two billion Martians transported there?”

In addition to the larger mystery of the Martian’s fate, a smaller mystery develops when several deaths are revealed during and after the expedition. When an Official appears at the house to make an arrest, something alien brings his investigation and the story to a satisfying conclusion.