This March marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Russian and Soviet science fiction writer Alexander Belyaev.

In Soviet times, Alexander Belyaev’s books were read not only by adults, but also by teenagers. Somehow it happened that he smoothly «moved» into the category of writers recommended for middle and senior school age. This is how the members of the literary salon were perceived when they were invited to turn to the work of this writer.

Retreat: Our literary salons are held in a warm, friendly atmosphere with a cup of tea and delicious cookies. Join us.

In fact, it turned out that the issues raised in his works are still relevant today.

His most famous novels are «Professor Dowel’s Head», «Amphibian Man», «Ariel», «Island of Lost Ships», «Star of CEC».

It should be noted that the Soviet literary period was rich in works written in the genre of science fiction, although initially this literature was treated as light reading. And Belyaev was even accused that his books have no ideological orientation.

Belyaev, being a sick person, in his works partially described what he could feel. So in the book «Professor Dowel’s head» he thinks about the question of «full-fledged happiness». The head could think, even raise an eyebrow or close her eyes, but she was deprived of the right to decide whether to live or cease to exist, even to scratch her nose without help, she was unable. She might have imagined that she had a full body, but it couldn’t have gone any further. The head was completely dependent on other people, she had no escape, because her head had no legs or arms.

As trite as it sounds, we live our lives without noticing how happy we are: we can walk, make decisions and implement them, enjoy food, listen to music or plug our ears, etc.

Belyaev suffered from spinal tuberculosis and was confined to bed for some time. It was this helplessness that he was experiencing at the time, and allowed him to describe with such precision what could «feel» a head without a body.

The novel itself has a detective component, which makes it truly fascinating and thrilling.

In the novel «Ariel» the author described his childhood dream – he wanted to learn to fly. He tried to take off, tied brooms to his hands, or jumped off a roof with an umbrella in his hands, used makeshift bed parachutes… It was one of the unsuccessful landings that led to the injury and the subsequent illness.

The priest came from the family, he was engaged in legal activities. Already in these two «principles» lies a contradiction. And yet, if we consider his works from the point of view of spirituality, they all suggest that no matter how far the human genius goes, what is created by nature – invincible.  A striking example of this: Bricke from «Professor Dowel’s Head», receiving a new body, eventually dies of blood poisoning; the fate of Ichthyander («Amphibian Man») remains unknown.

Excellent clear language, dynamic plot allows to put the novels of A. Belyaev in the same rank as modern bestsellers. And the advances in science and technology described in his books are still out of reach.

This author’s books are in our library.