• Anton, aka "Don Rumata of Estor", is Russian.
  • Pashka, aka "Don Hug, first groom of the chamber of his lordship the Duke of Irukan", is Russian.
  • Alexander Vassilevitch, aka "Don Kondor, Supreme Judge and Keeper of the Great Seal of the Mercantile Republic of Soan" (and other titles), is Russian.
  • Even the other Earth observers mentioned only in passing, such as those we hear about near the beginning who violated the Prime Directive failed in their missions by interfering too much, seem to have Russian names.

How culturally mixed are the Earth observers on the planet, really? Is it just a coincidence, or due to the fact that he knew them of old on Earth, that Anton and his closest friends are all Russian?

For that matter, what is the political situation back on Earth - is there some kind of United Earth organising these missions to other planets, or is the entire expedition a Russian-specific thing?

(Sorry if this is made clear later on in the book; I'm only on Chapter 7 at the moment.)

  • 1
    Given Strugatsky's other works, it's safe to assume that the operatives were as culturally diverse as the Earth. It's hard to prove though - all of their works I've read so far are told from the point of view of Russians. Apr 29, 2017 at 10:06
  • @Gallifreyan Ah, see, this is context I don't have. HtBaG is the only Strugatsky work I've read.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 29, 2017 at 11:13
  • I'm reluctant to post this an an answer because I don't think there's much canon information to go on (and the other works I mentioned were most certainly not translated to English) Apr 29, 2017 at 15:03
  • 2
    HTBaG somewhat predates the other Noon works chronologically in-Universe (IEH is predecessor of Progressors); but the whole Noon universe is basically a largely-Communist paradise with One World Government (Thanks, @Obama :) and an oppressive KomKon-2 secret service that can extrajudicially kill people. Russia has a somewhat-leading-kinda-role, but it's hard to say if that is just point of view bias. Both Rudolf Sikorsky and Maxim Kammerer were explicitly NOT russian; for reasons to do with censors and publishing politics IIRC.
    – DVK
    Apr 30, 2017 at 22:25
  • 1
    One thing to remember is that they WERE writing an adventure book for mass reader (especially initially - see my earlier answer re: Beria) before they included politics/ideas... and as such; the intended reader would of course emphathise more with russian characters.
    – DVK
    Apr 30, 2017 at 22:28


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