Throughout the novel, Maxim is shown to have an almost superhuman physical condition, easily performing unthinkable feats, which include, but aren't limited to

  • Being able to run for a very long time without fatigue

  • Being able to carry a (heavy) armed man while running

  • Reflexes considerably faster than those of the Inhabitants of Saraksh, able to dispatch ~10 men within a few seconds

  • Incredible resistance to radiation - able to swim in a radioactive river, and eat a radioactive fish with no harmful consequences

  • Able to survive 7 (?) bullets from a very close range directly to his torso; at least 2 of them should be fatal as per an assessment given later by a doctor

The list may be amended, but this is the general shape of things. The novel is set in the 22nd century, and Maxim implies all humans are considerably improved physically by that time (he also states later in the novel that prolonged exposure to the climate of Saraksh has weakened him).

However, the novella Space Mowgli (aka The Kid, "Малыш") is set in the same time period (in-universe), and its characters do not seem to be as developed physically as Maxim (if they were, they wouldn't be as challenged when playing with the Kid), which leaves two possibilities:

  1. Only the Free Search Group members are as physically developed, possibly due to some tampering with their bodies and stuff (for which there's no evidence in what I've read so far).

  2. It's an inconsistency in the writing, because Prisoners of Power and Space Mowgli were written separately in different years (were they? I'm not sure).

How to understand this?

  • 1
    Sorry, you have a logical fallacy there. There's nothing to suggest that The Kid wasn't just even more superior (e.g. it is not inconceivable that it's simply "Saraksh << XXII humans << Alien-enhanced The kid") – DVK Nov 8 '17 at 0:42
  • Also, OOU, it's a typical trope that the Citizens of Communism are just that much physically superior. Ironically, Nazis had the same exact schtick as USSR on the topic (in their favor; of course), there was an excellent research article explaining Germany of the time having so much physical-perfection art. – DVK Nov 8 '17 at 0:45
  • @DVK don't think it's necessarily a logical fallacy, rather a (then) unbacked guess. Having now read Unrest ("Беспокойство"), I see that Atos-Sidorov (a contemporary of Anton) was tired after having jumped a bit on a marsh; I figured Anton wouldn't be. – Gallifreyan Nov 8 '17 at 8:02
  • Once again, you are right, @DVK: the 3rd and 26th answers here state exactly what you said. – Gallifreyan Apr 13 '18 at 1:56

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