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I don't think anybody can have a definite answer here. My understanding is that the same Mak Sim portrayed by someone else (say Adamov of the previous generation, or Kazantzev, or even Efremov) would go unnoticed by both начальство and the audience alike. Начальство was irritated by the authors much more than by a character. Recall how popular were they, ...


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If I recall correctly, Erik Simon wrote in the afterword of his german translation that the novel was deemed too political, especially the criticism of nationalism and mass media. The publishing house of the Komsomol was one of the few venues that would touch SF, the Strugatskies decided to write a story about a Komsomol in space. It's possible the censors ...


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