Paperback, 224 pages

English language

Published Dec. 31, 2011 by Chicago Review Press.


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4 stars (8 reviews)

A troubled man leads a writer and a scientist into "The Zone", a mysterious area where the laws of physics no longer apply. All three journey towards "The Room", which supposedly has the power to fulfill the innermost wishes of anyone who enters therein.

1 edition

Taking the crumbs from the table

5 stars

Aliens visit earth and leave again, as if they were just stopping for a picnic along the way to somewhere more interesting. The people living near the visited sites (Zones) find all sorts of mysterious and often dangerous things left behind that shatter our concepts of physics and the possibilities of life. Scientists are no better off than anyone else tring to understand them. And that's the crux of it - when humans are so insignificant, so far away from understanding reality, there is really very little separating us. I've typed and deleted a few more things but felt like it cheapened the book's themes because ultimately I think they are affective rather than ideological. So I'll just keep them to myself.

Review of 'Roadside Picnic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Aliens have made contact, or have they? Thirteen years after the visitation, an international science cooperative has locked up each landing site, dubbed Zones in an effort to study the unexplained phenomena. Red Schuhart is a stalker, someone that sneaks into the zones and tries to collect artefacts. Despite the legal ramifications, artefacts on the black market sell really well. When Red puts together another team to collect a “full empty” everything goes wrong.

The attempts to gain publication of Roadside Picnic is a story in itself; like most Russian literature this novel was originally serialised in a literary magazine. Attempts to publish in book form took over eight years, mainly due to denial by the Department for Agitation and Propaganda. The heavily censored book that originally was published was a significant departure to what the authors originally wrote. I am unclear as to whether the new translation I read …

avatar for DerekCaelin

rated it

3 stars
avatar for stim

rated it

5 stars


  • Russian Science fiction