The Garin Death Ray
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The Garin Death Ray also known as The Death Box and The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin (Russian: Гиперболоид инженера Гарина) is a science fiction novel by the noted Russian author Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy written in 1926–1927. Vladimir Nabokov considered it Tolstoy's finest fictional work.
Cover of the 1955 English revised edition
|Original title||Гиперболоид инженера Гарина|
|Translator||Bernard Guilbert Guerney (1st edition) |
George Hanna (revised ed.)
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Methuen (1st edition) |
Foreign Language (revised edition)
Published in English
|1936 (1st edition) and 1955 (revised edition)|
The "hyperboloid" in its title is not a geometrical surface (though it is utilized in the device design) but a "death ray"-laser-like device (thought up by the author many decades before lasers were invented) that the protagonist, engineer Garin, used to fight his enemies and try to become the dictator of the world. The idea of a "death ray" (popularized in The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, among others) was commonplace in science fiction of the time, but Tolstoy's version is unique for its level of technical details. "Hyperboloids" of different power capability differ in their effect. The device uses two hyperbolic mirrors (in contrast to Wells's Heat-Ray, which uses a parabolic mirror) to concentrate light rays in a parallel beam. Larger "hyperboloids" can destroy military ships on the horizon, and those of less power can only injure people and cut electric cables on walls of rooms.
- Jacobsen, Annie (2015). The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency. UK: Hachette. pp. 207, 347. ISBN 9780316371650. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
- The Garin Death Ray on IMDb, 1965 movie
- Failure of Engineer Garin on IMDb, 1973 movie
- Brief movie info page – in Russian, with pictures
- 2006 DVD release – RUSCICO Offers Russian and English subtitles and various features
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