The chickens come home to roost in this “brilliantly strange” blend of science fiction and political satire by the author of The Master and Margarita (The Guardian, UK).
As the new reality of post-Revolution Soviet life begins to settle in, a gifted but eccentric zoologist named Persikov invents a machine that revolutionizes the growth of living organisms by drastically increasing their size and reproductive rates.
Meanwhile, a mysterious plague has wiped out the entire poultry population of Russia, raising concerns about the government’s ability to feed its people. Hoping to use Persikov’s yet-untested invention to revive the decimated chicken population, the secret service confiscates Persikov’s machine—with disastrous results…
Inspired by H. G. Wells’s novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, this science fiction novella delighted readers in 1925 Russia—and also disapproved of by certain critics who saw the tale as an anti-Soviet satire of the events of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and of post-war leadership.