Roadside Picnic | Production Art and Storyboards

  • "He who makes a beast of himself removes himself from the pain of being human."
  • Roadside Picnic is a short novel written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky in 1973. The novel is described as one of the most important, powerful and poignant pieces of Soviet fiction. Andrei Tarkovsky's much admired film Stalker was based on Roadside Picnic. 
    Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those misfits who are compelled, in spite of the extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artefacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. Even the nature of his mutant daughter has been determined by the Zone and it is for her that he makes his last, tragic foray into the hazardous and hostile territory.
    'The story is carried off with a controlled fierceness that doesn't waver for a minute'
    'The best Soviet SF writers'
    'Brilliantly and beautifully written...a truly superb work of science fiction'
  • "It's over. There is no more stalker called Red. I've had enough. Enough of risking my own life and teaching other fools how to risk theirs. You were wrong, Kirill, my old buddy. I'm sorry."
  • "Let's take him Red, we won't go wrong! That's what he said to me at the time. Looking back now I can see why I didn't take the young man." 
  • "My darling Guta. My love. I could tell she was relieved to see me as she clung to me tightly before making breakfast. It had been a long night. I sneaked off downstairs to take care of business, I laid out the swag on the table, smoked and surveyed the wealth before me."
  • "He was just my talking key, he meant nothing to me. For my daughter, for monkey, this is for you. You were a fool Buzzard, you know me, how could you have trusted me. Oh how I wish I could have seen your face when you realise that your darling Artie, the handsome son, your pride and joy came with me into the zone. After all, two are needed, but only one may reach the Golden!"
  • "He had forgotten me, he was off to make his wishes, the secret wishes of a blushing college student. I was cool and calm, I knew what was about to happen and I knew that I would not watch, but it was still alright to watch, and I did, feeling nothing in particular. I watched as the transparent entity lurking in the shadow of the excavators bucket grab him, throw him up in the air, and slowly twist him, like a housewife wringing her wash."
  • "It was bleak. Every day was grey, and every evening, and every night. Damn the Zone. You can't get away from it. Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, it's always the Zone, the Zone, the Zone.
  • "I am an animal, you see that. I don't have the words, they didn't tach me the words. I don't know how to think, the bastards didn't let me learn how to think. But if you really are...all-powerful...all-knowing...then you figure it out! Look into my heart. I know that everything you need is in there. It has to be."