May 18, 1886|
Kherson, Russian Empire
|Died||June 14, 1945
Moscow, Russian Federation
Grigory Borisovich Adamov (Григорий Борисович Адамов, real name - Abram Borukhovich Gibs; Абрам Борухович Гибс; May 18, 1886, Kherson, then Russian Empire, now Ukraine, - June 14, 1945, Moscow, USSR) was a Soviet journalist and science fiction writer, best known for his novels Conquerors of the Underground (1937), The Mystery of the Two Oceans (1939) and The Ousting of the Ruler (1946).
Abram Gibs was born in Kherson, the seventh child of a poor timber factory worker. Expelled from the local gymnasium due to his family's inability to pay for the course, he started teaching himself, giving lessons of grammar and arithmetic as a visiting tutor. Parents were dreaming of him making career of a doctor, but that was not to be. At the age of 15 Abram Gibs joined first a radical youth circle, then the Kherson Bolshevik party organization.
In 1906 he was arrested and deported to the Arkhangelsk area. With a friend he escaped from the settlement and made the way down to Saint Petersburg. From there, as a member of the special envoy group, organized by the Bolshevik party's Central committee, he travelled to Sevastopol and took part in the operation the end result of which was the destroying of documents of the battleship Potyomkin mutineers' trial. Arrested again, this time for agitation among Russian Black Sea Fleet sailors, Gibs was sentenced to three years in jail.[note 1]
In 1911 under the pseudonym Grigory Adamov, he started writing for the Kherson-based Yug (South) newspaper, of which he soon became the editor. After the 1917 Revolution Adamov joined the Narkomprod where he became friends with future academician Otto Schmidt. He moved to the state publishing house Goslitizdat and started writing for Nashi Dostizhenyia (Our Achievements) magazine, edited by Mikhail Koltsov. As a correspondent of Za Industrializatsiyu (For Industrialisation) newspaper he started travelling all over the country, getting more and more interested in science and technology.
In 1930 Adamov became a professional writer and turned to the so-called 'close range science fiction' genre (dealing with Solar and Earth power employment, artificial climate change for the benefit of the Soviet Russia, etc.), his first short stories published by Znanie-Sila (Knowledge is Power) magazine. In 1937 Conquerors of the Underground came out, a finely written novel with a spy thriller element to it and full of technical trivia, which became popular with young, technically minded Soviet readership.
Even more successful was Adamov's second novel, The Mystery of the Two Oceans (1939), a techno sci-fi/spy thriller about the adventures of the Soviet wonder-submarine Pioneer, succeeding in its round-the-world mission despite imperialists' agents' attempts at thwarting the latter. While working upon it, Adamov became a real expert in oceanography, having studied hundreds of scientific books and documents. Equally authentic in terms of its scientific facts was his third, The Ousting of the Ruler. The author even made an expedition to the Russian North, so as to investigate on site his theory that by warming the Arctic Circle area (by artificially heating the Gulf Stream) one might bring great benefits to the Soviet people. The novel was published posthumously, in 1946.
Grigory Adamov died in June 14, 1945, in Moscow.
- In the post-Soviet times certain aspects of Adamov's biography were put to doubt. According to the Mashkov Library page's caption, "all the available biographical materials on Adamov are obviously of mythological nature".