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 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 Jewish timber factory worker. Expelled from a local gymnasium due to his family's inability to pay for the course, he started to earn his living by giving lessons of grammar and arithmetic. Parents were dreaming of him becoming a doctor, but 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. Having escaped from the settlement, he arrived at Saint Petersburg, then, as a member of the special envoy group, organized by the Bolshevik party's Central committee, 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 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, Gibs started contributing to 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), then Goslitizdat publishing house, all the while writing for different journals, including Nashi Dostizhenyia (Our Achievements), edited by Mikhail Koltsov. As a correspondent for Za Industrializatsiyu (For Industrialization) newspaper Adamov started travelling all over the country, getting more and more interested in science and technology.
In 1930 Adamov became a professional writer. His first short stories, belonging to the so-called 'close-range science fiction' genre (dealing with Solar energy and Earth power employment, artificial climate change, etc.), were published by Znanie-Sila (Knowledge is Power) magazine. In 1937 Conquerors of the Underground came out. This finely written novel rich with technical trivia and with a spy thriller element to it 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 telling the story of the Soviet wonder-submarine Pioneer, succeeding in its round-the-world mission despite imperialists' agents' attempts at thwarting it. While working upon it, Adamov became an expert in oceanography, having studied hundreds of scientific books and documents. While working upon its third, The Ousting of the Ruler, the author made an expedition to the Russian North, so as to investigate his own idea of warming the Arctic Circle area up (by artificially heating the Gulf Stream) and thus benefitting the Soviet people. The novel was published posthumously, in 1946.
Grigory Adamov died on 14 June 1945, in Moscow.
- The United Columns (Соединённые колонны, Soyedinyonnye kolonny, 1931, essays and short stories collection).
- The Accident (Авария, Avariya, 1935, novelet)
- In the Stratosphere (В стратосфере, V stratosphere, 1938, short story)
- Oasis of the Sun (Оазис Солнца, Oazis Solntsa, 1936, novelet)
- Conquerors of the Underground (Победители недр, Pobediteli nedr, 1937, novel)
- The Mystery of the Two Oceans (Тайна двух океанов, Taina dvukh okeanov, 1939, novel).
- The Attack of the Magnetic Torpedoes (Атака магнитных торпед, Ataka magnitnykh torped, 1938, novella)
- The Ousting of the Ruler (Изгнание владыки, Izgnaniye vladyki, 1946, novel).
- Das Geheimnis zweier Ozeane (German). Мoscow, Verlag Progreß, 1948, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1980, 1982; Verlag Neues Leben, 1956, 1959.
- Taina celor doua oceane (Romanian). Bucharest. Editura Tinereţului, 1957.
- Kahe ookeani saladus (Estonian). Таллин: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1957.
- In the post-Soviet times certain aspects of Adamov's biography, not corroborated by documental evidence, were put to doubt.