Josef Nesvadba

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Josef Nesvadba (June 19, 1926 - April 26, 2005) was a Czech writer, best known in the English-speaking world for his science fiction short stories, many of which have appeared in English translation.


Nesvadba was born at in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He had a degree in psychiatry and was a pioneer of group psychotherapy in Czechoslovakia.

He originally translated poetry from English and wrote several theatrical plays as a student in the late 1940s and early 1950s; towards the end of the 1950s he started writing science fiction short stories. Befitting his background, psychiatry is often a theme in his SF. His fiction typically revolves around such issues as human weakness and divided personalities, with a tendency toward dark humor, irony and satire, as in "Vampires, Ltd., in which cars run on blood. In the 1970s he began to move away from science fiction, which was likely inevitable, as his main interests diverged somewhat from Western views of the genre. From a commercial perspective this did not work well.

Some of his stories were made into movies, including "Death of Tarzan", "The Half-wit of Xeenemunde", "Vampires, Ltd" and "Tomorrow I'll wake up and scald myself with tea". In the last of these, which he himself scripted, Hitler and issues of causality crop up. He also worked on several TV and radio serials.

Nesvadba's work directed satirical barbs at the Communist government of Czechoslovakia, as he had little faith in the grandiose dreams of twentieth-century Communism. He agreed overall with a Marxist analysis of things, a viewpoint he maintained even after the unraveling of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia.[1]

Nesvadba was registered as an agent of the communist secret police StB under the codename Autor.[2] He died at Prague in 2005.

Partial bibliography[edit]

Early theatrical plays[edit]

  • Výprava do oceánie
  • Ocelový kruh
  • Ráno
  • Tři podpisy


  • Dialog s doktorem Dongem (Dialogue with Dr. Dong) (1964)
  • Bludy Erika N. (Delusions of Erik N.) (1974)
  • Tajná zpráva z Prahy (Secret News from Prague) (1978)
  • Minehava podruhé (Minehava for the Second Time) (1981)
  • Hledám za manžela muže (I Want a Man for My Husband) (1986)
  • První zpráva z Prahy (The First News from Prague), uncensored original version of Tajná zpráva z Prahy(1991)
  • Peklo Beneš (Beneš Hell) (2002)


  • Tarzanova smrt (Tarzan's Death) (1958)
  • Einsteinův mozek (Einstein's Brain) (1960)
  • Výprava opačným směrem (Expedition in the Opposite Direction) (1962)
  • Vampires, Ltd. (1964)
  • Vynález proti sobě (In the Footsteps of the Abominable Snowman) (1964; English translation 1970)
  • Výpravy opačným směrem (Expeditions in the Opposite Direction) (1976)
  • Einsteinův mozek a jiné povídky (Einstein's Brain and Other Stories) (1987)

Short stories[edit]

  • "Pirate Island" (1958)
  • "The Einstein Brain" (1962)
  • "The Xeenemuende Half-Wit" (1962)(Blbec z Xeenemünde, 1960), about an idiot savant who invented rocket weapons during World War II. A 1964 Czechoslovak film was based on the story.
  • "Captain Nemo's Last Adventure" (1964)
  • "The Last Secret Weapon of the Third Reich" (1964)
  • "Vampires Ltd." (1964)
  • "The Lost Face" (1964)
  • "In the Footsteps of the Abominable Snowman" (1964)
  • "Doctor Moreau's Other Island" (1964)
  • "Inventor of His Own Undoing" (1964)
  • "The Chemical Formula of Destiny" (1964)
  • "Expedition in the Opposite Direction" (1964)
  • "The Trial Nobody Ever Heard Of" (1971)
  • "The Death of an Apeman" (1971)
  • "The Divided Carla" (1985)
  • "The Storeroom of Lost Desire" (1989)
  • "Horribly Beautiful, Beautifully Horrible" (1993)


  • "That Moon Plaque (Men on the Moon)" (1969)
  • "Reason and Rationalism" (1984)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neff, Ondrej. "Na navsteve u Josefa Nesvadby" -- Interview with Josef Nesvadba. Ikarie 1996. G.S. Evans (Translator). The Josef Nesvadba Page. Retrieved 6 Apr. 2009.
  2. ^

External links[edit]