Lyuben Dilov

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Lyuben Dilov
Born25 December 1927
Cherven Bryag, Bulgaria
Died10 June 2008 (aged 80)
Sofia, Bulgaria
GenreScience fiction, Philosophy

Lyuben Dilov (Любен Дилов, 1927, Cherven Bryag - 10 June 2008, Sofia[1]), also known as Luben Dilov and Ljuben Dilov and Liuben Dilov was a leading Bulgarian science-fiction writer. He is not to be confused with his son, Lyuben Dilov (bg:Любен Дилов-син), who is a Bulgarian politician and screenwriter.


Lyuben Dilov graduated from Sofia University, where he had specialised in Bulgarian language and literature. He started writing as a student, and his first stories were published in Narodna Mladezh youth newspaper.[1] He won a number of domestic and international literary awards, and in the 1970s and 80s was known in science fiction circles outside Bulgaria. He established the Graviton Award in science fiction.[1]

He was the first Chairman of the Union of Independent Writers, an organisation independent of the Communist Party, and the history book Bulgaria in Transition: Politics, Economics, Society, and Culture (1998) refers to him in this context as an anticommunist: "the respected anticommunist writer Liuben Dilov, well known for his science fiction".[2] The book The 'Thaw' in Bulgarian Literature (1981) add the contextual information that his work was censored by the communist state in the 1970s, talking of: "Lyuben Dilov's censored science fiction novels."


Dilov was an author of over 35 books, these being novels for adults, and short story collections. He also wrote some novels for a juvenile audience.[1] His work strove to consciously resemble that of the famous American science fiction writer Clifford D. Simak, and he stated that: "I am the Bulgarian Cliff Simak".[3] By 1990 the official state English language journal Bulgarian Horizons: A Quarterly of Literature, Art and Science stated, of his reputation in Bulgaria at that time, that: "Lyuben Dilov is a fiction writer with a fine sense of plot, with a tendency to rationalize socially and philosophically world[-spanning] processes, and with a superb sense of humour".

His books were translated into neighbouring languages such as Russian, Czech, Polish, German and Hungarian.

In his novel The Trip of Icarus (1974) Dilov described the Fourth Law of Robotics, extending the original Three Laws proposed by Isaac Asimov to include: A robot must establish its identity as a robot in all cases." [4][5] Dilov stated that the reason for the fourth safeguard was that: "The last Law has put an end to the expensive aberrations of designers to give psychorobots as humanlike a form as possible. And to the resulting misunderstandings..."[4]

In English translation[edit]

His story Contacts of a Fourth Kind was included in the English language multi-writer novel Tales from the Planet Earth. His story “The Stranger” was translated into English in full, and can be found in the book Introduction to modern Bulgarian literature (1969).


  • «Атомният човек» — 1958
  • «Кладенецът на таласъмите» — 1963
  • «Помня тази пролет» — 1964
  • «Многото имена на страха» — 1967
  • «Тежестта на скафандъра» — 1969
  • «Пътят на Икар» — 1974
  • «Парадоксът на огледалото» — 1976
  • «Звездните приключения на Нуми и Ники» — 1980
  • «Пропуснатият шанс. Из съчиненията на моя компютър» — 1981
  • «Незавършеният роман на една студентка» — 1982
  • «До Райската планета и назад. Другите приключения на Нуми и Ники» — 1983
  • «Жестокият експеримент» — 1985
  • «Библията на Лилит» — 1999
  • «Голямата стъпка» — 1999
  • «Демонът на Максуел» — 2001
  • «Да избереш себе си» — 2002

Stories and Short Stories[edit]

  • «Напред, човечество!» — 1971
  • «Цялата истина около шимпанзето Топси» — 1976
  • «Новогодишна трагедия» — 1978
  • «Странните качества на Борис Левиташки» — 1979
  • «Експеримент в криминалния жанр» — 1981
  • «Ограбената истина» — 1981
  • «Предисторията на едно заболяване» — 1981


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ John D. Bell, Bulgaria in Transition: Politics, Economics, Society, and Culture, Westview Press, 1998, page 238.
  3. ^ Science Fiction Studies, 1980.
  4. ^ a b Dilov, Lyuben (aka Lyubin, Luben or Liuben) (2002). Пътят на Икар. Захари Стоянов. ISBN 954-739-338-3.
  5. ^ Another Fourth Law of Robotics was proposed by Harry Harrison in the tribute anthology Foundation's Friends in 1989.

External links[edit]