|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Foreign Languages Publishing House|
Published in English
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
The story begins in the Soviet Union, just after the end of the Russian Civil War. A lonely engineer, Mstislav Los', designs and constructs a revolutionary pulse detonation rocket and decides to set course for Mars. Looking for a companion for the travel, he finally leaves Earth with a retired soldier, Alexei Gusev.
Arriving on Mars, they discover that the planet is inhabited by an advanced civilization. However, the gap between the ruling class and the workers is very strong and reminiscent of the early capitalism, with workers living in underground corridors near their machines.
Later in the novel, it is explained that Martians are descendants of both local races and of Atlanteans who came there after the sinking of their home continent (here Tolstoy was inspired by Blavatsky's books). Mars is now ruled by Engineers but all is not well. While speaking before an assembly, their leader, Toscoob, says that the city must be destroyed to ease the fall of Mars. Aelita, Toscoob's beautiful daughter and the princess of Mars, later reveals to Los' that the planet is dying, that the polar ice caps are not melting as they once did and the planet is facing an environmental catastrophe.
While the adventurous Gusev takes the lead of a popular uprising against the ruler, the more intellectual Los' becomes enamored with Aelita. When the rebellion is crushed, they (Gusev and Los') are forced to flee Mars and eventually make it back to Earth. The trip is prolonged with the effects of high speed and time dilation resulting in a loss of over three years. The exact fate of Aelita herself is unknown. It is hinted that she actually survived, since Los' receives radio messages from Mars mentioning his name.
The novel was adapted in the Soviet Union to silent film under the same title shot by Yakov Protazanov in 1924, and by Hungarian director András Rajnai in 1980. Andrija Maurović (artist) and Krešimir Kovačić (writer) in Yugoslavia adapted it into a comic, published 1935-1936, titled Ljubavnica s Marsa (Mistress from Mars).
Aelita is a 1924 silent film.
Aelita may also refer to:
In arts and entertainmentAelita (novel), a 1923 novel by Alexei Tolstoy and the main female character of the novel
Aelita (convention), a Soviet/Russian science fiction fandom convention
Aelita Prize, a Soviet/Russian award for science fiction writers
Aelita Hopper-Schaefffer, a main character in the French animated television series Code Lyoko
"Aelita" (Code Lyoko episode), the 57th episode of Code Lyoko, which focuses on the character with the same name
Aelita (Tied & Tickled Trio album), 2007
Aelita (Mando Diao album), 2014
Aelita (character), name of a woman in the 2014 puzzle platformer video game Lifeless PlanetOther usesAelita Software Corporation, an American company which manufacted computer and communication products
Aelita (synthesizer), a music synthesizer made in the USSR (present Russia) in the 1980s.
Aelita (spacecraft), the name of a planned Soviet needle-like interplanetary spacecraft which would carry a Soviet manned mission to Mars