In 1890 the Russian author Chekhov undertook an historic journey across Siberia to the convict island of Sakhalin. A hundred years later, in an isolated artist's retreat, a Soviet film unit prepares to commemorate his journey by using a technique that will cause their chosen actor to not only play the role of the playwright, but to believe that he is Chekhov.
But the situations Mikhail acts out diverge wildly from known biographical facts when Chekhov hears of an explosion in the Tunguska region of Siberia. Yet the real Tunguska explosion occurred in 1908 - so how could Chekhov have possible heard of it in 1890
Ian Watson (1943 - )Ian Watson was born in England in 1943 and graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first class Honours degree in English Literature. He lectured in English in Tanzania (1965-1967) and Tokyo (1967-1970) before beginning to publish SF with "Roof Garden Under Saturn" for the influential New Worlds magazine in 1969. He became a full-time writer in 1976, following the success of his debut novel The Embedding. His work has been frequently shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards and he has won the BSFA Award twice. From 1990 to 1991 he worked full-time with Stanley Kubrick on story development for the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed after Kubrick's death by Steven Spielberg; for which he is acknowledged in the credits for Screen Story. Ian Watson lives in Spain.