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Abalone Pearl, The

Kuznetzov, Yuri
Borosdina, Olga

Russian schoolboy Kostya Talkin, who can also be nicknamed Chris Tall, chances to fall into a “tunnel” leading to an anti-world. Kostya splits up into something like two simultaneous states of existence: one of him has gone on to the anti-world as something like a ghost, or, more exactly, an invisible phantom, while his other half is trapped in a sort of semi-zone between the two worlds, and is made up of waves. There are a number of residents in that zone, both accidental and not so accidental. Among them are: Preem the Octopus, whose talisman is an abalone shell with a pearl inside it; Victor Stepanovich, a scientist; Kuzmych, his guide; and a little girl named Viola, from Irena, that anti-world itself. Viola tells him that the civilization of the Irenians is considerably more advanced than that of the Earth, and how, fearful of degeneration, it has decided to mingle with the civilization of the earthlings. But one group of Irenians (the Vitants) sees this as a means of blending in with those on our planet, while another group (the Massars) wants to enslave the Earth! Viola and her parents belong to the Vitants. Even there in the semi-zone, the new friends are called upon to foil the machinations of some Massar spies. They are helped in this by Kau-Ruk and Ilsor, who are traveling through the tunnel from Rameria to Earth and just happen to have found the appropriate side tunnel. In the end, Victor Stepanovich comes up with a plan that they carry out using the pearl, as well as the hypnotic powers of the Octopus and Kau-Ruk. As a result, Kostya and Viola are able, as it were, to change places and return to their respective planets. But their adventures are far from over.

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