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Encyclopedia > Who? (novel)
Modern cover for the novel
Author Algis Budrys
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science Fiction
Publisher Pyramid Books
Released 1958
Media Type Print (Paperback)

Who? (1958) by Algis Budrys is commonly considered to be one of the finest [citation needed] American science fiction novels set during the Cold War. The Falling Torch (1959) Algis Budrys (born January 9, 1931) is an American science fiction author. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Pyramid Books was a paperback publishing company, founded in 1949 by Alfred R. Plaine and Matthew Huttner. ... 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Paperback may refer to a kind of book binding by which papers are simply folded without cloth or leather and bound - usually with glue rather than stitches or staples - into a thick paper cover; or to a book with this type of binding. ... ). Categories: Stub ... The Falling Torch (1959) Algis Budrys (born January 9, 1931) is an American science fiction author. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe; title page of 1719 newspaper edition A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... The Cold War was the protracted geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their alliance partners. ...


Plot summary

An explosion rocks an Allied research facility near the border with a Soviet Bloc nation. A Soviet rescue team sweeps in and recovers Dr. Lucas Martino, a leading Allied physicist. Several months later, Communist officials hand over an individual to American officials, claiming that he is Dr. Martino. The man has undergone extensive surgery. He has a mechanical arm advanced beyond any produced in the West. More importantly, his face and head have been dramatically rebuilt, now resembling a near-featureless metal mask. A medical evaluation reveals that several of the man's internal organs are also artificial. There is no evidence that the man is not Martino, but the Allies are suspicious that the Soviets are holding the real Martino prisoner. The struggle to determine this man's true identity is the novel's central conflict. Unofficial Seal of the Warsaw Pact Distinguish from the Warsaw Convention, which is an agreement among airlines about financial liability. ... State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Soviet republics Area  - Total  - % water 1st before collapse 22,402,200 km² Approx. ... Masks in a Guatemalan Market A mask is a piece of material or kit worn on the face. ... In anatomy, a viscus (plural viscera) is an internal organ of an animal, in particular an internal organ of the thorax or abdomen. ...

Budrys tells the above story in alternating chapters. In the other chapters, he relates the tale of how Lucas Martino grew up. The young man spent his formative years in New Jersey and New York City, and he attended MIT. Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  Ranked 47th  - Total 8,729 sq. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Big Apple, The Capital of the World[1], Gotham Location Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Geographical characteristics Area    - City 1,214. ... Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT, MapúaTech or simply Mapúa) is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila. ...

Characters in "Who?"

  • Dr. Lucas Martino – kidnapped scientist

Film adaptation

The novel was turned into a 1973 film with the same title (aka The Man in the Steel Mask in some video editions), directed by Jack Gold and starring Elliott Gould. 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... Elliott Gould Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein on August 29, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York), a graduate of the Professional Childrens School, was one of the most prominent American film actors in the early 1970s, best known for playing Trapper John in Robert Altmans satirical 1970 film MASH...


One of the most striking scenes in the film version shows Martino walking along a city street eliciting startled reactions from passers-by - apparently real members of the public filmed candidly with no warning.

External links



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