A Modest Genius

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Shefner, Vadim. "A Modest Genius: A Fairy Tale for Grownups. Russian Science Fiction 1969. Robert Magidoff, editor. New York Univ. Press, 1969" pp. 83–100. View from Another Shore: European Science Fiction. Franz Rottensteine, editor. New York: Seabury Press, 1973. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1999: pp. 233-47.[1][2] Online publication July 2017.

Soviet SF/Satire that John J. Pierce says includes "a Local Effect Anti-Gravitation machine" of some worth — rejected as coming from an independent inventor unappreciated by bureaucratic officialdom — vs. the creation of "an establishment inventor" of "a can opener that weighs five tons and costs four hundred thousand rubles," which can be accessed at the United City Can-Opening Center (UCCOC):

Suppose you have visitors and want to open some sardines for them; you don’t need a tool for opening the can and you don’t have to do a lot of work. You just take your can to UCCOC, hand it in at the reception desk, pay five kopeks and get a receipt....You go to the waiting room, settle down in an easy chair and watch a short film on preserves. Soon you’re called to the counter. You present your receipt and get your opened can. (p. 222)

See for what Y. Zamyatin might label a reductio ad finem[3] of what we'll call Stalinist monumentalism in machines, and a reduction to the absurd or grotesque of the collectivist ideal of communal ownership of the means of, in this case, consumption through can-opening.

RDE, with thanks to JJP, 6Jul20