Who was Alexander Belyaev?
Alexander Romanovich Belyaev (16 March 1884 – 6 January 1942) was a Soviet Russian writer of science fiction. His works from the 1920s and 1930s made him a highly regarded figure in Russian science fiction, often referred to as "Russia's Jules Verne".
Belyaev's best-known books include 'Professor Dowell's Head', 'Amphibian Man', 'Ariel', and 'The Air Seller'.
Alexander Belyaev was born in Smolensk in the family of an Orthodox priest. His father, after losing two other children (Alexander's sister Nina died at childhood from sarcoma and his brother Vasiliy, a veterinary student, drowned during a boat trip), wanted him to continue the family tradition and enrolled Alexander into Smolensk seminary. Belyaev, on the other hand, didn't feel particularly religious and even became an atheist in seminary. After graduating he didn't take his vows and enrolled into a law school. While he studied law his father died and he had to support his mother by giving lessons and writing for theater.