• I'm 99% sure it was written by a Russian author (1% - it may have been written by Polish author)
  • Author is male (I'm 100% sure)
  • I seem to recall the author's name or surname starts with "P", but I may be wrong
  • It is probably old (I read it almost 20 years ago, then I immediately forgot the author & title and I've been looking for it ever since)
  • I'm not sure it was translated to English (I read it in Polish, 50% chance it was translated, it was really good)
  • The main character was a teenage boy and his friend - a dolphin with a translating device.
  • There was a sea base they were living in and a slightly (or highly) radioactive nuclear test site near by, there was also a coral atoll (or a coral atoll was a nuclear test site)
  • they swam a lot :)
  • I'm almost certain that one of Bulychov's Alisa Seleznyova stories had dolphins and mielophon (which was a mind reading device Alisa used to talk to animals). Don't recall any nuclear test site though, and Alisa was definitely a girl, not a boy :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 4 '13 at 17:28
  • I'm affraid that's not it :(. Wikipedia says there's aliens and time travel in books about Alisa Seleznyova. There was no such thing in the book I'm looking for. Although it looks interesting. I haven't read Kir Bulychov much but what I read I liked. – Arie Apr 5 '13 at 6:21
  • 1
    not all books in that series have aliens or time travel (though many do). – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 7 '13 at 15:29

The only thing that comes in mind is "Dolphin Island" by by Arthur C. Clarke. There definitely were translator for dolphins, teenager boy and a lot of swimming. Don't recall nuclear test site though, but there was one episode - dolphins were telling a story about a big object landed into the ocean long time ago, then exploded and many dolphins died from something that looked like radiation sickness.

| improve this answer | |
  • It's actually possible that this is the book I'm looking for. The Polish cover looks familliar. It is also the same as the Russian cover and, given the time it was published in Poland, it is possible it was translated form Russian and the name of the translator or of other people credited in the book misled me. Although I can't be sure until I have it in my hand. Thanks a lot, I'll check it out. – Arie Apr 23 '15 at 6:29
  • @Arie: Did you ever check this out? – FuzzyBoots Feb 6 at 15:04

This sounds a bit like the 1961 book The Voice of the Dolphins, written by American-Hungarian Physicist Leó Szilárd; but it is only a collection of short stories, the eponymous one of them about sentient dolphins. It has been quite a while since I read it last, but as I recall most of the stories were about nearer or farer future scenarios, depicting life on Earth during and after the active use of nuclear weapons. Basically, the stories are cautionary tales against the use of the Bomb.
This topic was important to Szilárd, who is regarded as being directly responsible for the creation of the Manhattan Project, having written the original 1939 draft to the Einstein letter urging US president Roosewelt to intensivy research and development of nuclear weapons. A pacifist at heart, Szilárd later regreted this deeply. He did not write much prose, this is the only book of it I can find. Which is a pity, because I would have loved to read more of it! In case this is not the story you are looking for, I still recommend it. It is an interesting read.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for answering. Although that's probably isn't what I'm looking for (it was almost certainly a novel). But I think I still will be reading it, Leó Szilárd looks like a really interesting person and I'm very curious about what kind of fiction someone with such history could write. – Arie Oct 14 '14 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.