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The word was coined by the Strugatsky brothers for their novel "Roadside Picnic" (1972), as an allusion to Rudyard Kipling's character Stalky from the "Stalky & Co." stories and the English word stalker. Сталки (stálki) was well remembered by the Strugatskys from their childhood, when they read the stories in Russian translation. In the "Roadside Picnic", сталкер was a common nickname for men engaged in the illegal trade of prospecting for and smuggling of alien artifacts from the mysterious and dangerous "Zone".



ста́лкер (stálkerm ?

  1. stalker (traditional translation, although not very accurate in meaning and connotations)
  2. any person, whose occupation or activity is dangerously similar to those of characters from "Roadside Picnic".


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