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. 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".
- IPA: /ˈstalkʲɪn/
сталкер • (stálker) m
- stalker (traditional translation, although not very accurate in meaning and connotations)
- any person, whose occupation or activity is dangerously similar to those of characters from "Roadside Picnic".
Derived terms 
- (Feminine gender) сталкерша