Fake Soviet Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Books

Wednesday fun link.


Wednesday fun link:

In Soviet Russia, robot own you!

In 1987, an anonymous team of computer scientists from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic wrote a series of children's books based on the popular Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were hastily translated into English and a small number were exported to America, but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold.

Now declassified, the books have been lovingly converted to a digital hypertext format and put online for the English-speaking world to enjoy.

No, of course they aren't real. They're pretty damn funny, though. Here's how the first one opens:

You are a young girl from the Kyrgyz village of Tash-Bashat. You live your life in the traditional style of a Tash-Bashat child, which needs no introduction.

It is the night of a gibbous moon and your parents have wisely cautioned against entrance into the nearby woods. How do you proceed?

If you enter woods, turn to page 17.
If you remain quiety in bounds of homestead, turn to page 3.

And on page three:

You wisely adhere to parental strictures. No doom befalls you and you go on to live healthily.


You have completed this story in the optimal number of page turns. To claim your merit badge, write "I have done this" on a 76x127mm index card and post it to:

Building 34
7th Microdistrict
Bishkek, Kyrgyz SSR
Soviet Union

(Limit of first four hundred children to request merit badge.)

Explore the rest of Small Child in Woods here. Try book #2, Cow Farming Activities on the Former West, here. Enjoy the author's other work here.

[Hat tip: Bryan Alexander.]

NEXT: American Lawmakers Meet American in Cuban Prison

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  1. I would award a badge to anyone who made sure I never had to go to Bishkek ever again.

    1. +1 deployment

  2. I wonder if you could set up a Proggie version of these?


    1)Raise taxes on those not paying their fair share

    2)Listen to evul Libertarians and be selfish

    YOU CHOOSE 1) Life is fair and great forever.

    You CHOOSE 2) Elderly and children starve in street, life is terrible.

    1. You forgot “wimminz and mynoriteez hardest hit”


      1. *stands and begins thunderous applause*

      2. ROADZ!

        I bow to you, Sensei!

  3. “You wisely adhere to parental strictures” FTW! And fuck the CIA for interceding – this shit is high-LARRY-ous.

    Also it’s just sad.

  4. You two folks share pieces of the sheep’s head and agree to settle your differences on a full stomach. Speaking in the language of metaphor: you and the witch bury your hatchets next to each other within the earth.


    How do you get back home, you ask? Why the witch leads you back home and gives you a ribbon, of course. I shouldn’t have to mention such mundane details after an ending like this.


    1. I ended with an elf offering me to push a button that would kill 100 people but I would get a toy.

      My choice were:
      Push button without regret.
      Tell elf, “kill the 100 people but keep the toy.”

      I chose the 2nd option and reached a victory end, for the toy was haunted. Also, I saw 100 lightning bolts in the distance.

      1. Wow! How did you know the toy was a haunted trap?! That’s some intuiting you’ve got on you. The elf puts his equipment back in his alchemist’s sachel and disseapears into a cloud of robins-egg-blue-tinted fog.

        Far off in the distance, 100 lightning bolts strike out in rapid succession, presumably murdering 100 people that you have never encountered. You go to sleep right there in the woods, confident that you have made an unimpeachable choice.


  5. but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold.

    Really? I mean… Really? Are you sure the publisher of the original American books didn’t have a cousin in the Agency? How did this even pass the laugh test? “Hey boss, I think these translated kids book might be a mind control scheme.”
    Boss: “Hahahaha! Oh you’re serious. Bwahahahaha! Hold… Lemme… Aha. Aha.”

    1. Really? I mean… Really?

      No, not really. You missed the line “of course they aren’t real.”


      2. I was still ill from RB’s article above. Ugh. I just skimmed. Dang.

    2. No, of course they aren’t real. They’re pretty damn funny, though. Here’s how the first one opens:

  6. This is the story of those folks out there on the Wyoming…of police commissioners and deputy police commissioners who fired guns to make some law.

  7. You have exceeded your daily quota of radios assembled. You recieve medal and return home and fall into a fitful hungry sleep, eager to exceed your quota tomorrow.


    When will you eat, you ask? When everyone else is fed. You are no one special after all.

    1. Ok SF, time for a page 17 scenario.

      I must know what happens if you enter the woods. What horrible imperialistic capitalist schemes await?

      1. You enter woods and are bitten by radioactive grasshopper. You begin to exploit the common resources of the body Soviet for personal gain. You do not share with people bitten by radioactive ants. Ant people rape your daughters and sons and execute you.


        Do not question why countryside is crawling with radioactive insects or wonder why fingernails are bleeding.

        1. As a foolish child, it seems like the ultimate joy for you to depart from the path. It is so dark that you walk into trees! What fun! But enough collisions leaves you disoriented.

          You try to find a path for a lot of time, but the only thing you find is a leopard.

          DEATH END

          (To be clear ? the leopard eats you, leading to death.)

  8. In Soviet Russia, adventure chooses you!

  9. Damme, sirrah, you beat me to it!

  10. 42.

    You sprint lightfully along the path, keeping head up to see the signs or portents of any candy plant. After rounding a bend (particularly heavey with bats) you see within the sky a cluster of orange, yellow, pink, purple, and cyan leaves.

    “A candy tree…” you silently mouth

    If you give into your urges and run headlong at the tree, turn to page 26.
    If you resist temptation, turn to page 46.


    You cannot resist temptation. Turn to page 26.

    1. The candy is coated with arsenic and cyanide. Go straight to Libertarian hell on page 69.

  11. I’ve been digging into the actual fake books:

    If you decide the best course is to assume the traditional elf summoning position (cross-legged on a stone) and then wait for an elf to materialize, turn to page 13.

  12. It falls back. A solid punch to an elf face is most certainly fatal. To the elf that is. It lies down on the ground and stares up at the night sky.

    “my only regret… is that I couldn’t see one last circle… before I passed on into that night.”

    “what about the moon?” u ask

    “A gibbous moon is not circular….” it says and then dies.

  13. In soviet Russia, Candy eats you!

  14. In Soviet Russia, tired cliches repeat *you!*

  15. In Soviet Russia, adventure chooses YOU.

    1. dammit, those other comments weren’t there when I posted that.

      1. Its ok, I forgive you, young Rusky.

  16. How I could tell it was fake:

    a) In the Soviet days the city was called “Frunze”, not “Bishkek”
    b) The Soviets used the spelling “Kirghiz”, not “Kyrgyz”

    … hey, I have an excuse for knowing this! I’ve actually been to Kyrgyzstan! What I don’t have an excuse for is the fact that I created an account just to point out the above two facts, after having lurked for like three years…

    1. If wonder if he knows what we do to lurkers?

      1. Accuse them of being White Indian and report them? Relax, as you can see I managed to type a whole comment without ever saying “privation property” or “propertarians”. Wait.. Oh shi..!

        1. You didnt say anthing that kicked off my filter, so you have that going for you.

          And you dont sound like Mary, so thats 2 points.

          Do you know what slavers should do?

    “A Real Live Native American (White Indian)”

  18. Weren’t these parodied in Cracked or something?

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