Septipods depicted by Carl Hoffmann from the dust cover of the German hardback edition.
Noon: 22nd Century (Полдень. XXII век; 1961) is an anthology of Russian sci-fi vignettes set in what later became known as the Noon Universe. It tells an optimistic history of humanity's progress from colonizing the planets of our star system to reaching other systems, and our first encounters with alien intelligences, or the remnants thereof.
It was written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who are best known in the English speaking world as the writers of Roadside Picnic, which was adapted into the movie Stalker and has greatly influenced Russian post-apocalyptic aesthetics.
I'm blogging about Noon because it was recently brought to my attention that one of the stories, "Pilgrims and Wayfarers", includes a species of octopus starting to make its way onto land and into the trees (and beyond?)
Since the book doesn't have a plot as such, other than world-building humanity's progress and following the comings and goings of various recurring characters (such as Gorbovsky, below), I'll cover "Pilgrims" on it's own and how it relates to tree octopuses, then follow up with some things I found interesting in the other stories, as well as some meta information.
I don't intend this to be a complete review of the world and themes of the book, as I am writing this only shortly after having first read it. I also have not read any of the other books in Strugatskys' Noon Universe, so if I misconstrue or miss something that was later explained, let me know.