Alexander Romanovich Belyaev was born on March 16, 1884 in Smolensk. His father was a priest. As a child, he dreamed of wingless flight and liked to jump from roofs. One jump was from too great a height and resulted in a spinal injury.
In 1901 he graduated from the seminary, but, being an atheist, he had no desire to become a priest. Instead, he enrolled to study law at a lycee in Yaroslav while also studying violin. To pay for his education, he played in a circus orchestra and worked as a set decorator and a journalist. After graduation, he returned to Smolensk where he worked as a police inspector, then a music and theatre critic for the paper Smolensky Vestnik. He saved his money and, in 1913, managed to take a trip through Italy, France, and Switzerland. Upon his return to Smolensk, resumed journalistic work and became editor of Smolensky Vestnik.
In 1916, he began to suffer from a form of tuberculosis of vertebrae. In 1919 he was put in a cast and stayed in bed for three years. He used this time to study foreign languages, medicine, biology, history, engineering. From 1922 until his death, he wore an orthopedic corset. In 1922, on the advice of doctors, he moved to Yalta and worked at a state home for children.
In 1923, he settled in Moscow and became a legal adviser at the People's Commissariat of Education. This was also when his literary work began. In 1925 he became a full-time writer. His early stories appeared in the magazines Vokrug Sveta, Vsemirny Sledoput and Znaniye-Sila. His first work of science fiction was Professor Dowell's Head (1925), which he himself called an autobiographical story. In it, he wanted to show that "It is possible to feel the head without the body." Other works include Island of the Dead Ships, Man-Amphibian, and Above The Abyss. "The Struggle in Space" (1928) incorporates rocket-airships, radio-controlled tanks, and a Death Ray in a fight against evil American Capitalists you are trying to destroy the Pan-European and Pan-Asiatic Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1931 he moved to Leningrad, then to its suburb - Pushkin. Subsequent works include Leap Into Nothing (1933), Air Ship (1934), and Second Moon (1935).
In all, Belyaev, who became known as the Soviet Jules Verne, authored more than 50 novels and novelettes and numerous short stories He maintained a relationship with Soviet rocket pioneer Konstantin Eduardovich Tsilokovsky and included in his novels Tsilokovsky's ideas for artificial Earth satellites, interplanetary platforms, and flights into outer space. In fact, Tsilokovsky's initials were used to name the planet in Beliayev's novel Planet KETS.
His last story, The Anatomic Bridegroom, appeared in the magazine Leningrad in 1941. He died a hungry, freezing death in Leningrad on 6 January 1942.