It’s an avalanche of russian fantastika titles that falls on us this January 2014. Many franchises, many projects included in thematic collections. This phenomenon, if in regression, however is still present.
But among all these titles, we must emphasize a sequel to the Sergey Lukyanenko’s Watch series. Lukyanenko collaborated with Arkadi Shushpanov to write the novel “School of Control” (Школьный Надзор), to be launched by Ast Publishers. Lukyanenko had already associated with another author for the second volume of the new Watch series, and it seems that’s the beginning … of a new franchise !
Also by Ast Publishers, a new fantasy novel, “The Commander of the Dead Fortress” (Комендант мертвой крепости), by Vladimir Arenev, who spoils us with a post-apocalyptic fantasy. The death of a god led to the destruction of the world. A city however survived, guarded by a fortress which is the last defense against the demonic creatures. The cover is hideous, but the content can only interest us.
As announced last month, the “Large illustrated Complete Works” (БИСС) Publishers continue their reissue program of the work of Vladislav Krapivin, this time with “The Dove in the Yellow Glade” (Голубятня на желтой поляне), which is a pure masterpiece.
Finally, the association of Chiko, Maksim (both in Lugansk, Ukraine) and Snezhnyy Kom (Moscow) Publishers continues in their efforts to publish the best texts from the Partenit Seminar (a creative writing workshop) held by the H.L.Oldie and Andrey Valentinov . So these are three novels by promising new authors that will appear this month.
“The Ethics of Raider” (Этика Райдера) by Alexei Zharkov and Dmitry Kostyokevich, in which the world is facing an unprecedented crisis, and while the West undergoes an uncontrolled wave of immigration, a spaceship lands in distress in Russia.
Then with “Renegades” (Ренегаты), Ivan Lomaka is showing us the XXIIIrd century. Earth population has dropped to 1 billion people, and among them, a few immortals pursued by scientists (note again the fairly not so covenient cover illustration … )
Finally, the “Chaos Generator” (Хаос-генератор) by Stanislav Chulga, again a rather pessimistic science fiction novel. Note the peculiar absence of fantasy among the results of this literary seminar led by fantasy authors.
Finally, among the titles announced last month, “Black” by Andrey Valentinov, will be finally released this month also by Snezhnyy Kom.
The 2013 Best Russkaya Fantastika : Our favorites
Finally for 2013, we would like to share with you our selection of the russian speaking fantastika texts (not necessarily published but discovered by us) and that we felt were important. There was no question of forcing us to estblish any “Top 10” we just show here what we liked before anything else. In other words, seven books for a list that does not constitute a ranking:
With “God of Gods”, Andrey Rubanov signs a beautiful space opera, heavily influenced by the Strugatsky brothers, so very political, therefore, but specially rhythmed.
“Vita Nostra” is for sure a classic work by Marina and Sergey Diachenko. A remarkable anti-Harry Potter, always served by a subtle pen.
With “Heart of Parma”, Alexey Ivanov, which debuted with space opera, turns to the realistic novel and signs here a sumptuous historic fantasy located on the foothills of the Ural Mountains.
Natalia Osoianu is from the Republic of Moldova, and she’s part of a younger generation placing itself in the tradition of Diachenkos and H.L.Oldie. “Winter Cold” is a dense and original fantasy novelette, and her novel that ensued, “The First Seal” is at the same level.
Since we are talking of H.L.Oldie it’s impossible not to mention “Oecumene”, a vaste space opera to whom these authors have since given several suites.
“The Illusionist” is a much older text by Oles Berdnyk, an Ukrainian. And it provides a very science fictional plot close to what would have written Clifford Simak, for example.
Finally, our last favourite, a very recent one, the comics book “Bitch” by Elena Voronovich and Andrey Tkalenko : a real success as art and script.
© Patrice and Viktoriya Lajoye (France) Reposted by the permission of the authors. We’re thanking them.
The original post in french is on the authors’ blog, Russkaya Fantastika, Les parutions en russe – janvier 2014 and Nos coups de coeur pour 2013: http://www.russkaya-fantastika.eu/
Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye are two specialists on the rusophone SF&F (russian and ukrainian ones), translators, editors and owners of the Russkaya Fantastika french speaking blog, a remarkable instrument and project dedicated to the analysis of the russian and ukrainian fantastika fiction, an important part of the European SF&F.