Taste of Russian Fantastica
I’m instituting a new feature here at Aliens in This World.
Every week or so, I’d like to explore a noted work of Russian Fantastica
(SF/F) by translating the first paragraph or so.
(I’m only able to do this because Russian fans and writers have cooperated
in putting a large number of books online. With a huge number of books and
stories available but few in print at any one time, a fandom that lives not
only all over the former Soviet Union but all over the world, libraries and
bookstores never able to keep up, publishers keeping prices down but also
printing on thin acidic paper, and the erratic delivery of Russian mail,
this is a very practical solution. However, I do also mean to continue to
buy actual Russian books through kniga.com
and the like, as well as physical Russian bookstores in the US.)
My intention is that Anglosphere publishers and fans should become interested
in, or at least aware of, the rich flowering of Russian science fiction and
fantasy. Also, I mean to educate myself about Russian SF/F, if only by a
quick glance at what Russian fans are reading.
I should warn people, however, that first paragraphs may be especially misleading in Russian books. Russian writers and readers seem to like a nice leisurely start, often including the season and current state of the weather in that world!