The Best Russian Books in English

Forget War and Peace: this blog offers reviews of fun and interesting Russian books in English, links to their Amazon pages, interviews with new and upcoming Russian authors, with the emphasis on Russian genre fiction: LitRPG, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, romance, mystery and other popular reads.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Great Review of Apocalyptic and Dystopian Russian Fiction at Reflexiones Finales

Russell1200, a renowned connoisseur of all things apocalyptic, has published this article at his Reflexiones Finales - the blog discussing potential apocalypse scenarios. The article, Russian Apocalyptic, offers an insightful overview of Russian PA fiction and includes some interesting links to other sources. Very enlightening and enjoyable!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview with a Post-Apocalyptic Author Andrei Levitski

When I have a bit more time, I promise to interview Andrei myself - after all, he helped me so much when I was working on my first SF novel, The Astronauts. My book is due out this summer (fingers crossed!), and in the meantime, here's a link to another interview with Andrei Levitski, a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series author and co-creator of TechnoTma:

Interview with a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and TechnoTma author Andrei Levitski

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back in the USSR! A 1985 confidential list of banned Western bands

It's common knowledge that the Soviet leaders made sure that no Western propaganda crossed the Russian borders in any shape or form... and that included Western music first and foremost. Here's a copy of an authentic confidential document, dated January 10, 1985, issued by a local regional committee of Ukraine's (then part of the USSR) Young Communists' League for office use only.

In it, the committee secretary P. Grishin lists several Western bands and performers whose influence he believes to be corrupting and "recommends" (read: commands) to "consider" (read: ban). Well, he's not the first culture censor in history and definitely not the last... but I have a funny feeling that neither he nor his aides who had actually compiled the list for him had any idea what they were talking about...

I attach the copy of the list below, and here're just a few samples of the Western artists' utterly corrupting influence:

Pink Floyd - distorts the Soviet foreign policy, "Soviet aggression in Afghanistan"  
Julio Iglesias - neo-Nazism (eh?) 
Village People - violence (I have another name for it, but whatever turns him on...) 
Talking Heads - they spread the myth of the Soviet military threat  
10cc - neo-Nazism (eh?) 
Blondie - violence
Tina Turner - sex
Donna Summer - eroticism (I have a funny feeling his aides didn't know the difference... RIP, dear Donna...) 
Canned Heat - homosexuality (what? (Looks back up the list) But... I thought that... Ah, whatever.)

The list also includes most classic heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Nazareth for "violence, sadism, vandalism, neo-Nazism and religious superstition".

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Voice of Waterfalls - a psychological thriller by Natasha Salnikova

I absolutely have to feature this book even though a week ago I didn't even know it existed. I knew that Natasha Salnikova - a renowned Russian TV journalist now living in the USA - had put up a book or two on Kindle. What I didn't realize was that they were THAT good.

The Voice of Waterfalls tells a chilling story of a girl who escaped from an illegal brothel only to discover she'd got out of the frying pan into the fire... figuratively speaking of course, although fire would have probably been a safer option. No spoilers - read it for yourselves if you want to know what happened next... I personally wasn't able to put the bloody book down. Natasha's writing is remarkably strong and preserves occasional quirks of her mother tongue which add some extra charisma to the reading experience. Great book!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Brief History of Russian Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

My article about Russian PA fiction has been published at, the leading site for all things post-apocalyptic. In it, I speak about such milestones of Russian post-apocalyptic and dystopian science fiction as We (Modern Library Classics), Roadside Picnic (Rediscovered Classics), Metro 2033, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R novel series and one of its authors, Russian science fiction writer Alex Bobl, etc etc.