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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Faerin and the Gold (a medieval fantasy short story)

Another atmospheric piece of medieval fantasy from one of Ukraine's most popular sci fi and fantasy writers Victor Nochkin.

The Faerin and the Gold is a fine work of fantasy fiction that combines magic with heart-rending realism. This is how our past should have been, had we succeeded in living side by side with mythical fairy-tale creatures: fairies, faerins, goblins and the like. Told with a touch of humor and a large dose of wisdom and understanding, the Faerin and the Gold is a medieval tale of love and courage that is sure to touch many hearts.

If you would like to check Victor Nochkin's other works translated into English, click here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The third book of D. Rus' Play to Live series is out!

The Duty (Play to Live: Book # 3), the third book of D. Rus' bestselling Play To Live MMORPG series premiered today on Amazon to more rave reviews (now why doesn't that surprise me?). This is arguably the best book out of the three already translated, filled with drama and excitement as Max (or should I say Laith the Death Knight) and his friends take on the deadly Chinese mafia who attempt to turn AlterWorld into their stomping ground. The heroes' quest to liberate virtual slaves and defeat evil turns The Duty into a true rollercoaster of action and unexpected twists - new larger-than-life characters join the cast we already know on their way to glory and virtual riches!

A great read, can't recommend it enough.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A vampire romance novella by bestselling Ukrainian author Victor Nochkin

Did you think Russians (and Ukrainians) don't write vampire romances? Well then, how about Night, Rain and the City - a beautifully disturbing vampire fantasy novella by one of Ukraine's leading fantasy authors Victor Nochkin?

Set in the medieval world of heroic fantasy, Night, Rain and the City is a vampire novella with a difference. The four stories of its main characters gradually intertwine until all four come together in the rain-drenched streets of a night city to fight the battle for one lost soul: the soul of a vampire. The love line is tastefully done: erotic but definitely within the limits of the acceptable, it adds a finishing touch to this piece of medieval fantasy romance - leaving the reader longing for something the novella doesn't quite reveal.

About the author:

Viktor Nochkin is a bestselling Ukrainian fantasy writer, author of 25 traditionally published novels and numerous novellas and short stories that appeared in a number of SF/F publications. Night, Rain and the City is one of the rare translations of his fantasy novellas into English.

Happy reading!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The book is out!

The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Russia

is now available for download

on Amazon Kindle

Sending their fictional secret agents to Russia, espionage writers like Graham Greene and Ian Fleming have committed errors which in real life could cost their undercover heroes’ lives. In his masterpiece The Human Factor, Graham Greene made 16 mistakes on 9 pages when describing Russian characters and settings.

In those days of the Cold War, writers didn’t have Russian experts to advise them. YOU DO!

Who we are:
Irene is a native Russian speaker, born and raised in the USSR. Neil has spent the last twenty years studying Russian history and culture. Between the two of us, we know most of what there is to know about the Russians’ everyday life, their background and values.

More than that, we are writers ourselves. We know what a difference the right details make to a story… and how hard they often are to come by. We have the information you need to bring your Russian characters to life.

Let us show you what Russians really feel, think and say. From drinking habits to Stalinist mentality, from travel tips to accent advice, we've got it covered.

If you’ve seen too many Hollywood movies, your idea of Russia is a set of dated, hilarious cliches. Read this book to find out why:
  • A Russian wouldn’t frog-dance unless he was a Red Army Choir member – read Mistakes Sixteen and Seventeen to discover the biggest myths about Russian popular culture.

  • Do you think Soviet Russians called each other Comrade? Read Mistake Twenty-One to find out why they wouldn’t… and learn the protocol of using the Comrade word.

  • How about Russian names? Read Mistake Twenty-Three to find out why your Soviet-era character is highly unlikely to be called Ivan… and see lists of period-related Russian names.

In The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Russia, you’ll discover:

  • Which calendars Russians used during different periods, and how to calculate them
  • What kind of houses Russian and Soviet people used to live in and how those houses were heated, furnished and equipped
  • Why using Russian swear words in your book is not always a good idea
  • How those NKVD officers really felt about their jobs
The book contains many useful extras. Area phone codes, lists of public holidays by period, top 10 Soviet household must-haves, a period-related list of most popular Russian movies, even a top 10 list of dogs’ and cats’ names...

Lots of details to make your story ring true!

The Internet is packed with information about Russia. Some of it is wrong. How can you be sure which facts are correct and which are a lot of old cobblers?

We include links to RELIABLE sources
to help you with your own research.

This book is your guide to Russia and its people throughout history. Pick up your copy today – and get your Russian settings and characters just right!

Be the writer who says,
"I know what I'm talking about!"

Get the book on Amazon Kindle:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Play to Live by D. Rus: the bestselling MMORPG novel series now on Amazon!

D. Rus is a new bestselling author of the Play to Live series fame.

In 2012, a young and yet unknown Russian writer Dmitri Rus began uploading the opening chapters of his first ever novel "Играть, чтобы жить" (Play to Live) onto Russia's leading indie writing site Samizdat. The book, depicting the hero's adventures in a sword-and-sorcery world of an online role-playing game, became an instant hit among his readers - mainly MMORPG lovers. Its popularity was such that the manuscript was immediately bought by EKSMO, Russia's biggest publishing house. Despite having already been published in its entirety on the Internet, the novel became an overnight bestselling success. More books followed - at the moment, D. Rus is working on the seventh novel in the series in just over three years.

Set in the world of MMORPG - Massively multiplayer online role-playing games - his books tell stories of people who became stuck in the AlterWorld computer game and are forced to follow the rules of their new virtual home while preserving their own integrity. Similar in style and subject matter to The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, Play to Live novels mix traditional narration with game sequences, giving rise to a new bestselling Russian sci fi genre: LitRPG.

Now finally, the first three books of the Play to Live series are available in English on Amazon. They debuted to rave reviews from MMO aficionados and talks are now under way to have the remaining novels translated into English.

Fun and interesting? - you could say that! Play to Live is packed with adventures which don't become any less real just because they're set in a computer game. The main character Max is equal doses of cool geekiness, selfless courage and reluctant but heartfelt generosity. Real-life comedy and drama played out to the accompaniment of gaming events - a wonderful treat both for fiction lovers and game addicts.

More LitRPG books from other Russian authors - notably, Vasily Mahanenko's cult series Survival Quest (The Way of the Shaman: Book #1) are coming out even as we speak. Stay tuned for new updates!

Monday, June 23, 2014

An awesome modern version of a Russian folk song

For a dose of goosebumps, watch and listen to Russia's leading Turetsky Choir (the cutest male singers this side of the Atlantic) sing Black Raven, a traditional Cossack song. Two excellent English translations can be found at respectively Lyrics Translate and Soviet Songs in English. Make sure you use a good sound system - the voices and the sound engineering are nothing short of perfect.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Video: A young Russian man saves a stray dog fallen under ice

A group of four young Russian men who stopped by a frozen river near the Russian town of Podolsk (Moscow Region) to fix their car heard the howling of an old stray dog struggling to get out of the water. Not hesitating, one of them pulled off his clothes and jumped into the ice-cold water. You can see on the video how he forces his way through the ice in order to get to the dog. The man whose name is Ivan is a native of Yoshkar-Ola (Mari El Republic, Russia) and lives in the nearby village of Shishkino where he works at a local sawmill. Apparently, the young man suffers from a heart condition - still, he didn't hesitate to put his life at risk in order to save the animal. The young man decided to adopt the dog whom he named Rex.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What's going on in Kiev, Ukraine right now (video)

Hi all,

My friend and an award-winning Kievan author Ada Samarka has filmed a quick update on the current political situation in the Ukraine, reporting her own experiences. Specially for those who, as she says, "don't know any Russian or Ukrainian and still want some first-hand information". Reposts are welcome.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today is 70 years since the lifting of the siege of Leningrad (1941-1944)

They were dying in a frozen city devoid of food, water, heating, electricity and plumbing. They survived for months on a few ounces of ersatz bread made with sawdust. Many questioned their government's actions; quite a few openly admitted they'd rather their city surrendered to the Germans. Locked in the besieged city, they had no choice but to be heroes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

TransLiterary Books: Russian to English Literary Translation

I'm very happy to introduce a new translation company that specializes in just this: Russian books in English!  More fun and interesting stuff to read, hopefully!

Meet TransLiterary Books and their editorial director Neil Mayhew:

TransLiterary Books are an international translation company specializing in fiction, creative non-fiction, social sciences, copywriting, marketing and website translation.
We currently work with all combinations of English, Dutch, French and Russian. Our main specialization, however, is Russian to English literary translation.

Some of our clients are accomplished Russian authors and journalists whose short stories and articles in our translation have been published in American and Canadian literary magazines. Some of their books are now available at Amazon, Smashwords and other online publishers.

All our translators are bilingual native speakers of both the source and target languages. They are certified literary translators who know how to recreate the fine cultural context of the original text in their target language.Even more importantly, they are all professional writers and editors familiar with the intricacies of both Russian and English writing techniques and industry standards.

Our rates are affordable, subject to negotiation depending on the deadline and the nature of the project. They include professional editing and proofreading by a bilingual editor as well as formatting the finished manuscript, specifically electronic formatting for online publishers such as Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, etc. We also offer a range of editing and manuscript services.

We'll be happy to answer your questions and discuss your project if you care to drop us a line at our Contact Us page.

Neil Mayhew, Editorial Director
TransLiterary Books