Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Russian SF/F Sources



Most of the Brothers Strugatsky's major novels are still available in the US, if you regard used bookstores and libraries as available. I read some of these in junior high, and found the translation very flat. Of course, I may be older now and have a little more patience; and any translation is helpful if you're using it as a crib for the original. The Strugatskys were also pleased to make their books available online as soon as possible.

(Many Russian authors are happy to do this, given the oddities of book distribution in Russia. Generally, however, you will find only excerpts or nothing at all of their newest or most popular books. This is because Russian publishers are now selling low-priced e-books to catch their farflung markets.)

There were also a few Russian anthologies that came out in translation, so you might poke around looking for them.

Fossicker Books is now publishing translations through Capricorn Publishing. Their catalog is a PDF file at the top of the page. They primarily sell their books online through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.co.uk, apparently. (Amazon has plot blurbs explaining what they're about, which B&N apparently does not.)

Current selections include: Kir Bulychev's charming stories about Alice, a little girl of the future who manages to get in and out of trouble faster than her biologist father can keep up with, his story collection The Perpendicular Worlds of Kir Bulychev, and his starship wreck novel, Those Who Survive; the Strugatskys' Destination Amalthea and Far Rainbow; Ivan Yefremov, The Andromeda Nebula; Vladimir Vasilyev, Death or Glory; and Alexander Belyaev, The Amphibian. These are all pretty famous books. But you'll notice a distinct preference for fairly hard sf!

(Not to mention that the authors are all men...though apparently this was largely true of Russian sf until quite recently.)

If you want to buy books in Russian, there are immigrant Russian bookstores in most big cities and most carry at least some sf/f/horror. There are also several Internet bookstores and bookstores with Internet presence. I've had good luck with kniga.com, which is out of New York.

If anybody else knows any English language sources for translations, I'd be glad to post links to them on my blog.

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