Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Surfing Around



You know, Russian "fantastica" has some of the best covers I've ever seen. (Some of the worst too. And some repeats of covers for other books, which doesn't usually happen at Western publishers anymore.)

Check out the 2003 Eksmo cover for Oleg Volkovsky's People of Fire. Look at the liveliness of that fire. Look at how the guy actually has some weight and wasn't made by Poser.

This novel, by the way, is just one of several recent Russian sf novels with the plot, "What if the Anti-Christ fooled people into thinking he was the Second Coming?"

I'm not as fond of this cover, though I do like the design and the little inset. But I like the premise of the main story in this collection, "The Seven Rainbow Sins". Someone invents a device which allows you to see your neighbor's seven deadly sins, each represented by a color. How do you keep living in a world where your secret shames aren't secret anymore? (I'm betting the answer is frequent confession and a contrite heart... but since it's a Russian story, I'm betting that gets to be a problem, too....)

What I really need to do is find an anthology series with a good mix of stories from throughout the last century of Russian sf/f. The problem is that Russian anthologies of this type tend to be flooded with classic stories from American and English sf/f, i.e., stories I've already read. This is not of course true of American anthologies, so I'm kinda stuck.

However, I do think I ought to get both volumes of Fantastica 2003, which seems to be some sort of "Best of 2001 in Russia" anthology. I have a feeling I need to get on the stick about this, since it's already 2005!

Btw, the good news is that I found out our library's now got a good-sized section of Russian books. (Apparently many of them were in storage until the library got more shelves.) I can probably pass on any Russian books to them with a clear conscience, so that means I can buy more Russian books! Mwha-ha-ha!

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