Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Russian Apocalyptic" - Russell1200 speaks of new Russian novels in Reflexiones Finales

A great article from a great critic and post apocalyptic aficionado: russell1200 writes in his Reflexiones Finales - the PA blog discussing apocalyptic books and philosophy - about the latest developments in the Russian PA fiction, with a generous mention of yours truly.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

He Glows in the Dark… with Ideas

If you think it's a funny title wait till you see my co-author and you'll have to agree with me. His name is Andrei Levitski, and the post-apocalyptic novel series Technotma is entirely our baby: we've conceived and written it together, the two of us. But in Russia and Eastern Europe Andrei is best known as the most popular author of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. post-apocalyptic series. At some point, S.T.A.L.K.E.R  even made it into the Guinness book of Records for its then-largest print run.

But I'd rather show not tell, so let Andrei Levitski speak for himself in this little interview for my  Obviously Incredible readers:

art by I. Khivrenko

Me: Andrei, from what I hear, you have some rather unique childhood memories?

A.L.: I do indeed. My Gran used to live in Chernobyl, of all places, and when I was little, I used to stay at her place a lot. I spent a lot of time doing things all boys do: roaming around, investigating the woods and fishing in the Prypiat. We did venture out to the nuclear power station, too, keeping our heads down, of course, because in the Soviet times it was heavily guarded. Then the disaster struck, and we became refugees overnight... and had to move to Kiev.

art by I. Khivrenko
Me: And you lived happily ever after?

A.L.: No, I didn't. I always craved a complete change so, once I started to earn enough as a writer, I bought a house in a Bulgarian village high in the mountains, and moved there. You can call me a hermit if you want (laughs). 

Me: Have you ever been back to Chernobyl?

A.L.: A few times, yes. It's so totally different there these days. I simply couldn't recognize any of the old familiar streets or landmarks. If you can imagine a city overgrown with trees, silent buildings with gaping paneless windows, brambles bursting up through concrete pavements...

Me: A perfect post-apocalyptic setting, isn't it? So this is where you find inspiration for your books?

art by I. Khivrenko

A.L.: Absolutely! First, for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and later, for TechnoTma. You remember, don't you?

Me: How can I forget!

A.L.: Some of the TechnoTma books have just come out in German. The English translation shouldn't take long, either.

Me: Readers keep asking me questions about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. novels. Is it the same with you?

A.L.: They do indeed. The series had some decent print runs. I still get emails almost every day from people wanting to know when they should expect a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. book.

art by I. Khivrenko
Me: What do you do when you don't work? 

A.L.: I don't. A writer has no nine-to-five job to go to. He works twenty four-seven. If you don't write, you think what to write next. You never stop thinking about your current work in progress: you just keep rolling ideas around in your head. (Me: Didn't I tell you he'd soon start glowing in the dark with ideas?) I do love traveling, though. Recently, I took nine days off and traveled around the Balkans, visiting Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. I like watching good old movies - not too old, but nothing too modern as today's blockbusters leave me cold. I also read quite a bit.

art by I. Khivrenko
Me: Good for you! Well, thanks a lot for the interview. Anything you'd like to say to our readers?

A.L.: If you want a book to read, buy one, don't be tempted to download a free pirated copy. Piracy's bad for your karma!

Me: Thank you very much! Good luck with your new books!

A.L.: Likewise!

The English translation of Memoria.A Corporation of Lies is finished! With any luck, the book will be available on Amazon early this summer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who is he - John Mason or Balazs Pataki?

He is the first author who wrote Stalkers novels on English. Real Name Balazs Pataki, pen-name John Mason.

Russia has published over fifty books about stalkers - rangers of the Chernobyl exclusion Zone (I also wrote two books). Within one year Russia got its own subculture, a living world of the Stalker game. But all the novels were published only in Russian. Today I met the author of two Stalker novels published in English. His books you can buy on Amazon.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Southern Comfort
To outsiders, the former USSR is always been a place where everything is strangely different. All the more so in the Exclusion Zone around the ill-fated Chernobyl power plant, where after a secret experiment went wrong in 2006, the laws of physics are bent and mysterious phenomena manifest. In 2011, another Zone is apparently created after Al-Qaeda detonated nukes in Afghanistan. Ukrainian authorities send a research team to verify the claims. The scientists go missing and a search and rescue operation is launched. For Mikhailo Tarasov, officer in the armed forces who desperately try to contain the Exclusion Zone, this mutant-infested wilderness is his home turf. But when he sets out on his mission into the New Zone, he soon finds himself facing perils he has never encountered before. His mission becomes a struggle against evil permeating the wastelands, confronted with the shadows of the country’s troubled history at each step. Tarasov is aided by unlikely allies – outcasts, adventurers, renegade US Marines and a mysterious woman who appears to be the keeper of dark secrets. But beyond all the perils, the ultimate danger awaits: betrayal. The noir, post-apocalyptic narrative of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Southern Comfort goes is a contemporary voyage into the heart of darkness, where not only the laws of physics are bent but the rules of the outside world as well. This is an alternative reality where outcasts prevail, the oppressed take revenge and the faithful revolt.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Northern Passage The sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Southern Comfort

Stalkers and the Zone still decides over the fate of souls living within its wild frontiers. Behind the scenes, the Ukrainian Secret Service is forcing a fallen hero to betray a friend.

In the New Zone, the Exclusion Zone’s vast twin phenomenon and apparently created after nuclear warheads devastated Afghanistan in 2011, renegade US Marines calling themselves the Tribe patrol the mountain ranges, Stalkers try to establish themselves in ruins of Bagram Air Base and mutated predators migrate to the anomaly-infested plains. All these dangers can not dissuade those hardy souls who brave the New Zone. But whatever their motives, however great their courage, a new power is arising and its vicious plan threatens to destroy them all.

Major Tarasov, a Spetsnaz commander turned renegade, knows the New Zone’s darkest secrets. While in a land far away, he receives alarming messages from the Exclusion Zone. Is an old friend in danger? Does someone else know the secrets he discovered? Or could it be a trap set by his former masters to lure him back?

Read Russian Books in English: The Savior - a psychological thriller by Natasha S...

Read Russian Books in English: The Savior - a psychological thriller by Natasha S...: 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...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Art in Russia: Vladimir Manyukhin

art by V. Manyukhin
It's high time I introduce Vladimir Manyukhin, Russia's leading graphic artist working in the post apocalyptic genre and incidentally, a very good friend of mine. Vladimir has a very special talent for converting existing images of popular landmarks to barren landscapes devoid of any traces of civilization. Recently, Vladimir has been getting some very positive feedback in the international media, so let's hope his works get the appreciation they deserve!

art by V. Manyukhin

By the way, Vladimir Manyukhin has also created the cover art for both the Russian and English versions of Memoria. A Corporation of Lies - my last novel set in a futuristic post-war USA. Below you can see the English cover as well as some of Vladimir's more inspired work. Enjoy!


Friday, May 4, 2012

German translations of TechnoTma books available on!

Great news: two of the TechnoTma books, Password Eternity and The Wasteland Clans, have come out in German and are now available on If you read German (I don't :)) you can pre-order both if you follow this link. Not sure about the cover of the first one, renamed Zeit der Dunkelheit, but it's up to the publisher, really. He sure knows what appeals to German readers. 
The second book, The Wasteland Clans, or Das W├╝ste Land, is available for pre-order and is expected to come out on March 11 2013.

I'm very excited and curious to see the German readers' reactions... and hopefully, reviews. If I'm not mistaken, the German book market is second to USA alone... so we'll see!