“Anything you can do I can do better,” says speculative literature to realism

Here’s a fresh interview with Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, published in J.M. Sidorova’s  Narratology blog. She herself is a biomedical research scientist and a writer of speculative fiction.

Here’s a quote from the interview:

Why speculative fiction? What role does it play in your books? In the society?

MARINA AND SERGEY: Fantastika (i.e speculative fiction) can do everything that regular literature can do, plus a bit more. It has extra possibilities. These possibilities allow readers to see life in a paradoxical light, juxtaposing the un-juxtaposable. It’s the possibility of the impossible. If literature is — doctor’s offices and hospitals, ambulances and maternity wards – and life without them is impossible, of course —then fantastika is a research lab. Yeah you can do without it, but where will there be progress?

Fantastika lets us perform experiments with the future, and searches for future even in the past. Fantasika writers can travel through galaxies and through wormholes of the subconscious. Fantastika rules, she has no bounds or boundaries, she is the freest genre. She is the highlight that transforms a drab and dusty house into a magic palace by night. A while ago we came up with this tongue-and-cheek Fantastika Manifesto for our workshop. It goes like this:

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DRAGONS Movie Production Began!

Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs Production company announced the beginning of filming the DRAGONS fantasy movie, based on RITUAL, the short novel by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. The Russian national film industry website Kinopoisk.ru had the chance to hear exclusive news and pictures from the stage.

DRAGONS will tell the compelling love story of the man-dragon shapeshifter Armand and the young princess Mirosava whom he stole from her parents palace to keep prisoner in his island stronghold. The Dyachenkos’ novel had several twists that made the book stunningly unpredictable. According to the the film director Indar Dzhendubaev the film will largely follow its plot, but the screenplay adds a lot to the story to make it even more intriguing. Starring roles went to young actors Matvey Lykov and Maria Poezhaeva.

Prohodna Cave in Bulgaria was picked as the main location for the outdoor shootings. When shooting ends, the film crew will move to Mosfilm Studio soundstages to complete the production. Bazelevs intends to premiere DRAGONS during the fall of 2015 in Russia.

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Read AGE OF WITCHES Kindle Edition!

Age of Witches, Cover of 2014 Kindle edition

Age of Witches, Cover of 2014 Kindle edition

The English translation of Sergey and Marina Dyachenko internationally praised novel AGE OF WITCHES has been released for Kindle!

The translation of the novel was e-published on July 30, 2014 and is now available from Amazon.com.

A Teaser from the Book Description:

Is it easy to be a witch? Who can, and more importantly, who would want to understand her: this evil otherworldly creature, the symbol of promiscuity and whimsy? The symbol of the Woman?

Is it easy to be the Great Inquisitor? Who can, and more importantly, who would want to understand him, a heartless executioner, carrying out the will of the Inquisition? What would happen if the souls of these two, as incompatible as ice and fire, come into contact?

The novel THE AGE OF WITCHES contains several winningly rare combinations: a thriller, a detective story and a melodrama, blending Western traditions and Eastern European textures. The epic scope of events and tension go hand in hand with the intense psychological twister representing the characters’ inner lives. An element of mystery allows for a new approach to ancient questions.

The dense atmosphere of a modern city is invaded by the poetry of folk demonology. The characters abide by the cruel laws of nuclear society, and by those of a mythical world. This is a book about love, but also about the price of freedom, and the meaning of life. It is about what can save our world from being suffocated by contradictions and hate.

The Amazon.com page for the book gives short history of  AGE OF WITCHES international acclaim:

The book, first published in 1997, has endured 9 republications in Russia, and has been translated into many foreign languages. It was named the best book of the year in Ukraine (the “Raduga” award), Russia (the “Great Zilant” award), and Poland (the “Sphinx award”).

Also, check out the English subtitled booktrailer for this novel.

AGE OF WITCHES became the third major work from Dyachenkos translated to English. Kirkus Reviews has starred THE SCAR novel from Tor Books , and also reviewed VITA NOSTRA when it was released for Kindle through Amazon.

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Booktrailer for AGE OF WITCHES!

The booktrailer for AGE OF WITCHES by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko with English subtitles has been uploaded to YouTube after Trident Media Group decided to publish the novel online.


The booktrailer was created under the direction of Oleg Assadulin (Dark World: Equilibrium), with subtitles translated by Julia Meitov Hersey. Enjoy!

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Metal Group Recorded Album Inspired by Dyachenkos’ Novel

Mirror Morionis - 'Eternal Unforgiveness' Album Cover

Mirror Morionis - Eternal Unforgiveness Album Cover

Mirror Morionis, the internationally known HM band from Tomsk, recently released an Atmospheric Doom Metal CD album entitled “Eternal Unforgiveness”. The album is an unusual tribute to Marina and Sergey Dyachenkos’ fantasy fiction – all lyrics were inspired by SKRUT, one of the first (and probably darkest) novels of the authors.


Femme Metal Webzine reviewed “Eternal Unforgiveness” and gave it a 95 of 100:

The songs are all masterpieces, but the two biggest standouts on the album for me are “Her Morion Eyes” (seriously epic; and could have been even more epic lyrically if Cataract had not been hindered by writing in his second language, which I feel caused him to miss a few tricks with the potential for vocal interplay between Mirror and himself – their character roles could have played opposing parts more prominently) and “The Sun Will Never Rise” (especially the combination of the guitar and vocal melodies together when “Farewell, your life erases me, forever fail, forever die” first comes in – it is absolutely stunning – a moment of exceptional musical greatness even on an overall great album that is full of great moments). “Eternal Unforgiveness” could well be considered a concept album as all of the songs cover the same topical themes so all of them are connected in that sense, and some of them are directly connected to each other.


Check out their YouTube page for an atmospheric and beautiful video version of “When Mirror Cries”. Enjoy!


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“The Seventh Rune”: New Original TV Series Scripted by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko Went to Production

In recent years, writing scripts for feature movies and TV series has become the main part of Marina and Sergey Dyachenko’s professional work. Now, information has been released regarding the beginning of production of their new original fantasy series “The Seventh Rune” under the banner of Mars Media Company with Sergey Popov at the director’s chair.

The leading parts in “The Seventh Rune” will be performed by Viktor Sukhorukov, Yuliya Snigir, Agniya Kuznetsova and Yuri Kolokolnikov.

Yuliya Snigir, the leading actress in Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Inhabited Island recently worked with Bruce Willis in John Moore’s action blockbuster A Good Day To Die Hard. She commented on her involvement in the new series, and mentioned that filming will be held in Karelia and Saint-Petersburg; her character is the courageous journalist.

Julia Snigir in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Julia Snigir in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

The first season of the other modern fantasy series scripted by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko – “Dark World: The Balance” directed by Oleg Assadulin has been scheduled by Russian TV to air during the fall of 2013. The new novel based-on-the-script of the same title will be published by Eksmo.

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TRIUMVIRATE by Yulia Andreeva: The artistic biographies of the writers

Yulia Andreeva, Triumvirate

Yulia Andreeva, Triumvirate

It’s a rare bird in Russian fandom, but here it is: Yulia Andreeva, writer from Sant-Petersburg, published a limited edition of TRIUMVIRATE, the book with the artistic biographies of the three modern literary fantasy writers – Henry Lion Oldie (aka Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhenskiy), Andrei Valentinov and Marina and Sergey Dyachenko.

Yulia Andreeva writes:

“I kept this project to myself for quite a while. Eventually I did bring it to light.
Everyone asks me: “How can you work with these… ahem …titans?” I don’t mind. I’ve written about Herod the Great. Not much scares me after him.
I am so incredibly lucky. Everyone in this book has an amazing biography. There’s martial arts, archaeological excavations, and even underwater hunting. Happiness, sorrow, friendship, betrayal… But the most important is the tremendous work they do every day.”

And now for something completely different… Well, you know, not really… But… It’s…

THE BOOKTRAILER! The real thing mastered by Bronya Gromova, with English narration and subtitles added by Anastasia Dyachenko. Enjoy!

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Alisa Award for THE LAST CENTAUR!

The Last Centaur, 2012 Russian edition cover

The Last Centaur, 2012 Russian edition cover

Marina and Sergey Dyachenko’s THE LAST CENTAUR was proclamed “the best book for children and young adults” of the previous year and got Alisa Award at the Russia major national convention RosCon at March 29, 2013.

Rosman Publishing House, the publisher of the book, highlighted the news on their website:

THE LAST CENTAUR began the Dyachenkos’ touching and romantic trilogy about a kind and wise centaur Sebastian who has lost his people and is looking for friends among people and animals. It was published by Rosman in September 2012 and has won the warm affection of readers and critics. During the award ceremony, Sergey Dyachenko announced that the second book in the series had already been finished and the writers were working on the final book. “We do not know how the story will end yet, but this award has inspired us to explore something unprecedented” – said Sergey with the award in his hands.

Congratulations to Sergey and Marina Dyachenko on receiving the prize! The continuation of Sebastian’s story will be available to readers this autumn!

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“The White Guard” Won “The Golden Eagle” Award for the Best TV Production!

The Golden Eagle Award trophy

The Golden Eagle Award trophy

TV series “The White Guard”, based on the Marina and Sergey Dyachenko screenplay, was awarded by “The Golden Eagle” as the best Russian TV production of the 2012!

“The White Guard” is 6-hour mini-series TV adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic novel of the same title. Series dramatizes historical perturbations of Winter 1918-1919 in Kiev during the Russian civil war and focuses on family of Turbins found themselves in midst of tragic world-changing events. Sergey Snezhkin directed mini-series featured many popular Russian movie stars including Konstantin Khabensky (“Wanted”), Sergey Garmash (“House”), Fyodor Bondarchuk (“Inhabitad Island”) and others.

“The Golden Eagle” is a Russian equivalent of an “Oscar” and “Emmy” awards combined, most prestigious Russian annual award presented by National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Russia.

Aleksey Serebryakov in The White Guard as Feliks Nay-Turs

Aleksey Serebryakov in The White Guard as Feliks Nay-Turs

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Happy New Year! – And One More Film

Marina and Sergey just addressed to all of you with the holiday greets:

Dear Friends!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year for all of you!

We have a modest gift for you – here is a short debute film made by our daughter Anastasia! Hope you’ll like it!

Marina + Sergey

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