Young Adult Books to Read Immediately

Our friend Dmitry Bykov, a renowned writer, poet, and journalist, has compiled a list of required reading for adolescents, drawing from Russian and world literature. Vita Nostra got a shoutout:

A child who hasn’t read Vita Nostra is missing out on life. Go buy it right now and begin reading, in small portions. And no matter what, don’t do the things it describes. Those things require serious supervision and an adult presence, but it wouldn’t hurt to read and try it on for size. Also, read the Wanderers series.

Here’s the original post:

Dmitry Bykov writes and talks about literature history and theory. He hosts lectures and discussions and writes both fiction and non-fiction. Here’s some more info about him.

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He is a Dragon Soundtrack

Some haunting music to get you through the cold nights of winter, taken from the Simon Finley (composer of the He is a Dragon OST) page on soundcloud. Best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a good book.

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Scar Review by Aliette de Bodard

Aliette de Bodard is a French-American  science fiction and fantasy author. From her website:

I gobbled it up in a day and found myself rereading choice passages. I love the budding relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon, but also the fact that her friendship with Kasia remains the anchor of the story–and the Wood is such a creepy creation, the stuff of nightmares!

De Bodard is the author of House of Shattered Wings, winner of the British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel, among many other books. Check out her work!

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The Scar Review

The Scar made onto the Top Fantasy Books of Summer 2017 by blogger Elisha Long:

This book will hit you right in the feels. It starts out like expected but quickly turns sour as our main character finds out the hard way the consequences of being to prideful. This book is sad and times and joyful at others. Its incredible how you I could relate to the main character.

Take a look at the list, there are some great reads on there.

Thanks to out for the info!

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The Foundling in Production

The Foundling, the new remake of the 1939 classic Soviet film about the adventures of a lost child in the big city, is in the midst of production in Moscow. Reinvented by the Dyachenkos, it has been transported into modernity, while featuring some of the most iconic locations in the original film – see if you can spot a couple in these snapshots from set!

courtesy of the Official Dyachenko Fan Club on

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Food for Thought

August is the eve of summer. September is the dawn of autumn.

from Alena and Aspirin


from, the official Dyachenko Fan Club.

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Representing Russian Fantasy Worldwide

Earlier this month, the annual Hugo Awards Ceremony took place at the WorldCon convention held in Helsinki, Finland. The award, one of the oldest and most respected in the industry, has been commemorating science fiction authors and artists worldwide since 1953, notable recipients including Isaac Azimov, J. K. Rowling, Ray Branbury and Orson Welles.

According to records, more than 8,7 thousand visited WorldCon this year, the majority representing the States and Finland. Strikingly, only 26 attendees identified as Russian.

The surprisingly low number raises the issue of representation of Slavic fantasy on the worldwide market, and why awareness is low among Western readers.

Of course, the issue of translation is at the core of that reason. The Russian language is notoriously difficult to transfer into American terms, and much of the pressure falls on the translator themselves. At times, the cultural rift between the two cultures causes even more to be lost in translation.

Be that as it may, Sergey and Marina identify another possible reason for this issue in the modern context: the differing roles of multimedia in the two fantasy traditions. Fantasy films and TV shows are a huge chunk of the American film scene, pulling strings behind book sales and merchandise, which is not the case in Slavic countries.

It’s a difficult rift to mend, but Russian fantasy ought to take steps to put itself out there.

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Food for Thought

“To be alive is to be vulnerable. The depths of hell are a soap bubble’s membrane away. Ice on the road. An old cell’s error. A child picks up a pill from the floor.”

– an excerpt from Vita Nostra.

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Draconic Sequel In The Works


A few days ago, director Igor Tsay – known for his work on Day Watch (2006), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), and Lucky Trouble (2011) – pitched the sequel to He Is A Dragon on behalf of Bazelevs to the Russian Film Fund. The story will bring to life character from the original novel by the Dyachenkos, and will explore love in long-term relationships and modern romance. The film is to be produced in collaboration with Chinese film companies.

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He’s a Dragon: International Titles

In the world of dragons, one’s name bears sacred meaning and tells tales of ancestries and bloodlines. Interestingly, the title of the film adaptation of The Ritual has been translated in a variety of ways. Worldwide, the film is known as He’s A Dragon (as seen on this page) or Dragons. In France, the title was translated to Dragon Inside Me, in the UK to I Am Dragon, and in Germany to Dragon: Love Is A Scary Tale. Which title speaks most to you?

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