Contemporary Russian Science Fiction. Part I. The Living by Anna Starobinets
We decided to start this year with a mini series of two programmes devoted to an immensely popular genre both in Russia and elsewhere - science fiction. Science fiction has always been immensely popular in Russia. It was American editor Hugo Ernsberg who first coined the term science fiction for the English-speaking world back in 1926. However more than 30 years before him a new genre of fiction called ‘Nauchnaya Fantastica’ or scientific fantasy was announced in the Russian popular science magazine ‘Nature and People’. Sci-fi gained a huge number of fans across the globe in the XX century and in our day and age it spurned many sub-genres: from cyber-punk to feminist eco-utopias. Today, to explore what is happing in Russian in this literary realm we talk to Anna Starobinets. She first made a splash here in Russian and beyond with her collection of Horror Stories called “An Awkward Age”, which earned the author a reputation of “The Queen of Russian Horror”. Her intricately constructed dystopian novel ‘The Living’ has been just published in the English translation.