Good Russian and Eastern European SF/F/Horror
July 8, 2014 7:54 PM   Subscribe

I really love the sort of bleak/dark horror/fantasy/science fiction from Russia and Eastern Europe. I loved the Nightwatch series, loved Solaris, loved the Metro series. What else would I love from that part of the world?
posted by Ghostride The Whip to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
I take it you have read The Master and Margarita? For it is dark and lovely.
posted by jadepearl at 7:59 PM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Here is the link since iPads and edit windows do not play well.
posted by jadepearl at 8:07 PM on July 8, 2014

On the lighter side of bleak, Kin-Dza-Dza. On the darker side, Werckmeister Harmonies. See also this thread.
posted by eschatfische at 8:15 PM on July 8, 2014

Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 8:25 PM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

The always amazing Dedalus Books publishes a lot of interesting Eastern European compendiums and classics that, as far as I know, are not otherwise accessible in English.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:31 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

While we're on the topic of Bulgakov, check out the two short novels: "The Fatal Eggs" and "A Dog's Heart" (AKA "Heart of a Dog"). Both are quick and entertaining reads.

Also, take a look at Pelevin, and at Sorokin's "Day of the Oprichnik" (especially relevant these days).

"Roadside Picnic" should be right up your alley, as someone mentioned, as well as "Hard to be a God" by the Strugatskys.
posted by Behemoth at 8:41 PM on July 8, 2014

The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:46 PM on July 8, 2014

Also, if you haven't read it: We by Zamyatin.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:47 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's just set in Russia and not actually written by a Russian, but I can never recommend Yellow Blue Tibia enough.
posted by Sara C. at 9:09 PM on July 8, 2014

Another recommendation about Russia rather than from Russia--I highly recommend Deathless by Catherynne M Valente is a wonderfully delirious dark fantasy breeding Russian folklore with difficult parts of 20th century Russian history such as the Stalinist regime and the seige of Leningrad. The audiobook was pitch perfect and how I read it.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:12 PM on July 8, 2014

Haven't read it yet but the other day I came across The Year 4338: Petersburg Letters / 4338-й год: Петербургские письма, published in 1835. Wikipedia links to a translation.
posted by XMLicious at 11:18 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Roadside Picnic was also loosely adapted into the 1979 film Stalker, which was then itself sort-of adapted into the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series, which heavily informed both the Metro 2033 book and games.

Basically, Russians and Ukrainians really like AK-totin' post-nuclear hellscapes.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:45 AM on July 9, 2014

Came in here only to see that Stalker was already recommended-- it was indeed a good one!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 3:04 AM on July 9, 2014

Viy by Gogol.
There is a movie, too.
posted by Oli D. at 3:43 AM on July 9, 2014

Roadside Picnic is probably the definitive answer to this question, and the movie "Stalker" is fantastic at evoking the mood you're looking for. I would also recommend a found-footage horror film from a few years ago called "Chernobyl Diaries."
posted by jbickers at 5:50 AM on July 9, 2014

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