Sneha Girap (Editor)

Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko

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Nationality  Ukrainian
Literary movement  "M"-realism
Name  Maryna Serhiy

Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko
Genre  Science-fiction, Fantasy, Fairy tale

Spouses Maryna Yuryevna Dyachenko and Serhiy Serhievich Dyachenko (rus. Марина и Сергей Дяченко, ukr. Марина та Сергій Дяченки) are Russophone Ukrainian co-authors of fantasy literature. They write in Russian, but also often first publish their books in Ukrainian. The Dyachenkos hail from Kiev and currently reside in Moscow, Russia.



Maryna and Serhiy claim that the bulk of their work is "M"-realism (a possible guess is that "M" stands for magic, but it was never confirmed by either author).

Their first work, The Gate-Keeper (Russian: Привратник), was published in 1994. This novel received the "Crystal Table" prize (Russian: Хрустальный стол) at the book festival Zoryany Schlyach, the novel was awarded the title "Best Debut Work" during EuroCon competition in 1995. The Gate-keeper became the first novel in Dyachenko's fantasy tetralogy Wanderers ("Скитальцы"). With publishing of The Scar (Russian: Шрам) (1997), the sequel of The Gate-Keeper, Dyachenko established themselves as masters of psychological fantastic fiction. The Scar has received "Sword in the Stone" award for best fantasy novel in 1997.

In 1996 a new novel, The Ritual (Russian: Ритуал) was published - a story about princess and the dragon. This work is very strange and unusual, since the dragon in this tale is a half-human. This novel did not receive much attention and was not awarded any prizes.

The novel Age of the Witch (1997) (Russian: Ведьмин век) has a unique setting - it contains characters from various (mainly Slavonic) mythologies, creating a unique background. This novel received a literature award from the magazine Rainbow (Russian: Радуга) in 1997 and the "Zilantkon" - "Great Zilant" prize (Russian: Зиланткон — Большой Зилант) in Kazan in 1998.

The novel The Cave (1998) (Russian: Пещера) was awarded "Moon Sword" prize in 1999 for the best work in the genre of "mystical literature" in 1997-1999.

The novel Burned Tower (1998) (Russian: Горелая Башня) received a prize at Interpresscon competition in 1999.

The novel The Frontier (1999) (Russian: Рубеж), written in co-authorship with A. Valentinov (Russian: А.Валентиновым) and H. L. Oldie (Russian: Г. Л. Олди), was awarded the "Golden Caduceus" prize at the festival "Star Bridge - 2000".

The novel The Execution (1999) (Russian: Казнь) received "The Wаnderer" award in 2000 and the Reader Appreciation award "Sigma-F" in 2000 as the Novel of the Year.

The novel Armaged-Home (Russian: Армагед-дом) (1999) is a result of the long-term effort, written in the genre of social science fiction. The book describes different periods of the female heroine's life and the society she lives in. In the opinion of many critics and readers, it is one of the best Dyachenko's novels.

The Green card (2000) (Russian: Зелёная карта) - this work is not a fantastic novel. It is a tale about people from Kiev, who have received an opportunity to immigrate to the United States. A screenplay was based on this book.

A variation on Cervantes' classic, novel Last Don Quixote (2000) (Russian: Последний Дон Кихот) became a base for a theatrical play. The novel was awarded the "Bronze Snail" (Russian: Бронзовая Улитка) (2001).

The novel Magicians Can Do Anything (2001) (Russian: Магам можно всё) was awarded the "Golden Caduceus" award at the "Golden Bridge - 2001" festival.

In 2001 Marina and Sergey Dyachenko were awarded the "Aelita" (Russian: Аэлита) prize.

The novel Valley of the Conscience (Russian: Долина Совести) was awarded the following prizes: "Bronze Snail - 2002", "Russian science fiction - 2002", "Sigma-F - 2002", and the "Golden Caduceus" award at the festival "Golden Bridge - 2002".

The novel Pandem (Russian: Пандем) took the "Silver Caduceus" prize at the "Star Bridge -2003" festival.

The novel Varan (Russian: Варан) was awarded the "Bronze Caduceus" prize at the "Star Bridge -2004" festival.

The novel The Pentacle (Russian: Пентакль), in co-authorship with A. Valentinov (Russian: А.Валентиновым) and G. L. Oldi (Russian: Г. Л. Олди), was awarded the "Golden Caduceus" prize at the "Star Bridge - 2005" festival.

The novel Wild Energy. Lana (March 2006) (Ukrainian: Дика Енергія. Лана) - is a fantasy fairy tale, written under impression of the music of the Ukrainian singer Ruslana (Ukrainian: Руслана). The book was dedicated to Ruslana as well. This novel is full of action, rhythm and energy. The novel was awarded the "Bronze Caduceus" prize at the "Star Bridge - 2006" festival.

In 2006 they published first part of the fantasy series named The Key of the Kingdom (Russian: Ключ от королевства) and its sequel Oberon's Word (Russian: Слово Оберона); trilogy was concluded with Evil Has No Power (Russian: У зла нет власти) in 2008. Alena and Aspirin (Russian: Алёна и Аспирин) - a psychological fantastic novel was published as well in 2006.

Vita Nostra was published in 2007, the first novel in the associated "Metamorphosis" cycle. The book collected dozen of professional and readers national awards.

The Copper King, fantasy novel loosely coonected to Varan, was published in 2008.

Digital, or Brevis Est, modern take of "world power" seduction theme, became the second novel in "Metamorphosis" cycle in 2009, and Migrant, or Brevi Finietur, extraterrestrial science fiction novel, became the third in 2010.

Possessed, modern urban fantasy, was published in 2011.

Literary awards

Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko are recipients of the most prestigious literary awards in the science fiction in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Practically every novel they have written, in addition to several short stories, have received various awards.

They were honored as the ESFS's Best Writers of Europe in Eurocon 2005.

Fictional Creatures and Objects Created by Writers

This section lists unique objects and creatures, which were never used in any other work, or very little know ones, such as "Chugaister" (Russian: Чугайстер).

  • "Glaive" (from the book Armaggedon-Home) - This is a dalphin's larva that emerged during the apocalypse. It is deadly for all living objects. Extremely survivable, resistant to high temperature, they need no shelter and are able to get through the apocalypse without taking cover. Dalphins in this novel resemble real dolphins. They have evolved to survive the apocalypse in the following way: females lay eggs once every twenty years, right before the apocalypse. Critical changes in the environment, and sometimes just the warning signs, stimulate development of the larvae. Creatures migrate back to the ocean when seismic activity is over. Their next stage of the development is the cocoon. Dalphin spends inside the cocoon from the one to two month, an adult species emerges afterwards. In the world of this book, mentioning of the glaives is a taboo, probably from the fear of them. The word glaive means an edged weapon that was used in the medieval times.
  • "The Yellowmore" (Russian: Желтомар) (from the book Bastard) is a wizard's trap. It looks like an old man carved out of a tree. This old man smokes a pipe that emits yellow smoke. Smoke kills living things, by homing on the body heat.
  • "The Devourer" (Russian: Зажора) (from the book Bastard) is a wizard's trap. It is a hole in the ground that attracts its victims with a children's cry for help. Approaching victim gets sucked in by a whirlwind.
  • "Calidons" (Russian: Калидоны) (from the book The Ritual) are gigantic white birds, which live near the dragons. They pluck their own soft white feathers in order to hatch their chicks.
  • "Mryga" (Russian: Мрыга) (from the book Armaggedon-Home) is an apocalypse, that comes periodically, approximately every twenty years. During this period "The gates" are formed: objects of the unknown nature, that look like a stone arch with a mirror inside. People who enter the mirror are safe from the apocalypse and are able to return after it is over. "Minor gates" are formed as well, these are used by the animals and can not be employed by humans. There are enough gates formed, so every person has an opportunity to be saved if he/she enters the nearest one. These gates are transmitting some kind of signal, but humans were not able to determine what it is.
  • "Nav", "Navka", "Nyavka" (Russian: Навь, навка, нявка) (from the book Age of the Witch) is a magic creature that takes its form after a person who has recently died. It is brought to life if someone loved that dead person and wished for him/her to come back. Nav is using deception to kill a person who brought it to life. Nav, as well as Chugaister, is taken from the Ukrainian mythology, but it is different in many ways. For example: in the classical Ukrainian novel The Forest Song (Ukrainian: Лісова Пісня) by Lesya Ukrainka, main character is Mavka, which is a sprite, spirit of the forest.
  • "Chugaister" (Russian: Чугайстер) (from the book Age of the Witch, probably taken from a book "The Forest Song" by Lesya Ukrainka ) is a magical creature that is very similar to the human. Chugaisters, sometimes by themselves, sometimes in a group, destroy Navs (see above), by dancing around them. By doing so they make Navs to dance with them until they collapse dead. Chugaister was taken from the Ukrainian mythology, but is somewhat different from the original creature.
  • "Elfoush" (Russian: Эльфуш) (from the book The Well Master) is a little flying somewhat intelligent creature, which resembles an elf. Little children and people who are in love can understand what elfoushes say, thus becoming their prey.
  • "Housekeeper" (Russian: Домохранец) (from the book The Well Master) is a little house demon, looks like a little man with spider's legs.
  • References

    Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko Wikipedia