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New Science Fiction From L.


A captivating literary odyssey, New Science Fiction from L. unveils nothing short of a universe: a world where magic happens, a world we live in, a world that might have a future.

Helsinki, July 2020. A scientist who left Russia fleeing trumped-up treason charges is found dead outside his apartment. The task of sorting through the books from his home library falls to Darja, a local student helping out at a second-hand bookshop. In a huge atlas of Arctica, she finds notes of a mysterious investigation that the deceased carried out. The scientist searched for people to interview them from the former Soviet Union, today scattered all over the world, from Kazakhstan and Georgia, Finland and Italy, to Canada. In the recorded interviews, the subjects are asked to recall an anthology of sci-fi short stories. These stories seem to be written by authors of various origin – Latvia, Lviv (Ukraine), Leningrad etc – translated into Russian or published in original languages. 

Despite the key differences as of original language, publishers, titles of the stories and names of the writers, the plots and subjects of the stories in the collection were nearly identical. What’s more, every reader accounts of their reading experience as nothing less but miraculous and life changing.

Now Darja is set to continue the dead scientist’s investigation, and she starts with identifying NSFL readers’ club, whose members, it turns, hired him in the first place. This decision sets off a breath-taking chain of events that will turn upside down Darja’s dreamy pandemic summer and might change the future of our civilization.

New Science Fiction from L. is a gripping literary quest set on the eve of a new European war and in the twilight years of the Soviet empire. It speaks in many voices and takes the reader many places: from Kyiv and Tbilisi in the 1980s to the Riga, Bologna and St. Petersburg of the 2010s. Both a compassionate tale of self-discovery and an unflinching reckoning with toxic nostalgia, New Science Fiction from L. is a glimpse of what Russophone literature can be when it stops navel-gazing and engages with the world beyond Russian imperial myths.

Book details

Elena Shubina publishing (AST)

Novel, 2023

512 pp

Rights sold

  • Audio rights Litbuk

Literary awards

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