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Valentynov, Andriy

Entry updated 26 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1958-    ) Writing name of Andriy Shmalko, a Ukrainian historian, archaeologist and author, much of whose work is robust historical fiction (see History in SF), not listed below, in which the "genre" component is limited to the incisive application of his day-job to the description and retelling of events from the Roman Republic, ancient Crete, the Greek colonization of Crimea and other periods in history. His interest in Fantastika first became apparent in Prestupivshiye ["The Oversteps"] (1995), in which the social upheavals of the fall of the Soviet Union are reinterpreted as the outward manifestation of a centuries-long struggle between humans and dhar ["the Gifted"], a Pariah Elite of Shapeshifters whose existence is responsible for much historical myth and legend. Prequels and sequels over the next few years would establish Prestupivshiye as the midpoint of an Alternate History of Russia's twentieth century, Oko Sily ["The Eye of Power"], subsequently extended further by the Logres series that dips into dhar manifestations in medieval and revolutionary France, seventeenth-century Italy, and fifteenth-century Spain. Much of his work might be described as a form of Multiverse fiction exemplified in English by some of the serials of Michael Moorcock, particularly the Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat stories. Like Moorcock, Valentynov often seems like a postmodernist sf author (see Postmodernism and SF) ill-suited for the Pulp venues in which he sometimes finds himself.

Valentynov embarked on several fruitful collaborations with other authors on the Matter of Ukraine, including the Rubezh ["Frontier"] series with "Henry Lion Oldie" (pseud for Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhensky), Marina and Sergei Dyachenko, beginning with Zimoyu siroty v tsene ["Orphans Cost a Lot in Winter"] (1998), which reframes the history of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Ukraine as a struggle with cabbalist sorcerers (see also Milorad Pavić). In a similar vein, his Alumen series beginning with Mekhanizm Vremeni ["The Mechanism of Time"] (2008) conceives the 17th and 18th centuries as a struggle between rational science and occult magic. He collaborated again with Oldie on Armageddon byl vchera ["Armageddon was Yesterday"] (1999), which revisits his native Kharkiv as a city clinging to civilized comforts in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.

His most influential work, albeit for many of the wrong reasons, is arguably the Noosphere cycle, beginning with Sfera ["Sphere"] (2003), which discusses the potential for Uplift and Immortality through transference to the Noosphere, an Alternate World created by human thoughts and dreams. Since this often involves trips to alternate realities and parallel worlds, it might be parsed in some sense as the classier end of the popadantsvo sub-genre of accidental Time Travel popular in Russian pulps since the turn of the century. Such speculations were discouraged in the Soviet era as being anathema to Marxist historical determinism (see also Huang Yi), but experienced an explosion following the fall of the Soviet Union, and a prolonged national obsession with rewriting the past and possible futures.

The cycle's second volume Omega (2005) notoriously featured a protagonist bounced between three alternate visions of contemporary Ukraine, one of which saw Crimea invaded by NATO in 1995 and enmeshed ten years later in a civil war between NATO- and Russia-backed proxy forces, as well as a third group of Ukrainian partisans. Inspired by the very real sense that Ukraine's 2005 Orange Revolution was a Jonbar Point in the making, Valentynov's work was intended as a satire of three pressure-groups that he found equally distasteful: "Russian chauvinists, Ukrainian nationalists and American globalists." Even though his civil war scenario was merely one of three contending dystopias, it caught the imagination of other writers, and was soon cited as the distant inspiration for provocative Military SF by authors such as Fedor Berezin, Gleb Bobrov and Georgiy Savitsky. The later Kapitan Filibert ["Captain Filibert"] (2007) featured a critically ill protagonist in modern Ukraine, using Identity Transfer to live a "second life" in the Russian Revolution and Civil War. [JonC]

Andriy Valentynovich Shmalko

born Kharkiv, USSR (Ukraine): 18 March 1958

works (selected)


Oko Sily 1991 ["The Eye of Power 1991"]

  • Prestupivshiye ["The Oversteps"] (Moscow: AST, 1995) [Oko Sily 1991: hb/]
  • Vyzov ["The Challenge"] (Moscow: AST, 1996) [Oko Sily 1991: hb/]
  • Kogorta ["The Cohort"] (Moscow: AST, 1997) [Oko Sily 1991: hb/]

Oko Sily 1920 ["The Eye of Power 1920"]

  • Volontory Chelkelya ["The Chelkel Volunteers"] (Moscow: AST, 1996) [Oko Sily 1920: hb/]
  • Strazh Rany ["The Guardian of the Wound"] (Moscow: AST, 1996) [Oko Sily 1920: hb/]
  • Nesushchiy Svet ["The Light Bearer"] (Moscow: AST, 1996) [Oko Sily 1920: hb/]

Oko Sily 1937 ["The Eye of Power 1937"]

The Logres

  • Overnskiy klirik ["Cleric of the Auvergne"] (Moscow: Folio, 1997) [Logres: hb/]
  • Dezertir ["Deserter"] (Moscow: Folio, 1997) [Logres: hb/]
  • Nebesa likuyut ["The Heavens Rejoice"] (Moscow: Folio, 2000) [Logres: hb/]
  • Ola ["Hola"] (Moscow: Folio, 2001) [Logres: hb/]

Oko Sily 1924 ["The Eye of Power 1924"]

  • Tsar Kosmos ["Tsar Space"] (Moscow: AST, 2010) [Oko Sily 1924: hb/]
  • General March (Moscow: AST, 2011) [Oko Sily 1924: hb/]
  • Vek-volkodav ["Wolfhound Century"] (Moscow: AST, 2011) [Oko Sily 1924: hb/]


Rubezh ["Frontier"]

  • Zimoyu siroty v tsene ["Orphans Cost a Lot in Winter"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 1998) with Henry Lion Oldie and Marina and Sergei Dyachenko [Rubezh: hb/]
  • Vremya narushat' zaprety ["A Time to Break the Rules"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 1998) with Henry Lion Oldie and Marina and Sergei Dyachenko [Rubezh: hb/]

Nam zdes' zhit' ["We Are to Live Here"]

  • Armageddon byl vchera ["Armageddon was Yesterday"] (Moscow: Prospekt, 1999) with Henry Lion Oldie [Nam zdes' zhit': hb/]
  • Krov' p'yut rukami ["Blood Drunk from the Cupped Hands"] (Moscow: Prospekt, 1999) with Henry Lion Oldie [Nam zdes' zhit': hb/]


  • Sfera ["Sphere"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 2003) [Noosphere: hb/]
  • Omega (Moscow: Eksmo, 2005) [Noosphere: hb/]
  • Daemon (Moscow: Eksmo, 2006) [Noosphere: hb/]
  • Kapitan Filibert ["Captain Filibert"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 2007) [Noosphere: hb/]
  • Noir (Moscow: Eksmo, 2013) [Noosphere: hb/]


  • Mekhanizm Vremeni ["Mechanism of Time"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 2008) with Henry Lion Oldie [Alumen: hb/]
  • Mekhanizm Prostranstva ["Mechanism of Space"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 2009) with Henry Lion Oldie [Alumen: hb/]
  • Mekhanizm Zhizni ["Mechanism of Time"] (Moscow: Eksmo, 2009) with Henry Lion Oldie [Alumen: hb/]


  • Quentin (Moscow: Eksmo, 2017) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Cravat (Moscow: Eksmo, 2017) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Cage (Moscow: Eksmo, 2017) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Lounge (Moscow: Eksmo, 2018) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Leichtweiss (Moscow: Eksmo, 2018) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Loki (Moscow: Eksmo, 2018) [Argentina: hb/]
  • Nestor (Moscow: Eksmo, 2021) [Argentina: hb/]


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