Creator / Andrei Belyanin
Andrei Belyanin (born in 1967) is a Russian Science Fiction
writer. Most of his novels are known for humor and parody. Oftentimes, the novels involve Time Travel
and feature a hearty dose of Anachronism Stew
. The author is also quick to subvert the typical fantasy notions of Light and Dark, pointing out that Light Is Not Good
and Dark Is Not Evil
. Belyanin is also known for translating certain foreign works into Russian.
A tragedy struck the author in 2004, when his son was kidnapped for ransom. While the culprits were arrested a few days later, Belyanin's son was killed the day of the kidnapping. Despite this, the author continues to write in his usual style.
- Sword with No Name (1997-98). Belyanin's most popular series involving a modern-day man finding himself in a Medieval European Fantasy.
- Sword with No Name has a man go to a Renaissance fair in a Medieval castle and, while looking for the bathroom, ends up in a magical kingdom ruled by an Evil Sorcerer from his floating city. Suddenly, the plastic fake sword in his hands is no longer a fake (nor made of plastic), but the legendary Sword with No Name, and he is the long-awaited Landgrave Skiminok, destined to free the kingdom from the usurper.
- The Furious Landgrave brings the protagonist back to the kingdom (which exists in Narnia Time) to defeat the son of the sorcerer he defeated the first time around.
- The Age of Saint Skiminok finishes off the hero's adventures by having him once again return to the "past". This time, however, It's Personal, as Lucifer has kidnapped his son.
- Jack the Mad King (1999). No Time Travel in this series, but still plenty of deliberate anachronism.
- Jack the Mad King is the nickname given to an amnesiac of clearly royal blood (a mosquito who dares to drink his blood gets immediately squashed by a pinecone), who one day shows up on the doorstep of an old wizard. The wizard and his apprentice decide to follow the "Mad King" on a quest to rediscover his identity. On the way, they meet a knight's daughter, who decides to join them. All through their journey, they are constantly in danger from the Queen's assassins, which only serves to drive them towards the truth.
- Jack and the Mystery of the Ancient Castle has the protagonist and his companions find a strange castle whose female ruler is behaving very oddly.
- Jack in the East has the group travel to an Arabian Nights/Days setting in order to find the sultan's missing daughter.
- Tsar Gorokh's Detective Agency (1999-2017). The author's longest-running series, involving a young Russian policeman finding himself in a mix of Medieval European Fantasy and Russian Mythology and Tales.
- Tsar Gorokh's Detective Agency. Mladshiy Leytenant (Third Lieutenant) Nikita Ivashov is a modern-day rookie cop, whose training has not prepared him for being trapped in a fairy tale tsardom ruled by the benevolent but strict Tsar Gorokh. After finding out who the new arrival is, the tsar quickly persuades the young cop to open a detective agency of sorts. Choosing Baba Yaga's home as his headquarters and the reformed Baba Yaga herself as a forensics and magic specialist (and an incredible cook), Ivashov sets out to keep the tsardom safe using modern-day methods. He is also given an assistant - a simple-minded but good-hearted country boy named Mit'ka (mostly used for manual labor thanks to his amazing strength) and a squad of the Tsar's personal streltsy (city guards) to help apprehend suspects. The first case starts out as a simple case of thievery: a stolen ring and a missing chest of gold. It quickly unravels into a conspiracy to take over the tsardom.
- The Plot of the Black Mass sees the arrival of a German ambassador with a Catholic priest to the capital, which coincides with a series of minor crimes. Naturally, the investigation reveals a plot to summon a demon to upset the delicate Balance Between Good and Evil that exists in the tsardom.
- The Flying Ship. Mladshiy Leytenant Ivashov is investigating the murder of the Tsar's mistress and the theft of the royal blueprints for a flying ship. Realizing that this invention could upset the balance of power and spell an end for the tsardom, the detectives are in a mad rush to solve both crimes, which are likely related. Along the way, Ivashov meets and becomes attracted to a young woman who appears to be involved in the case.
- Bride Elimination. The Tsar's palace is overrun with princesses from all over the world, as Gorokh has finally decided to get married. Then a princess ends up comatose... then another. It's up to the detectives to find out who's responsible and why before an international scandal breaks out, which could lead to war.
- The Case of the Sober Buffoons. A travelling circus is in town. Simultaneously, girls begin to turn up missing. All clues point to the show. Meanwhile, to Ivashov's amazement, a caped hero in tights shows up to, seemingly, clean up the tsardom.
- Detectives on Vacation. After the last case, the Tsar sends the detectives to the countryside to rest up. Then strange persons begin to show up, which may be working for the greatest criminal mastermind in all the land - Koschei the Deathless.
- To Marry and Neutralize. The detectives finally return home after their vacation, only to encounter new problems in the capital: the Tsar has turned Japanese, Ivashov's bride-to-be will arrive any minute, and a new threat to take over the tsardom has taken root.
- Tsar Gorokh's Rusty Sword. During a relatively quiet period, Nikita reminisces about an old case that, chronologically, took place between The Plot of the Black Mass and The Flying Ship. The Tsar's cousin has returned from a convent and expresses her desire to get married. By Russian tradition, the Tsar has to hand over half of the tsardom to her future husband, so the choice needs to be well thought out.
- Tsar Koschei's Black Sword. A mysterious force kidnaps the Tsarina, Mit'ka's fiancée, and Nikita's wife. Worse, Koschei is dead, Baba Yaga has fallen for a suspect, and Mit'ka has become a Gray Wolf with the same strength and irrepressible imagination.
- The Dead Must Be Taken Alive. It seems Baba Yaga's criminal past has caught up to her. The European nations demand that she be handed over to be tried for the alleged murder of Prince Johann. The entire team heads to Europe to prove her innocence.
- My Wife Is a Witch (1999-2001). Another popular series, in which the protagonist is a young poet named Sergey who discovers that his Hot Librarian wife comes from a long line of witches.
- My Wife Is a Witch. While at first, the protagonist is seemingly ok with his wife disappearing every month into another world where she turns into a wolf and runs with her pack, he later finds some wolf hair from her and burns it. She vanishes. He then meets his personal angel and devil, who accompany him on a journey through magical worlds in search of his wife. In these worlds, he finds that his mediocre poetry suddenly has magical powers.
- The Little Sister from Hell. Sergey's wife's cousin comes to visit and appears to be obsessed with Sailor Moon. She even cosplays as the titular character and prefers to be called "Bunny". One day, she touches his wife's amulet and disappears. Sergey, his wife, and his angel-and-devil team once again have to travel through the magical worlds to find the girl. Apparently, the girl has somehow obtained the powers of her favorite heroine and seeks to destroy evil in all the worlds. The problem? Dark Is Not Evil. A Friendly Neighborhood Vampire does not deserve to die simply because he's not human. Realizing that someone is pulling the girl's strings, the heroes continue on their journey for the answer.
- The Thief of Baghdad (2002-2012). The twist in this trilogy is the Framing Device. Apparently, this is a story told to the author by a good friend of his. Naturally, this means the protagonist's fate is a Foregone Conclusion; otherwise, he wouldn't be there to tell the tale.
- The Thief of Baghdad. A modern-day Russian man is magically transported to Baghdad in Arabian Nights/Days by a Literal Genie, following the wishes of an old poet and thief named Omar Khayyám. Thanks to the spell, the protagonist has Laser-Guided Amnesia. Omar's goal is to train a young man in the art of thievery in order to shame the Emir of Baghdad, who has enacted draconian measures for rooting out thievery in his glorious city. His adventures take him through the streets of Baghdad, the endless dunes of the desert, the Emir's harem (naturally), and even aboard a flying saucer (because... why not?). Along the way, he befriends a man named Nasreddin, who joins the protagonist on his quest.
- The Shamer of Shaitan. The Thief of Baghdad returns to Arabia to continue his adventures. Unlike the first time, he has his full memories now. This time, his enemy is no mere mortal but Shaitan himself.
- Return the Thief! As the Islamic world stands on the brink of war, the Thief of Baghdad returns to Bukhara. Unlike the previous books, where the readers are left to wonder if the Thief is just making it all up for the author, the author actually meets some characters from the past.
- Professional Werewolf (2002-2010). Co-authored by Galina Chornaya. The protagonist is a young female college student (who also appears to be Muslim, but that almost never gets mentioned), who, while walking home alone from class at night, gets attacked and bitten by a werewolf. She then meets a time-traveling duo of agents from the future: a young man and a talking cat (naturally, the smarter of the two). Realizing that she will irreversibly turn by the next full moon, they offer her to temporarily join them on their mission to travel through time and fight evil forces, while looking for the cure to her condition.
- Professional Werewolf
- Werewolves' Vacation
- Werewolves' Chronicles
- The Return of the Werewolves
- Werewolves' Stories
- Werewolves' Adventures
- Cossack (2005-2008). A modern-day man re-enacting his Cossack heritage is hit by a car. At the same time, a female soldier is killed in Israel by a suicide bomber. Both find themselves in what appears, at first glance, to be Heaven (although the "Cossack" is a little dismayed to see a Jew in "his" Heaven). Naturally, Heaven turns out to be different than they were taught.
- Cossack in Heaven
- Cossack in Hell
- Aargh (2007).
- Aargh in the Elf-Nursery
- Aargh on the Throne
- The Auburn Knight (2000). The author's typical Time Travel theme is inverted in this novel. Instead of a modern-day person ending up in the past, an English Crusader is sent by an evil spell to modern-day Russia. He meets a teenage girl, who, at first, thinks he's an obsessed re-enactor. That is, until monsters start attacking them. The two of them, joined by the girl's Camp Gay best friend, embark on a journey to get the knight home and put an end to an evil kingdom that was trapped in time centuries ago by the forces of good. They will travel through centuries to the past and the future, unknowingly fulfilling a prophecy spelling an end to the kingdom.
- Taste of the Vampire (2003). Dan Titovsky is not your typical vampire. He is an avant-garde artist in modern-day Russia who feeds on emotions, not blood, leaving behind a trail of broken hearts. His long-time attachment is a Shadowless Clan vamp named Sabrina von Strastenberg. However, Sabrina may be the target of someone who doesn't particularly care for vampires, belonging to the secret Hound Order.
- The Hunt for the Hussar (2004). Set during The Napoleonic Wars, the novel follows the heroic adventures of a real life guerilla leader and poet Denis Davydov during the French Invasion of Russia and is narrated from his POV. As characteristic of Belyanin's style, the historical events in question are given a supernatural twist. Besides struggling against the enemy's army and unmasking a conspiracy to dicredit the Russian Army, Davydov has to deal with an undercover succubus, a forest witch, and a bunch of other unseelie creatures. Furthermore, Napoleon himself appears to be a practising magician whose powers pose as much a threat to the world as his military genius...
- Lana (2009). Description coming soon.
- Mozart (2012). Human didn't even notice when vampries took over the world. It took years, by carefully infiltrating human culture, tastes, media, film, literature, and public opinion. The vampires watch over their "flock", drinking in their power over humanity. Nobody has the power to stop them. Except for us, the brave angels of the Ninth Legion. We are stronger, faster. We know how to fight. The Light is behind us. We can save humanity... if the order comes. But what will happen to humanity if the Ninth Legion is disbanded? If there are no orders from Above for centuries? Angels can't go against His will, nobody can! Except, maybe, for one stubborn hero, created to sing in the celestial choir but lacking any musical sense. Exiled from the heavens for fighting, too proud and too honest, the weakest member of the Ninth Legion. An angel known as Mozart. What do you do when he's your last hope?
- Inverted City (2010-2013). A young but tricky Don Cossack accidentally pisses off an old witch and ends up Beneath the Earth in a place populated by various monsters and undead, all of which would like for him to join them for dinner... as a meal.
- Inverted City. Evil forces are always present in Russia. Especially here, in the Inverted City populated by witches, demons, vampires, sorcerers, and ghouls, ruled over by the secretive Mistress. So, it falls to us, Cossacks, to protect the honest folk from them with whip and sword. Or is it the other way around? Depends on the case... But to avoid being tricked, one must be able to see evil through any disguise. Which means one of them needs to spit you in the eye. That happened to me. Then I made them pay...
- Sorcerer for Breakfast. The evil forces are trying to get their revenge on the unruly Ilya Ilovaysky. The same one, who got spat in the eye by a witch and can now see evil through any disguise and fight it. Well, one can only wish them luck in this hopeless task... Meanwhile, our brave hero has stolen the heart of the fearsome Mistress of the Inverted City. Now would be a good time to throw a wedding, but first one needs to quickly deal with an evil Gypsy sorcerer, exorcise a biting ghost, punch an imp in the face, bury a vengeful limping sorceress in hay, put a bloodsucking professor into a madhouse, cut up a gang of Moldavian chumchars, step on a demon's tail, break a dozen skeletons, punish presumptuous scientists, and fry the scythed Death itself... phew! But what won't a guy do for a girl he loves?
- Get Ilovaysky! War is war, but a wedding must stick to schedule. Step aside, you filthy evil things, when Ilya Ilovaysky himself is on his way to get married! But first gotta find a missing courier with the Tsar's orders. Save the whole regiment from being turned into chumchars. Blow up a village outhouse. Give away the old bloodsucker Frosya to three grooms at the same time. Rescue the governor's youngest daughter from vampire claws. Knock Dracula's descendant's teeth out. Get a job in the bright future. Tell them to take their job and shove it. Defeat everyone! Listen to uncle-general yelling "Ilovaysky, damn you!" And solve the mystery of the Mistress of the Inverted City...
- On-call Demon (2012-2017).
- On-call Demon. "Tremble, sinner, for my name is Abifasdon, and I have come for your overdue soul!" This is, pretty much, how I have to talk to people. I'm not evil, it's just my job. Really, I'm an ordinary demon, kind of like a federal marshal, and my wife works in the Temptation Department. Humans sell their souls left and right, Hell is overflowing, there's not enough manpower to handle them, all they do is get on your nerves! And you constantly get beat up by your best friend, a SWAT-type angel. Those sectarians are crawling out of every hole, sorcerers performing sacrifices, and those blondes can make a saint go insane. Time is up, and I'm coming for you!
- The Demon Next Door. "Tremble, sinner, for..." Well, you know - Hell, fire, eternal torment, etc. Let me remind you, I'm Abifasdon, a marshall from Inferno, out to recover overdue souls, which you yourselves sell! For power, money, a piece of candy... Due to my domestic situation (I have a son now!), my boss has transferred me upstairs. So, I drink beer with the boys on a bench, my wife walks the baby in a stroller, the mother-in-law doesn't come over without a grenade, while humans have become even more carefree and stopped believing in demons, and they really should! After all, I live near you now, right next door...
- Detective from the Wet Dogs (2011-2015). Co-authored by Galina Chornaya.
- Vampire Liner. Jiří Bradzinsky is a small-town European cop. He's also a demon. The latter doesn't stop him from enforcing the law in his town, even in a world populated by witches, gargoyles, vampires, and imps, which doesn't make his job any easier. Someone has to. Even the Bloody Snow White can't stop him from being a good cop.
- Everyone Is Under Arrest!. Who in the world of imps, demons, gargoyles, vampires, witches, and other supernatural creatures can maintain order and enforce the law? Only a brave team of cops made up of Commissioner Basilicus (who loves donuts), Corporal Flevretti (The Casanova), Private Chingachmunk (a Native American), and, of course, the prim graduate of the capital city academy the demon-detective Jiří Bradzinsky, defending the honor of the girl he loves.
- Ghost's Hotel. The Day of the Thirteenth Snow is finally here! The most important holiday of the year! Hail to the carnivals, holy smokes, broken legs, and general merriment! Praise Ambar terrorists, strange corpses in the sewers, the intrigues of the local poets... is that enough? In the faraway Poland, a sacred club of amateur suicides has started up again. The prim and uncompromising Sergeant Jiří Bradzinsky once again stands in the path of criminals. A demon-cop is always more than just a demon. And even the mysterious deaths at the Ghost's Hotel won't stop him!
- Frontier Guards (2013-2014)
- Castle of the White Wolf. The story of a single father whose daughter Helga is a rare beauty who can bend metal rods for fun and loves to kill the undead (of course, the father is the one who has to clean up after). The girl's uncle is a Norse god-turned-madman who likes to walk around naked, likes Cluster F Bombs and fights with frost giants. All three of them are the so-called "frontier guards", who live in an old castle called Bone. They got your typical Medieval European Fantasy, dragons, the Inquisition, rebellious barons, a lively feudal life, and the icy peaks of the Frontier mountains protecting the human world from the catastrophic consequences of the Ragnarok. His primary fear is not what would happen if the great evil ends up on the streets but if Helga's mother comes home.
- Daughter of the White Wolf. Henga is sick of throwing undead corpses off our balcony... And I'm about to have a nervous breakdown! Because, thanks to a certifiable ex-god and my daughter, who can straighten out a train's spring on a bet, my quiet castle Bone has been turned into a madhouse! I can barely manage to swat away ghost wolves, flying Vikings, the amorous Lady Melissa, arrogant barons, a traitorous friend, a school principal, vampires, and other creatures. The Frontier is restless. The darkness is moving beyond its icy walls and is gaining strength. The White Committee is playing its own game, an adept rebellion is brewing in the city, and someone is trying to blow up the woman I love right in our bathroom. And now those barons, kings, and even my thin page are asking for Helga's hand! All right, I'm going to go meet the suitors. Where's my battle-ax?
- Clan of the White Wolf. Uncle Edik refuses to throw undead corpses off our balcony! He doesn't understand how someone can just throw away something that can be marinated and eaten! A total psycho, what can you do, except get him committed... Something is always threatening us: vampires, rebellious barons, evil dwarves, and even the royal army. Guess who they're looking for? Our quiet apartment is always being invaded by either SWAT or PTA, the evil forces... The Black Banshee is already screaming about the blood on the walls of Castle Bone, while my Helga is peacefully sleeping in her room with her teddy bear. It's not wise for anyone to wake the daughter of Death.
- The Sotnik and the Infidel King (2013). A Cossack sotnik (commander of a hundred, roughly equivalent to a lieutenant) faces off against the forces of a sultan whose men have captured many Russian women for the sultan's harem, including the sotnik's wife and daughter.
- Gavryusha and the Beautiful Ones (2015). Co-authored by Igor Kasilov. Everything started when a first grader named Yegor found a domovoi (house spirit) in his apartment. An ordinary-looking domovoi, short, red-bearded, in bast shoes an an untucked shirt. Unfortunately, his new friend didn't know how to tell stories. But he was very good at pulling Yegor and his parents into a story, and then the story itself decided to show up in the real world. Why not? Besides, the domovoi Gavryusha never bothered to obtain a diploma or a magic certificate. But it's always much more fun to cast spells without permission! Let's go!
- The Empire's Watchdogs (2015)
- The Empire's Watchdogs. A hereditary nobleman, young Count Strogov returns from England, following his dying father's wishes, and finds out that he belongs to a secret order protecting Russia.
- Bullet for the Emperor. Young Count Mikhail Strogov continues his journey across Russia, trying to figure out the secret of his late father's notebooks. Along the way, he finds out about an upcoming attempt on the Emperor's life...