Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko

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Maryna Dyachenko-Shirshova
Serhiy Dyachenko
Marina and Sergey Dyachenko.jpg
BornMaryna: (1968-01-23) 23 January 1968 (age 54)
Serhiy: (1945-04-14)14 April 1945
Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (both)
DiedSerhiy: 5 May 2022(2022-05-05) (aged 77)
United States
LanguageUkrainian, Russian
  • Ukrainian
CitizenshipSoviet Union→Ukraine
GenreScience-fiction, Fantasy, Fairy tale
Literary movement"M-realism"

Spouses Maryna Yuryivna Dyachenko (born 23 January 1968) and Serhiy Serhiyovych Dyachenko (14 April 1945 – 5 May 2022) (Marina Yuryevna Dyachenko (Shirshova) and Sergey Sergeyevich Dyachenko) (rus. Марина и Сергей Дяченко, ukr. Марина та Сергій Дяченки) are co-authors of fantasy literature from Ukraine writing in Russian.[1]

Personal life

The Dyachenkos are from Kyiv. For a time, they lived in Russia and later resided in California.[2][3] Serhiy Dyachenko died on 5 May 2022 in the United States.[4]



The Dyachenkos describe their work as "M-realism", without explaining the meaning of the "M".

Their work have been subject to scholarly analysis.[5]


The Gate-Keeper (Russian: Привратник), their first novel, was published in 1994. It received the Crystal Table prize (Russian: Хрустальный стол) at the book festival Zoryany Schlyach, and the novel was awarded the title "Best Debut Work" at the EuroCon competition in 1995. The Gate-keeper became the first novel in the Dyachenkos' fantasy tetralogy Wanderers ("Скитальцы"). With publishing of The Scar (Russian: Шрам) (1997), the sequel of The Gate-Keeper, the Dyachenkos established themselves as masters of psychological fantastic fiction. The Scar has received the "Sword in the Stone" award for best fantasy novel in 1997.[6]

The Ritual (Russian: Ритуал) (1996) is about a princess and a dragon, the latter half-human. The novel received little attention and was not awarded any prizes.

Age of the Witch (1997) (Russian: Ведьмин век) involves characters from a number of mythologies, most prominently Slavonic. It 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 Cave (1998) (Russian: Пещера) was awarded the "Moon Sword" prize in 1999 for the best work of "mystical literature" published between 1997 and 1999.

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

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

Armaged-Home (Russian: Армагед-дом) (1999), a work of social science fiction, takes place over a number of periods encompassing the life of its heroine and the society in which she lives. In the opinion of many critics and readers, it is one of the best of their novels.

The Green Card (2000) (Russian: Зелёная карта), later adapted into a screenplay, is a work of realist fiction about residents of Kyiv who have received an opportunity to immigrate to the United States.

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

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

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

Varan (Russian: Варан) was awarded the "Bronze Caduceus" prize at the 2004 Star Bridge festival. The Copper King, a fantasy novel loosely connected to it, was published in 2008.[7]

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

Wild Energy. Lana (March 2006) (Ukrainian: Дика Енергія. Лана) is a fairy tale influenced by the music of the Ukrainian singer Ruslana (Ukrainian: Руслана), to whom the authors dedicated the work. It was awarded the "Bronze Caduceus" prize at the 2006 Star Bridge festival.

The Key of the Kingdom (Russian: Ключ от королевства) and its sequel Oberon's Word (Russian: Слово Оберона) appeared in 2006. The trilogy was concluded with Evil Has No Power (Russian: У зла нет власти) (2008).

Alena and Aspirin (Russian: Алёна и Аспирин), an unrelated psychological fantastic novel, was published in 2006. It was published in 2020 by HarperCollins as "Daughter from the Dark".

Vita Nostra was published in 2007. It was the first novel in the thematically related "Metamorphosis" cycle. The book collected dozens of awards from readers and professionals.[8] Julia Meitov Hersey's translation of Vita Nostra was published by HarperCollins Publishers in November 2018. Digital, or Brevis Est, (2009) and Migrant, or Brevi Finietur, a work of science fiction, continue the cycle.

Possessed, an urban fantasy, was published in 2011.


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


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

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.


Some of their novels have also been translated into other languages (ex. Polish, English etc.).

The Scar became their first major book publication in United States in February 2012 from Tor Books.[9]


  • The Gate Keeper (Russian: Привратник)
  • The Rite (Russian: Ритуал)
  • The Scar (Russian: Шрам)
  • Skrut (Russian: Скрут)
  • The Successor (Russian: Преемник)
  • Age of the Witch (Russian: Ведьмин век)
  • The Cave (Russian: Пещера)
  • The Execution (Russian: Казнь)
  • Armaged-Home (Russian: Армагед-дом)
  • The Adventurer (Russian: Авантюрист)
  • Magicians May Do Everything (Russian: Магам можно все)
  • Valley of the Conscience (Russian: Долина Совести)
  • Pandem (Russian: Пандем)
  • The Pentacle (Russian: Пентакль) (novel with a series of the short stories; co-authored with Andrey Valentinov and H. L. Oldie)
  • Varan (Russian: Варан)
  • Alena and Aspirine/Daughter from the Dark (Russian: Алёна и Аспирин) (published in Russian and Ukrainian)
  • Wild Energy. Lana (Ukrainian: Дика енергія. Лана) (published in Russian and Ukrainian)
  • The Key of the Kingdom (Russian: Ключ от королевства) (published in Russian and Ukrainian)
  • Oberon's Word (Russian: Слово Оберона) (published in Russian and Ukrainian) (Ukrainian: Королівська обіцянка)
  • Vita Nostra (published in English in November 2018)
  • The Copper King (Russian: Медный Король)
  • Evil Has No Power (Russian: У зла нет власти)
  • Digital, or Brevis Est (Russian: Цифровой, или Brevis Est)
  • Migrant, or Brevi Finietur (Russian: Мигрант, или Brevi Finietur)
  • Possessed (Russian: Одержимая)
  • Hundredfold (Russian: Стократ; also a wordplay on Socrates)
  • Dark World: Equilibrium (Russian: Темный мир. Равновесие)
  • The Ray (Russian: Луч)


  • "Bastard" (Russian: Бастард)
  • "Stone's Roots" (Russian: Корни Камня)
  • "Burned Tower" (Russian: Горелая Башня)
  • "Last Don Quixote"(Russian: Последний дон Кихот)
  • "Green Card"(Russian: Зеленая карта)
  • ""Wolfs' Land" (Russian: Волчья сыть)
  • "Emma and the Sphinx" (Russian: Эмма и сфинкс)
  • "The Well Master" (Russian: Хозяин Колодцев)
  • "Kon" (Russian: Кон)
  • "Miseracle" (Russian: Мизеракль)
  • "Zoo" (Russian: Зоопарк)
  • "Two" (Russian: Две)
  • "My Noble Knight Has Left Me..." (Russian: Уехал славный рыцарь мой)
  • "The Sail Bird" (Russian: Парусная птица)
  • "Vesnars' Land" (Russian: Земля веснаров)

Short stories

  • "Virlena"(Russian: Вирлена)
  • "Outside" (Russian: Вне)
  • "The Throne" (Russian: Трон)
  • "Oskol" (Russian: Оскол)
  • "Horde's Man" (Russian: Ордынец)
  • "A Tale About Golden Rooster" (Russian: Сказ о Золотом Петушке)
  • "The Spell" (Russian: Заклинание)
  • "Blind Basilisk" (Russian: Слепой василиск)
  • "The Hamlet" (Russian: Хутор)
  • "Mackler and Magic"(Russian: Маклер и магия)
  • "The Wing" (Russian: Крыло)
  • "Dark Side of the Moon" (Russian: Обратная сторона Луны)
  • "Basketball" (Russian: Баскетбол)
  • "Hair" (Russian: Волосы)
  • "The Bloom" (Russian: Бутон)
  • "The Promise" (Russian: Обещание)
  • "Lunar Landscape" (Russian: Лунный пейзаж)
  • "Marta" (Russian: Марта)
  • "Visit to a Paediatrician" (Russian: Визит к педиатру)
  • "'Churrem" ("The One Who Smiles") (Russian: Хуррем - значит "Улыбчивая")
  • "Ataman" (Russian: Атаман)

With A. Valentinov, H. L. Oldie

  • The Frontier (Russian: Рубеж)
  • Bashtan (Russian: Баштан)
  • Fights with no Rules (Russian: Бои без правил)
  • Devil's Expedition (Russian: Чертова экзистенция)
  • The Potato (Russian: Картошка)
  • Werewolf in the Uniform (Russian: Оборотень в погонах)
  • Bursak (Russian: Бурсак)
  • Sanatorium (Russian: Санаторий)
  • The Neighbor (Russian: Сосед)
  • Venus Mirgorodus (Russian: Венера Миргородская)
  • Day of the Dead in the Community Center (Russian: День мертвых в доме культуры)
  • Sold Soul (Russian: Проданная душа
  • Bazaar (Russian: Базар)
  • Rescuers (Russian: Спасатели)
  • The Wanderer (Russian: Колоброд)
  • The Quarteronesse (Russian: Квартеронка)
  • Dress Shoes (Russian: Туфли)
  • Charisma Nuyrki Gavrosh (Russian: Харизма Нюрки Гаврош)
  • Monte-Carltown (Russian: Монте-Карловка)
  • Let's go to the Basement? (Russian: Пойдем в подвал?)
  • Nespokiy (Russian: Неспокий)
  • Scary M. (Russian: Страшная М.)
  • Bogdana (Russian: Богдана)
  • The Serdolick Perl (Russian: Сердоликовая бусина)
  • The Attraction (Russian: Аттракцион)
  • The Pan's Orchid (Russian: Панская орхидея)
  • Cossack's Blood (Russian: Казачья кровь)
  • The Flaming Motor (Russian: Пламенный мотор)
  • The Competition (Russian: Конкурс)
  • The Bequest Stone (Russian: Камень завета)
  • Five Dead-ends Street (Russian: Улица пяти тупиков)


  • Last Don Quixote (Russian: Последний дон Кихот)

Children's books

  • Flying Hat (Russian: Летающая шляпа) (with A. Bondarchuk and I. Malkovich) Published in Ukrainian.
  • Tales for Stevo (Russian: Сказки для Стаски)
  • Adventures of Masha Michailova (Russian: Приключения Маши Михайловой); also published in Ukrainian (Ukrainian: Пригоди Марійки Михайлової).
  • Search of Masha Michailova (Russian: Сыск Маши Михайловой)
  • Flying fish (Russian: Воздушные рыбки) Published in Russian, Ukrainian an English
  • Giraffe and Panda (Russian: Жирафчик и Пандочка) Published in Russian and Ukrainian.
  • Fairy Tales: About the old woman, About the barrel, About the river, About the chicken, About the chicken-2, About the cricket (Russian: Про старушку, Про бочку, Про реку, Про курицу, Про курицу-2, Про сверчка)
  • Gabriel and The Steel Lumberjack (Ukrainian: Габріель і сталевий лісоруб) Published in Ukrainian.

Fictional creatures and objects created by writers

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

  • "Glaive" (from the book Armaggedon-Home) - These are the larvae of dalphins that emerge during the apocalypse. They are deadly to all living creatures. They are extremely resilient, resistant to high temperatures, do not need shelter and are able to survive an apocalypse without taking cover. Dalphins in this novel resemble real dolphins. They have evolved to survive an 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. The creatures migrate back to the ocean when seismic activity is over. The next stage of their development is the cocoon. A Dalphin spends one to two months inside the cocoon before emerging as an adult. 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, are taken from Ukrainian mythology, but differ from the source material in many ways. For example: in the classic Ukrainian novel The Forest Song (Ukrainian: Лісова Пісня) by Lesya Ukrainka, the main characte is a Navka, a spirit of the forest or sprite.
  • "Chugaister" (Russian: Чугайстер) (from the book Age of the Witch, probably taken from a book "The Forest Song" by Lesya Ukrainka ) are magical creatures that are 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.


  1. ^ Генри Лайон Олди; Валентинов А.; Дяченко М.; Дяченко С. (2013). Пентакль. Пять авторов в поисках ответа (in Russian). Проспект. Я себя иденти… идентифи… короче, я считаю себя носителем русского языка, живущим в Украине. По-украински говорю и пишу свободно, но книги сочиняю – на родном.
  2. ^ "We are Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, the authors of VITA NOSTRA and DAUGHTER FROM THE DARK, and Julia Meitov Hersey, the translator. AMA!". reddit. 2020.
  3. ^ Sidorova, J. m (6 November 2014). "Narratology: "Anything you can do I can do better," says speculative literature to realism". Narratology. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  4. ^ Помер український письменник-фантаст Сергій Дяченко
  5. ^ Ivanova, Ekaterina (October 2016). "On Both Sides of Fiction: Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko". Russian Studies in Literature. 52 (3–4): 235–248. doi:10.1080/10611975.2016.1264003. ISSN 1061-1975.
  6. ^ Премия "Мечи"
  7. ^ Lajoye, Viktoriya (DL 2017). Étoiles rouges : la littérature de science-fiction soviétique. Patrice Lajoye, Impr. Corlet). [Paris]: Piranha. ISBN 978-2-37119-074-0. OCLC 1010313056. {{cite book}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  8. ^ (in Russian) FantLab page for Vita Nostra
  9. ^ The Scar was spotted at Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine


External links

Preceded by ESFS award for Best Author
Succeeded by
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