Embroidered Worlds

Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora

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Pub Date Dec 12 2023 | Archive Date Not set

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This collection features 30 science fiction and fantasy stories from Ukrainian writers. Nine of these stories were written in English, and the rest translated from Ukrainian, Hungarian, and Russian.

Due to a difficult road bringing this book to fruition as well as timelines from an awarded grant, the book was released without any ability for advance promotion. These stories are important. Art speaking against colonialism is important. We hope that you may be interested in reading, reviewing, and spreading the word about this thoughtfully curated collection, only made possible with the support of people on every continent, who understood the value of a culture telling its own stories into the face of intended erasure.

We hope you enjoy these works.

This collection features 30 science fiction and fantasy stories from Ukrainian writers. Nine of these stories were written in English, and the rest translated from Ukrainian, Hungarian, and Russian.


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ISBN 9781961654105

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Average rating from 7 members

Featured Reviews

This is an amazing collection of short stories from the best Ukranian sci fi and fantasy authors, made even more poignant because of the current war. The stories are very different and still heartbreakingly lovely, and the introduction is very helpful in telling the reader more about the authors and their own histories. Excellent book that I hope will be more popular with the Western readers.

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"Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora": what a brilliant anthology.

The only theme uniting this anthology is that the authors are from Ukraine, or part of its diaspora. That means that there's a huge range of types of stories: those that are clearly rooted in folklore (even if I wasn't familiar with the original); those that are 'classically' science fiction; some that are slipstream, some that slide into horror, and a few where the fantastical aspect was very subtle. Some of the stories are very much ABOUT Ukraine, as it is now and as it has been and how it might be; other stories, as you would expect, are not.

One of my favourite stories is "Big Nose and the Faun," by Mykhailo Nazarenko, because I'm a total sucker for retellings of Roman history (Big Nose is the poet Ovid; it starts from the moment (based on the story in Plutarch, I think) of the death of Pan and just... well. The story does wonderful things with poetry and "civilisation" and nature, and I loved it.

I loved a lot of other stories here, too. There was only one story that I ended up skipping - which is pretty good for me, with such a long anthology - and that was because it was written in a style that I basically never enjoy (kind of Waiting for Godot, ish). RM Lemberg's "Geddarien" was magic and intense and heartbreaking - set during the Holocaust, cities will sometimes dance, and for that they need musicians. Olha Brylova's "Iron Goddess of Compassion" is set a few years in the future, and the gradual revelation of who the characters are and why they're doing what they're doing is some brilliant storytelling. "The Last of the Beads" by Halyna Lipatova is a story of revenge and desperation, with moments of heartbreak and others that I can only describe as "grim fascination".

I'm enormously impressed by Attis Arts for the effort that's gone into this - many of the stories are translated, which brings with it its own considerations and difficulties. This book is absolutely worth picking up. If you're interested in fantasy and science fiction anthologies, this is one that you really need to read.

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Embroidery is an apt metaphor for this collection, as it certainly feels richly woven and textured, like a tapestry. Each story is unique, yet often they touch on similar feelings and themes that touch on the Ukrainian experience. As someone who doesn't know much about Ukraine, I really enjoyed the stories and felt like I learned some; for people who are familiar, I'm sure it will resonate on an even deeper level.

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