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 Kir Bulychev


Born:   18 October 1934
Deceased:   5 September 2003

Writer

      

Kir Bulychev (1934 – 2003) is probably the most famous author of science fiction for children in Russia. One of the central characters of his books Alisa Selezneva, a courageous and curious girl from the future is especially beloved by the readers; screen versions of some of his gripping fanciful books contributed much to ‘Alisa’s cult’ among teenagers of the 1980-90s.

Kir Bulychev is a pen name of Igor Vsevolodovich Mozheiko, whose real name was kept secret till 1982. He was born on 18 October, 1934. Igor Mozheiko took up his pseudonym in the mid 60s when he started publishing his first SF stories. Till that time he spent most of his time working as a translator and a scientist, not even suspecting that he was destined to become one of the most famous Russian SF writers. Bulychev’s first stories that he made up to entertain his daughter Alisa were issued in 1965 in the almanac Mir Priklyucheniy (World of Adventures) very popular in the USSR.

“Mystery of the Third Planet” Soon after that an amusing thing occurred with the journal Iskatel (Adventurer) publishing detectives and science fiction. Just a day before the dead-line of sending materials to the printing-works the publication of one of foreign SF stories was rejected. But as ill luck would have it, the cover of the journal edition with an illustration to this very story was already printed. A tiny dinosaur sitting in a jar was sadly looking from the journal cover at the editors. The picture demanded to be explained. So, to save the situation, a number of people decided each of them would write a story and the best story would be published in the journal next day. Scientist-orientalist Igor Mozheiko also happened to take part in this urgent contest, and his story ‘When did dinosaurs die out?’ turned out the best. To sign this unexpected creation Igor Mozheiko made up his pen name based on his wife’s name and his mother’s maiden name.

Natasha Guseva as Alisa in “Guest from the Future” Besides numerous SF stories, translations of SF writings by American authors, research works on history, Oriental studies and literature studies, Bulychev also wrote over two hundred poems and several miniature stories.

He is also the author of scripts for over twenty films. The feature film ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’(aka To the Stars by Hard Ways (USA title))(1980), full-length animated cartoon ‘Mystery of the Third Planet’ (for these two he was awarded with the State Prize in 1982) and serial ‘Guest from the Future’ (1984) are considered among the best screen versions of Bulychev’s books.

Enjoying the fame of a children’s writer Bulychev would resent that editors and readers were expecting from him new tales for children. ‘But I try it not to be children’s SF what I am writing and it’s not only fiction for kids I write.’ – He said in one of the interviews.

A versatile and prolific author, Bulychev wrote a great many other books: an ironical epopee about a God-forsaken town Great Gusliar, ‘adult’ cycle about cosmic doctor Vladislav Pavlysh, and many others.

Kir Bulychev’s double self-portrait (signed: Kir Bulychev and Sergei Mozheiko) While SF writer Bulychev was creating new worlds, historian Igor Mozheiko went on carrying out his research work. The latter issued a number of monographs, popular scientific books ‘7 and 37 Wonders’, ‘Pirates, Corsairs, and Raiders’, and ‘Year 1185: East - West’. Besides, he defended his doctoral dissertation on the theme: “The Buddhist Sangha and the State in Burma”

Some of Kir Bulychev’s books were published in English: Half a Life (1977), Gusliar Wonders (1983), Earth and Elsewhere (1985), Abduction of a Sorcerer (1989), Those Who Survive (2000), Alice: The Girl from Earth (2002), and South-East Asia: Unity in Diversity (1989).

Kir Bulychev died on 5 September, 2003 at the age of 68.


References:
Kir Bulychev’s official site
www.bibliogid.ru
ru.wikipedia.org


Vera Ivanova and Mikhail Manykin


Tags: Russian Literature Russian Writers Kir Bulychev   




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