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Radiant Terminus
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Published:
Open Letter 2017
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Description

"Irreducible to any single literary genre, the Volodinian cosmos is skillfully crafted, fusing elements of science fiction with magical realism and political commentary."— Music & Literature

The most patently sci-fi work of Antoine Volodine's to be translated into English, Radiant Terminus takes place in a Tarkovskian landscape after the fall of the Second Soviet Union. Most of humanity has been destroyed thanks to a number of nuclear meltdowns, but a few communes remain, including one run by Solovyei, a psychotic father with the ability to invade people's dreams—including those of his daughters—and torment them for thousands of years.

When a group of damaged individuals seek safety from this nuclear winter in Solovyei's commune, a plot develops to overthrow him, end his reign of mental abuse, and restore humanity.

Fantastical, unsettling, and occasionally funny, Radiant Terminus is a key entry in Volodine's epic literary project that—with its broad landscape, ambitious vision, and interlocking characters and ideas—calls to mind the best of David Mitchell.

Antoine Volodine (a.k.a. Lutz Bassmann, a.k.a. Manuela Draeger) is the primary pseudonym of a French writer who has published more than forty books, over twenty under this name. Seven of his titles are currently available in English translation, including Minor Angels, Bardo or Not Bardo, and Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is digital editor of Music & Literature. His writing and translations have appeared in Best European Fiction, 3:AM Magazine, the Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/14/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781940953533
ASIN:
B06W9HD447
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Antoine Volodine. (2017). Radiant Terminus. Open Letter.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Antoine Volodine. 2017. Radiant Terminus. Open Letter.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Antoine Volodine, Radiant Terminus. Open Letter, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Antoine Volodine. Radiant Terminus. Open Letter, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:31:54
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 15:31:54
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Feb 25, 2024 06:47:08
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shortDescription

"Irreducible to any single literary genre, the Volodinian cosmos is skillfully crafted, fusing elements of science fiction with magical realism and political commentary."— Music & Literature

The most patently sci-fi work of Antoine Volodine's to be translated into English, Radiant Terminus takes place in a Tarkovskian landscape after the fall of the Second Soviet Union. Most of humanity has been destroyed thanks to a number of nuclear meltdowns, but a few communes remain, including one run by Solovyei, a psychotic father with the ability to invade people's dreams—including those of his daughters—and torment them for thousands of years.

When a group of damaged individuals seek safety from this nuclear winter in Solovyei's commune, a plot develops to overthrow him, end his reign of mental abuse, and restore humanity.

Fantastical, unsettling, and occasionally funny, Radiant Terminus is a key entry in Volodine's epic literary...

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fullDescription

"Irreducible to any single literary genre, the Volodinian cosmos is skillfully crafted, fusing elements of science fiction with magical realism and political commentary."— Music & Literature

The most patently sci-fi work of Antoine Volodine's to be translated into English, Radiant Terminus takes place in a Tarkovskian landscape after the fall of the Second Soviet Union. Most of humanity has been destroyed thanks to a number of nuclear meltdowns, but a few communes remain, including one run by Solovyei, a psychotic father with the ability to invade people's dreams—including those of his daughters—and torment them for thousands of years.

When a group of damaged individuals seek safety from this nuclear winter in Solovyei's commune, a plot develops to overthrow him, end his reign of mental abuse, and restore humanity.

Fantastical, unsettling, and occasionally funny, Radiant Terminus is a key entry in Volodine's epic literary project that—with its broad landscape, ambitious vision, and interlocking characters and ideas—calls to mind the best of David Mitchell.

Antoine Volodine (a.k.a. Lutz Bassmann, a.k.a. Manuela Draeger) is the primary pseudonym of a French writer who has published more than forty books, over twenty under this name. Seven of his titles are currently available in English translation, including Minor Angels, Bardo or Not Bardo, and Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is digital editor of Music & Literature. His writing and translations have appeared in Best European Fiction, 3:AM Magazine, the Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        December 12, 2016
        Volodine rips readers away from the solid natural laws of our world and makes them confuse centuries for days in this strange postapocalyptic novel. After the fall of the Second Soviet Union and the meltdowns of multiple nuclear power plants, Kronauer and his two comrades leave the loyalist resistance army to wander the steppes. He treks into a forest to find help for one of his companions and encounters a community run by Solovyei, a man made immortal by the radiation. Kronauer soon learns Solovyei likes to creep into the minds of his three daughters. They hate their father’s intrusions but are susceptible to his influence, which has caused them to scorn men, including Kronauer. It’s not at all clear whether each character is dead or alive or merely part of Solovyei’s dream. The characters, though equipped with backstories, are little more than fodder for the novel’s intellectual musings. This tale lures readers into believing they’re on solid narrative ground, only to dissolve into a vortex of uncertainty.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2017
        French "post-exoticist" Volodine (Bardo or Not Bardo, 2016, etc.) returns with a dark view of the near future, where science fiction meets a certain kind of horror.It's fitting that in Volodine's latest, a corpse should figure as one of the first characters we meet--well, not quite a corpse, not yet, though 30-year-old Vassilissa Marachvili is passing on quickly enough that Volodine refers to her as "the dying woman." Perhaps, as the post-Heideggerians would say, she is always already dead, but what does it matter? In the remote Siberian outpost that is the setting for Volodine's yarn, a kind of Chernobyl on steroids in a post-apocalyptic time, following the fall of the Second Soviet Union in a nuclear shootout, the living envy the dead. But, that said, there's not much distinction between the categories in this hell, a place of "machines constantly humming. Fuel rods regularly sizzling as they tried to get several degrees hotter....The radioactivity at its peak puffing almost silently." Overseeing this domain is Solovyei, a kind of Col. Kurtz for our time (think Marlon Brando with even more of a glow), who certainly has a godlike complex and maybe even some godlike powers and who does what he can for Vassilissa: "She's gone into a dark tunnel. She's neither dead nor alive," he explains, helpfully. That's one of his easier-to-comprehend statements; as our hero, Kronauer, reflects, Solovyei is a master of conjuring "images of shadowy eternity and worlds with indecipherable rules of existence." Indeed. There can be no Kurtz without a Marlow--or a Capt. Willard trying to terminate his command, though deposing a man half dead is easier said than done. Volodine himself is a master at painting grim, infernal scenarios that seem fit for a neoarctic retelling of Mad Max, and with just the right atmospheric touches: can there be, after all, a Russian story without its wolves? A landmark of modern dystopianism, portending a time to come that no one would want to live in.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2016

        Winner of the 2015 Prix Medicis, this latest exercise in imagination from the prolific Volodine (he's written 42 novels under various pseudonyms) is set hundreds of years in the future after the fall of the Second Soviet Union, which covered much of the globe. With their home base overcome by enemies of the proletariat, idealistic Ilyushenko, Kronauer, and Vassilissa Marachvili head out on a "communal march toward death," entering territory rendered toxic for ten millennia by nuclear meltdown. All three succumb quickly, and when Kronauer stumbles forth to find water for nearly dead Vassilissa, he comes upon a rare remaining kolkhoz called Radiant Terminus, run by the tyrant Solovyei. Evidently immune to radiation, which seems to have bequeathed him scary powers--he can speak resoundingly in people's heads--Solovyei is protective of his three tough if emotionally stunted daughters and profoundly suspicious of Kronauer. What follows is a power struggle involving the entire kolkhoz, told in apt and surprisingly poetic language. VERDICT Readers of both literary fiction and high-end sf can sink into Volodine's absorbing tale.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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