"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.
"A landmark of modern dystopianism."—Kirkus Reviews
"With the calm strangeness of dreams, and humor deepened by a hint of melancholy, these wonderful stories fool around on the frontiers of the imagination.—Shelley Jackson
"Life or death? Dream or reality? Antoine Volodine destroys these binaries with the force of a nuclear meltdown."—Rachel S. Cordasco, World Literature Today
"Jeffrey Zuckerman's translation excels in setting a mood of discomfort partly rooted in the text's radical semantic instability, while simultaneously lending the prose haunting cadences."—Geoff Shullenberger, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Radiant Terminus is a compelling and consistently engaging read from cover to cover and highly recommended for both community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, as well as the personal reading lists of science fiction enthusiasts."—Pault T. Vogel, The Midwest Book Review