Title of the article:



Oleg O. Putilo

Information about the author/authors

Oleg O. Putilo — PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University, V. I. Lenina Ave 27, 400066 Volgograd, Russia. E-mail: dolennor@rambler.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 55


pp. 151–162


January 10, 2019

Date of publication

March 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper provides an analysis of the Russia`s image in the works of alternate history fiction, examined in terms of the implementation of utopian and dystopian genre trends in them. The “alternative” writers of the older generation mainly correlate anti-utopian motifs with the image of Soviet Russia. Thus in his novel “The Island of Crimea” V. Aksenov confronts the former with idyllic views of the alternative Crimea, which, at the end of the novel, are absorbed by an “alien” space of the Russian mainland. The works of V. Rybakov and H. van Zaichik recreate the utopian model of Imperial Russia, in which representatives of all beliefs and political currents safely coexist. For the most part the anti-utopian elements criticize not so much the fictional as the real world, reminding of the older generation writers’ denial of economic and social achievements of the Soviet Union. In the works by “younger age group” authors, the displaying of possible social models of alternative Russia is the matter of secondary concern, while exotic landscapes of cities arising on the site of familiar settlements, serve the only purpose — to shock the reader. As a rule, alternative geographical images are comparable to the actual reality, but utopian and dystopian features are synthesized in their appearance. For example, in his novels, Sergei Luk'ianenko uses dystopian means to construct a seemingly safe space of alternative Moscow, appearing in a utopian halo.


chronotope, space, image of Russia, alternate history fiction, V. Aksenov, V. Rybakov, H. van Zaichik, S. Luk'ianenko, V. Zviagintsev.


1 Aksenov V. Ostrov Krym [The Island Of Crimea]. Moscow, E Publ., 2018. 608 p. (In Russian)

2 Ashcheulova I. V. Russkaia postmodernistskaia istoricheskaia proza v kontekste sovremennoi russkoi kul'tury [Russian postmodern historical prose in the context of modern Russian culture]. Iazyk i kul'tura. Sbornik statei XXV Mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii, posviashchennoi Godu kul'tury v Rossii [Language and culture. Proceedings of the XXV International scientific conference dedicated to the year of culture in Russia], executive edited by S. K. Gural'. Tomsk, Izdatel'stvo TGU Publ., 2015, pp. 23–31. (In Russian)

3 Barashkova A. V. Printsipy khudozhestvennogo mifologizma v zhanre fentezi [Principles of artistic mythologism in the fantasy genre]. Lichnost'. Kul'tura. Obshchestvo, 2010, part 12, no 3 (57–58), pp. 315–318. (In Russian)

4 Van Zaichik Kh. Delo zhadnogo varvara [The case of a greedy barbarian]. St. Petersburg, Azbuka-klassika Publ., 2003. 288 p. (In Russian)

5 Vorob'eva A. N. Russkaia antiutopiia XX – nachala XXI vekov v kontekste mirovoi antiutopii [Russian dystopia of the 20th – early 21st centuries in the context of the world dystopia: author's review: PhD thesis, summary]. Saratov, 2009. 48 p. (In Russian)

6 Gavrilov A. Sherlok Kholms na ostrove Utopiia: [Rets. na knigu Kh. van Zaichika “Delo zhadnogo varvara” (SPb., 2000) ] [Sherlock Holmes on Utopia island: [REC. on the book by H. van Zaychik “The case of the greedy barbarian” (St. Petersburg., 2000) ] ]. Knizhnoe obozrenie, 4 Desember, p. 7. (In Russian)

7 Gorichenskii A. Imperiia nanosit otvetnyi udar. Poka — udar literaturnyi [The Empire strikes back. With a literary blow — for now]. Orduss.pvost.org. Available at: http://orduss.pvost.org/pages/press_5.html (accessed 07 January 2019). (In Russian)

8 Zamiatin D. N. Kul'tura i prostranstvo: Modelirovanie geograficheskikh obrazov [Culture and space: Modeling geographical images]. Moscow, Znak Publ., 2006. 488 p. (In Russian)

9 Zviagintsev V. Odissei pokidaet Itaku [Odysseus leaves Ithaca]. Itaka.pw. Available at: http://itaka.pw/book/01/?001 (accessed 07 January 2019). (In Russian)

10 Kaplan V. Zaglianem za stenku [Let's look behind the wall]. Novyi Mir, 2001, no 9, pp. 156–170. (In Russian)

11 Kozlova S. M. Al'ternativy proshlogo i budushchego Rossii v sovremennoi otechestvennoi proze [Alternatives of the past and future of Russia in modern Russian prose]. Vestnik TGU. Filologiia, 2008, no 3, pp. 73–81. (In Russian)

12 Larionova M. Ch., Gornitskaia L. I. “Ostrov Krym” V. Aksenova: geografiia v kontekste mifa [“The island of Crimea” by V. Aksenov: geography in the context of myth]. Krym i iuzhnye rubezhi Rossii: sbornik nauchnykh statei [Crimea and southern borders of Russia: a collection of scientific articles], executive edited by S. I. Luk'iashko. Rostov-na-Donu, Izdatel'stvo IuNTs RAN Publ., 201, pp. 148‒155. (In Russian)

13 Lobin A. M. Kontseptsii istorii i formy ikh khudozhestvennoi reprezentatsii v russkoi literature nachala 21 veka [Concepts of history and forms of their artistic representation in Russian literature of the early 21st century: author's review: PhD thesis, summary]. Saratov, 2018. 51 p. (In Russian)

14 Lobin A. M. Utopicheskie proekty istorii Rossii v sovremennoi istoricheskoi belletristike [Utopian projects of Russian history in modern historical fiction]. Nauchnyi dialog, 2018, no 10, pp. 171‒183. (In Russian)

15 Luk'ianenko S. V. Chernovik [Draft]. Moscow, AST Publ., 2018. 352 p. (In Russian)

16 Luk'ianenko S. V. Chistovik [Fair copy]. Moscow, AST Publ., 2018. 352 p. (In Russian)

17 Novokhatskii D. V. Zhanrovyi status khudozhestvennoi al'ternativnoi istorii [Genre status of artistic alternative history]. Lіteratura v kontekstі kul'turi, 2013, no 23 (2), pp. 70–78. (In Russian)

18 Os'mukhina O. Iu., Makhrova G. A. Spetsifika zhanra romana al'ternativnoi istorii (na materiale otechestvennoi prozy 1990-kh – 2000-kh gg.) [Specificity of the genre of the alternate history novel (based on domestic prose of the 1990s – 2000s) ]. Vestnik LGU im. A. S. Pushkina, 2013, vol. 1, no 4, pp. 50‒58. (In Russian)

19 Petukhova E. I., Chernyi I. V. Sovremennyi russkii istoriko-fantasticheskii roman [Modern Russian historical fiction novel]. Rulit.me. Available at: https://www.rulit.me/books/sovremennyj-russkij-istoriko-fantasticheskij-roman-get-504772.html (accessed 07 January 2018). (In Russian)

20 Rybakov V. Gravilet “Tsesarevich” [Gravicraft “Crown Prince”]. Moscow, E Publ., 2018. 576 p. (In Russian)

21 Ryl'shchikova L. M., Khudiakov K. V. Al'ternativnaia real'nost' kak populiarizovannyi element nauchno-fantasticheskogo diskursa [Alternative reality as a popularized element of science fiction discourse]. Lingua mobilis, 2011, no 7 (33), pp. 34–39. (In Russian)

22 Frumkin K. G. Al'ternativno-istoricheskaia fantastika kak forma istoricheskoi pamiati [Alternate history fiction as a form of historical memory]. Istoricheskaia ekspertiza, 2016, no 4, pp. 17–28. (In Russian)

23 Chantsev A. Fabrika antiutopii: distopicheskii diskurs v rossiiskoi literature serediny 2000-kh [Factory of dystopias: dystopian discourse in Russian literature of the mid-2000s]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2007, no 86, pp. 269–301. Available at: http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2007/86/cha16.html (accessed 07 January 2018). (In Russian)

24 Schenkel G. Alternate history — alternate memory: counterfactual literature in the context of german normalization. Berlin, M. A., Freie Universität Berlin Publ., 2006. 202 p. (In English)