Sviatoslav Loginov

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About the Author

A Short Autobiography of Sviatoslav Loginov

I was born on October 9th, 1951. In order to give birth to me, my mother, for some reason, had gone down to Ussuriysk By-the-Sea (then Voroshilov), but by the time I was eight months old I was already back in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) where I have lived inextricably ever since. In school, I was always skimming between poor and bad grades; as if often happens with Russian boys, my native abilities were excellent but overshadowed by pure laziness. I suffer from this highly original peculiarity to this day. Now, back in those days I had no clue about how writers came into being; I was sincerely convinced that all writers have long been hung out to dry on the walls of Literature Departments. As a result, I nearly became a chemist, finishing first a chemists school, and then a chemistry degree program at St. Petersburg State University (Leningrad State University at the time). My GPA at the university was 3.168, first of all because I was a born lazy-bones, and secondly because I spent far too much time and energy writing SF (and you thought it was vodka and women, right?) By the way, my third story was called, "Lazy-bones, or Who hurts where [Len'-matushka, ili U kogo chto bolit]."

And yet, despite having written two dozen short stories, two or three of which have actually been published as of today, I still did not really think that I was living the life of a writer, because "all writers have long been hung out to dry on the walls of Literature Departments." And then pure chance brought me to the House of Writers at 14 Voinov Street, where I managed to stumble right into the very first meeting of Boris N. Strugatsky's seminar. There it was explained to me that I was actually trying to write, just didn't yet know how. This happened in March of 1974 and became the date of my official enlistment as a writer.

My first magazine publication came upon me in April of 1975, in the "Ural Tracker [Uralskiy Sledopyt]," and the second in April, 1981, in "Sparky [Iskorka]." And I was actively writing during all those years! This was the pace at which writers made their careers in those days. One could also write for the so-called "mass market1," but I have never done that.

It was in the same 1981 that it was explained to me that if I wanted to be published once every six years, then I should go ahead and keep my real last name (which, for the record, is Wittmann); otherwise I should take a pseudonym ending in "ov." My mother's maiden name is Loginova; since I was a child I had always heard people say "He sure is a Loginov, that one!". So I had no problem with it, and even afterwards, when it became possible to be printed under my real name, I remained a Loginov.

And just like that, having changed my name, I began being published once a year, and even twice a year, and once I even had a short story published in an anthology ("The Blue Road"), which only took a measly eight years to make it into print.

Luckily, shortly thereafter came Perestroika, and from there on one should consult the bibliography. As to the biography, it only remains to be said that I am married and have two children.

1. In Soviet times, writing for the mass market was pretty much equivalent to writing to the dictation of the Communist party. While exercising a supposed degree of freedom, writers were in fact forced to write on Communist themes and inject their work with various forms of Soviet propaganda. A writer refusing to follow these rules was subjected to a never-ending slew of rejections from the government controlled publishing industry.

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