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Ukrainian Science Fiction

Historical and Thematic Perspectives

Walter Smyrniw

As the first of its kind, the present study of Ukrainian science fiction encompasses both the historical and thematic features of this genre. It contains a discussion of the representative and the most imaginative Ukrainian science fiction works published by writers residing in Ukraine and abroad.
The initial part of the study focuses on the historical legacy of Ukrainian science fiction, with a special emphasis on the authors of the formative period and the émigré authors who wrote after the Second World War, but were totally ignored during the Soviet political hegemony. It is followed by an analysis of the impact of Soviet ideology on the science fiction that prevailed in Ukraine from the 1920s to the late 1950s.
With the relaxation of political controls over literature, publications of Ukrainian science fiction after the 1960s were so numerous that it was not feasible to obtain and to examine all these items. However, the novels and stories that were utilized in this study do provide a representative sample of the themes that comprise the main thrust of Ukrainian science fiction from the early 1960s to the end of the 20 th century.