Mikhail Bulgakov

Russian author, much of whose work could be considered to be SF, Fantasy Fiction or Magic Realism, depending on your point of view and way of classifying these things. His major works of interest are the novellas 'The Heart of a Dog' (1925) and 'The Fatal Eggs' (1925) and the novel 'The Master and Margarita' (1928-1940, not published until 1966) which was not published until the 1960s. All three of them take a satirical slant on life in the Soviet Union, on Marxist ideology and on science generally - and they're far funnier than you'd imagine from this description. They're surprising anarchistic and light-hearted compared to most po-faced Soviet SF.

Bulgakov fell under ideological suspicion in the 1930s, hence the late publication of 'Master and Margerita', now recognised as one of the greatest Russian novels of the twentieth century. He had to destroy and rewrite the book numerous times when he believed he might be arrested and the text destroyed; hence the famous line in the novel 'manuscripts don't burn'.

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