This essay examines the Etnogenez series of science fiction and fantasy novels. Launched in 2009 by the media producer, “political technologist,” and Kremlin insider Konstantin Rykov, Etnogenez has enjoyed truly phenomenal success, developing into one of the most ambitious publishing projects of the post-Soviet period. At present it numbers more than fifty works, which circulate in millions of copies and additionally are broadly disseminated on the Internet and as e-books, audiobooks, and podcasts. There are Etnogenez fan clubs, computer games, and dozens of Internet discussion groups. Although the novels in the series differ widely in their plots and subjects, and are written in a variety of different science fiction genres, all of them are loosely inspired by the work of the historian and geographer Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, in particular his theories of ethnogenesis (from which the project takes its name), passionarnost', and Eurasianism. The essay explores the powerful resonances between the Etnogenez project, the Gumilevian legacy, and the leading political and social narratives of Putin's Russia.

You do not currently have access to this content.