September 1, 2007

Lessons from OSCON: I gotta learn Russian (To read the Nightwatch trilogy)

Late July in Portland, O'Reilly's Open Source Convention was held and one of the things we managed to do before we left was, shocker, go to Powell's books. I allowed myself 3 books, with Frannie dogging my heels and counting up. I ended up picking up a few books and the Andrew Bromfield English translation of Sergei Lukyanenko's novel "Nightwatch"

Nightwatch is -really- good. I had heard about the movie, of course, but hadn't seen it yet, and the book looked interesting. I couldn't have been more right. I can't recommend this book, and it's sequel, "Daywatch" strongly enough. I'm about halfway through the second book and I can only imagine what the third book, "Twilightwatch" has in store for me.

Bromfield's translation can perhaps be called brilliant, as this is no mechanical translation but almost a spiritual connection between two cultures. I cannot honestly imagine the kind of work he had to put into this work to make it as remarkable in English as it is. Either that or Lukyanenko's source material shines so very bright that it can penetrate the barriers of different cultures.

There is really only one way to find out, I gotta learn Russian. Maybe work has a study group I can sit in on. Our folks in London and our St. Petersburg office have said they want me to visit Russia, so maybe in anticipation of some future trip I can start down this particular path of learning.

Spokojnoj Nochi for now, readers, go pick up those books. They're amazing.


yacoob said...

This is very good reason - Lukyanienko's books are really brilliant, and not only the (Day|Night|Twilight)watch - check out "cyberpunk" - Maze of Reflections and False Mirrors.

Greg Stein said...

"You can't put too much water in a nuclear reactor."

Anonymous said...

"You can't put too much water in a nuclear reactor." haha

бомж said...

You can learn russian talking on russian forums and speaking on skype. I guess it's the best way. And it's free :)

Brenda said...

powells is wonderful place - if you're limited to 3, no problem, just stand and read and put back on the shelf :) they don't seem to mind. You can even have a good non-starbuck coffee while you read.

Colin said...

I can't imagine limiting myself to three books at Powell's. I was up for OSCon too, and I brought along a separate bag for carrying books home. :)

I saw Nightwatch. It was odd. I think I would say it was good. I hadn't heard about the books. I'll have to go pick those up.