To celebrate the publication of THE CURVE OF THE EARTH ( UK|US|ANZ), Orbit was lucky enough to be treated to a rare interview with one of the post-apocalyptic world’s most brilliant minds: Doctor Samuil Petrovitch.
Over the course of his life, Doctor Petrovitch has been called a lot of things: hero; cyborg; menace; traitor; father; a**hole.
Now, for the first time, you can meet the man behind the metal (and the myth) in this two part interview. Find out some of his favourite things (cat videos?), discover more about his AI companion Michael, hear more on the Freezone that arose from the ashes of post-Armageddon London – and get to the heart of his strained relationship with Reconstructionist America.
(NB: the below does contain some foreign swearing, as is typical of Petrovitch’s blend of old-school Russian and English. For translations, please see our Russian swearing glossary.)
Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Dr Petrovitch.
SP: Yeah, okay. I’ve been told this would be a good idea, something I very much doubt. I’ll apologise in advance for punching you in the face.
I suppose I should be grateful you’re not shooting me in the face.
SP: Yes. Yes, you should. Are you going to ask me the first yebani question or do I just walk out now?
You’ve been called many things, Dr Petrovitch, and opinions about you are sharply divided. Some see you as some sort of digital saviour, others as the Antichrist himself.
SP: There isn’t actually a question there. Try again.
I’m asking you how you see yourself.
SP: In a mirror. Or I can just pop out one of my eyeballs and turn it around. Seriously, that’s a really dangerous thing to ask me. I could, if I wanted, give you my unshielded ego for the next half hour, but no one really wants to see that, not even me. I have a very strong sense of self, but I’m not so far up my own zhopu as to think that matters at all. What matters is what I do, not how I think of myself as doing. Ask me another, better question.
Super-genius cyborg and hero of the Freezone, Samuil Petrovitch, has a fiery temper – one prone to exploding with more potency than the nukes that signaled the apocalypse around the turn of the 21st century. Generally, Petrovitch’s explosions of anger will take the form of curses in his Russian mother tongue (or perhaps explosions of extreme violence, poisoning, putting bombs in people’s chests and stitching them up again… He’s nothing if not inventive).
To help you decode the various insults hurled at all and sundry by Petrovitch in Simon Morden’s new novel THE CURVE OF THE EARTH (UK | US | ANZ), we’ve put together a handy glossary of Russian swearwords with a very British translation so as not to offend any delicate sensibilities…
Ahueyet Samuil Petrovitch usage: Ahueyet! We’ve got some series govno on our hands. Translation: Egad! It appears our metacarpus have become tainted with effluent.
Balvan Samuil Petrovitch usage: The only way I can explain your actions is to assume your father was balvan. Translation: Your poor decision making suggest there was an extreme deficiency in your father’s intelligence quotient.
Chyort voz’mi! Samuil Petrovitch usage:Chyort voz’mi, this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Translation: Curses! I find myself in the most hateful of all possible worlds.
Chyort! Samuil Petrovitch usage: Chyort! How stupid are you? Translation: Dash it all! Your foolishness demands explanation!
Durak Samuil Petrovitch usage: That’s the sort of thing I’d expect to hear from a durak. Translation: Your communication suggests that your skull is a vacant receptacle rather than a protective covering.
Govno Samuil Petrovitch usage: I have had enough of this govno. Translation: No more faeces for me, thank you.
Idi v’zhopu Samuil Petrovitch usage: Seriously, Reconstructionist America can idi v’zhopu Translation: I would recommend that Reconstructionist America remove itself from my presence at once, preferably in a painful manner.
Kalash Samuil Petrovitch usage: Glad I brought my Kalash. Translation: How fortuitous that I have this Russian-made firearm
Kon govno Samuil Petrovitch usage: I’ve had enough of your kon govno. Translation: I doubt the veracity of your explanation, which has the perfume of equestrian faeces.
Past’ zabej Samuil Petrovitch usage: Past’ zajeb, or I’ll blow your knees off Translation: Be quiet, my good sir, or I shall be forced to relieve you of your mobility.
Pizdets Samuil Petrovitch usage: This a whole new category of pizdets Translation: Our situation is beginning to resemble a cluster of effluent.
Pushka Samuil Petrovitch usage: If I had a decent pushka, this wouldn’t be such pizdets Translation: How I yearn for a firearm of significant calibre to relieve the difficulty of my situation!
Yajtza Samuil Petrovitch usage: Your yajtza must be bigger than the moon. Translation: Your gentleman’s treasures appear to be of planetary proportion.
Yebani Samuil Petrovitch usage: Get this yebani tube out of my gullet before I vomit into my lungs. Translation: Kindly remove this fornicating tube from my digestive tract or I fear we will be having a backwards performance of breakfast.
Yobany stos Samuil Petrovitch usage:Yobany stos, is that the only gun you brought? Translation: Ploppers! I had expected you to be more fully prepared for armed combat.
Zhopa Samuil Petrovitch usage: You talk too much, zhopa. Translation: You are surprisingly communicative for an orifice that is not generally used for speaking.
Coming up in March is something we’ve all been waiting for: a new novel in the mind-blowing Philip K. Dick Award-winning Samuil Petrovitch series by Simon Morden. THE CURVE OF THE EARTH (UK | US | ANZ) is a pure hit of adrenaline-filled science fiction goodness. It features everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, cybernetically-enhanced, AI-implanted, sociopathic, mad Russian genius Samuil Petrovitch.
This novel is a great place for anyone new to the Petrovitch novels to start. If you’re a fan of the likes of Richard Morgan and his classic novel Altered Carbon (another Philip K. Dick Award winner) then this is certainly for you.
THE CURVE OF THE EARTH is set 10 years after the previous three Petrovitch books ended (EQUATIONS OF LIFE, THEORIES OF FLIGHT and DEGREES OF FREEDOM) and features more high-octane action in the gritty world of the Metrozone – a dangerous post-apocalyptic London full of crooked cops, mad cults and gun-toting nuns.
This story will again see Petrovitch come head-to-head with those people he just loves to hate: Reconstructionist America. But this time he’s on a trip to the frozen slopes of North Alaska to find out what’s happened to his adopted daughter Lucy…