Svetlana Martynchik

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Max Frei (Макс Фрай)
Max Frei.jpg
Max Frei in 2007
Born Svetlana Yuryevna Martynchik (Светлана Юрьевна Мартынчик/Світлана Юріївна Мартинчик)
(1965-02-22) 22 February 1965 (age 50)[citation needed]
Odessa, Soviet Union
Genre Fantasy
Spouse Igor Steopin

Max Frei (Russian: Макс Фрай) is the pen name of Svetlana Yuryevna Martynchik (Russian: Светла́на Ю́рьевна Марты́нчик; Ukrainian: Світлана Юріївна Мартинчик) (born 1965 in Odessa, Ukraine, Soviet Union), a Russophone Ukrainian[1] fantasy writer.[2] Svetlana collaborates on her books with her spouse, artist Igor Steopin. She writes in Russian and currently resides in Vilnius, Lithuania, while keeping Ukrainian citizenship.


Martynchik studied philology at Odessa State University, but dropped out without graduating. From 1986 she collaborated with artist Igor Steopin, whom she later married. The couple moved to Moscow, Russia, in 1993, to work at Marat Gelman's gallery. There, Svetlana started writing fantasy books.

The pen name, Max Frei, was invented by Martynchik and Steopin for their works on comic fantasy series Labyrinths of Echo ("Лабиринты Eхо"). The plot follows the eponymous narrator, sir Max, as he leaves our "real" world for phantasmagoric fantasy city of Echo. There, he becomes a member of special service that controls the use of magic. The books are written by Martynchik, while Steopin developed the Echo universe and illustrated the books. Along with her Echo books, Frei also participated in several literary projects. She compiled Fram, a series of short story anthologies by Amphora publishing house.

The couple moved to Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2004, out of their dislike of megapolises.[1] There, Max Frei wrote two parts of magic realist Tales of the Old Vilnius.


Labyrinths of Echo[edit]

  • Чужак (Stranger, 1996)
  • Волонтёры Вечности (Volunteers of Eternity, 1996)
  • Простые волшебные вещи
  • Тёмная сторона (The Dark Side, 1997)
  • Вершитель (The Executor, 1997—1998)
  • Наваждения (Illusions, 1998)
  • Власть несбывшегося (Power of Unfulfilled, 1998)
  • Болтливый мертвец (A Chatting Dead, 1999)
  • Лабиринт Мёнина (Labyrinth of Mönin, 2003)

Chronicles of Echo[edit]

  • Чуб земли, Туланский детектив (The Earth’s Tuft, Tulanian Detective, 2005)
  • Властелин Морморы (Lord of Mormora, 2005)
  • Неуловимый Хабба Хэн (Elusive Habba Han, 2005)
  • Ворона на мосту (A Crow at the Bridge, 2006)
  • Горе господина Гро (Mr. Gro’s Grief, 2007)
  • Обжора-Хохотун (A Gluttony Jovial, 2010)
  • Дар Шаванахолы (The Gift of Shavanahola, 2011)
  • Тубурская игра (The Tuburian Game, 2013)

Dreams of Echo[edit]

  • Мастер ветров и закатов (Master of Winds and Aunsets, 2014)
  • Слишком много кошмаров (Too Many Nightmares, 2015)


  • Гнёзда химер (Chimeras’ Nests, 1997)
  • Мой Рагнарёк (My Ragnarok, 1998)
  • Энциклопедия Мифов (Encyclopedia of Myths)
  • Идеальный роман (An Ideal Novel, 1999)
  • Книга для таких, как я (Book for the Likes of Me, 2002)
  • Жалобная книга (A Petition Book, 2003)
  • Книга одиночеств (Book of Loneliness, 2004) —— with Linor Goralik.
  • Сказки и истории (Tales and Stories, 2004)
  • Ключ из жёлтого металла (Yellow Metal Key, 2009)
  • Большая телега (A Big Carriage, 2009)
  • Одна и та же книга (The Very Same Book, 2010)
  • Первая линия (First line, 2012)
  • Вторая линия (Second Line, 2012)
  • Сказки старого Вильнюса (Tales of the Old Vilnius, 2012)


  1. ^ a b Радио Свобода. История творчества писателя Макса Фрая. Ирина Петерс: «У Светланы и Игоря украинское гражданство, в Литве они с видом на жительство».
  2. ^ Mixed masala

External links[edit]