The story is about several contemporary teenagers "copied" into an artificial environment, where they are forced to play a game with very harsh rules. The action is set on a set of small sand islands, which are interconnected by narrow bridges, and all the world is under a giant dome, similar to the one from "The Truman show". Inhabitants of each island try to conquer their neighbors. The mission is difficult primarily due to the fact that forces on each island are roughly equal in ability. Once one group takes over its neighbor island, it bears human losses and becomes vulnerable for an attack from a third side. The goal of the game is to take over all 40 islands, which is practically impossible to achieve. However, if they do so, the winning group will be sent back home. All children die at the age of 18, if they are not killed before. They use only cold weapons. A person who breaks the rules of the game usually accidentally dies or is killed shortly after such violation. The people also believe that they are part of some experiment, run by aliens, but have no idea where they are and what the goals of the experiment are.
The novel, harsh and romantic, mixes various genres, such as "sword and planet", "simulated reality" and "children violence".
Two brothers stumble upon a time machine hidden in an artifact dating back to Ancient Egypt. They find themselves in the future, where a Sphinx named Shidla helps them escape and goes with them on an adventure spanning thousands of years of history.
The first novel was adapted into a film called Asiris Nuna. The name comes from the supposed Ancient Egyptian phrase meaning "good night." The phrase is never mentioned in the book.
An action-filled space opera with evolving characters. Each subsequent book involves more ethical problems and philosophy, while at the same time the scale of action steadily increases. This is Lukianenko's only major work that is partially set in the same imaginary universe as the "Road to Wellesberg" series of short stories.
In the novella "A princess is worth dying for", we follow Serge, a young retired sergeant of the Army of the country that now ceased to exist, who accidentally met and loved a Princess. After five years she calls him for help. Serge agrees at once to join her at another planet, Turr. The book is full of fighting with curious weapons (the most effective are plane swords), and galactic laws. Serge is not a weak character, and he knows the price of life — but not his enemies'... The thread going through this book is what love is worth, and what can't be allowed even for the sake of love.
With the main Enemy eliminated, why can't Serge just live with the Princess?
The ancient vanished civilization, the "Seeders" (who seem to have born all known galactic races), left a Temple at each inhabited planet. A Temple is both a keeper of galactic customs, and a beacon for flights in hyperspace – a selection of four beacons defines a destination in 3D space. The Earth is the only planet without a Temple, and no known combination of beacons leading to it. The people of Turr will not accept a Prince from a non-existent planet; and besides that, the Princess doesn't love Serge...
The second book is devoted to efforts of Serge and his friends to find the Earth. It involves well-thought and credible starship battles, etc. Surprisingly, Serge finds a boy from Earth. This, and some other accidents, convince Serge's crew that they have an unknown enemy. A sect called "The Descendants of Seeders" also wants to find "the planet which doesn't exist," to explode a quark bomb on it (a terrible weapon, turning a whole planet to atomic dust), thinking that only this will bring the Seeders back and make the universe wonderful. Who will reach the Earth first? It becomes a race for survival.
The action in the final book approaches the level of total war between two interstellar civilizations with incompatible basic values — and our friends are forced to be between the upper and the nether millstone. Despite harsh action, the style is somehow intrinsically poetic, even metaphoric — Serge will have to deal with a different culture whose values are based on beauty.
Death can seem beautiful, we see charm in destruction... but what lies beneath it all? Aren't pain and fright the real basis of all wars? Aren't all beautiful words justifying wars only the way that we, people, devised to reconcile our consciences with killing?
What is the meaning of life, what is the sense of living? Everybody finds it in his own way, but the large ancient civilization of Fungs found it in beauty. They have a single word for "truth", "beauty", and "faith". They gave up wars long ago. Any Fung that killed another died, realizing the unbeauty of his act. But human culture has taught them otherwise...
A fantasy novel where a modern boy, Danny, comes to a world without sunlight. According to the inhabitants, the sunlight was sold a long time ago to some evil entity. In order to get back home, Danny needs to find some sunlight, or other instance of a matter called "True Light", that could help him open a door back into the real world. All the people are divided into the good Wingers, that live in cities, and the bad Flyings, that live in towers. The Wingers are descendants of the people who sold the sunlight, and the Flyings are a kind of undead who serve a Dark Lord. They are both capable of flying, and continuously fight each other in small local clashes. The plot is a quest, similar to Stephen King's "The Talisman". Danny joins the side of the Wingers, and starts his journey attempting to acquire "True Light".
This book is one of a "human mind inside of virtual reality" theme. It tells about virtual reality called "The Deep" and its main, and perhaps only city named "Deeptown". The book has written slightly before the web becomes popular, so some original fictional technologies are invented. The people from real world can get inside and achieve "full presence" effect using special psycho visual interface, called "deep-program". Due to that access to The Deep relatively expensive, most of the visitors spend only limited time inside. Once get inside, the people are able to detach their mind from The Deep only at the special "exit points," that usually look like various exits at the real world, e.g. doors, restrooms, "end-level" buttons, etc.. The protagonist of the novel, Leonid, belongs to very rare kind of people who are able to enter and exit The Deep whenever they want, without using exit points. This ability makes them almost impossible to be harmed or caught by other people within The Deep. They are often hired for spying on or intruding other organizations and businesses. Also they're used to rescue the people, who are jammed out of exit points or can't exit The Deep alone. The story reaches its climax when Leonid realizes that he stalks a man who exists in The Deep on its own, without being connected from a real world.
The story is set in the future, where genetic engineering has become a commonplace. The embryo's DNA can be altered to make a future "specialist" - a human genetically adapted to a specific job. Specializations range anywhere from a "politician" to "prostitute". This book deals with a specialist-master-pilot, who, when assigned a mission, is forced to deal with the very essence and personality of being genetically altered, and not just with himself, but his diverse crew on board a starship.
"Best literature murder of Yuriy Semetskiy" award.
Two thousand years ago, a God-Man came into the world. He created a great wonder and, before leaving, gave the people the Word, which allows them to do the impossible. But the Word is not known by all, and many wish to wield it. Often, those who possess the Word die a horrible death, refusing to give it up. However, it appears that a teenage boy who ended up in the prisoner hell of the Isles of Sorrow, does possess the Word. Many wish to catch young Marcus, who is capable of altering the fate of the world. Only one is willing to protect the boy - an experienced thief named Ilmar. But can he do it in a world where iron is more valuable than gold?
Two thousand years ago, a man only known as the Redeemer appeared in this world, bringing with him the wonders, and dangers, of the Word — a divine power that many wish to possess. Now, a boy named Marcus has learned the Word and has the power to alter the fate of all humanity. For the Redeemer has returned. Within him… or with him…