The Debut Project and Other Stories

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What is this book?

The Debut Project and Other stories is my first book, a collection of short stories written from late 2021 to late 2022. The centrepiece is The Debut Project, a novella my brother Ilia and I started plotting and which was intended to become an animated film (maybe one day). It takes about a half of the book. The rest are fourteen unique short stories of various genres, outwardly solemn, inwardly whimsical, often experimental, often humorous.

Here's how I describe it in details:

Explore the weird and wonderful

This eclectic collection of short stories is brimming with engaging narratives spanning a variety of genres - from fantasy and science fiction to satire and absurdist humour. Imprinted with a unique voice that's both playful and poignant, each story transforms the everyday into the fantastical, wielding sharp wit and profound human insights.

At the heart of this anthology lies "The Debut Project", a riveting novella weaving together elements of fantasy, crime, and comedy. Set in the mysterious City N, the story follows the intertwined lives of Felix, Kolya, their friend Nina, and their cat Moros. Unwittingly running afoul of a local kingpin, their ordinary existence takes an extraordinary turn. As Felix and Kolya tackle their debut engineering project to clear their debts and Nina struggles to keep her business afloat, they encounter a series of surprising events that test their bravery and loyalty. With its intriguing characters and gripping plot, "The Debut Project" spins a tale of friendship, ambitions, and resilience in a city steeped in crime.

The table of contents:

  • The Debut Project (4-chapter illustrated novella)
  • The Blue Pill Of Atlantis
  • The Testimony Of Sixth The Second
  • Brainlephant
  • Welcome To The Wonderland
  • Reviews
  • Phantomic Rabbits
  • A Clockwork Human
  • Another Stitch On The Wall
  • Words Unspoken
  • The Mysterious Trip of Mark Markethrudder
  • Look At The Horizon
  • Hunters
  • Bewildering Wilderness
  • Reasoning With The Algorithm

If you want to learn more about the stories included in the book, please visit the guide for newcomers, where every story has at least one-sentence blurb and categorised by genres.

Why should I read it?

These stories are a breath of fresh air, they are the works of a real and rare talent and though they were borne out of a time of hysteria and apathy and copycat behaviour they are clear eyed, filled with life and completely unique. 

Thomas J Bevan, a writer and the founder of the Soaring Twenties Social Club

The Debut Project is an uproar. A firestorm of follies and fun prose. Vanya is the man to take a flamethrower to convention and puff the stuff of beauty from its ashes. I'm glad to witness his rise.

David Torkington, a writer, an editor (including this book)

Vanya is a gifted storyteller whose utterly unique voice yet brings to mind the delightful humor of Pratchett, the piercing human insight of the Russian masters, and the wild creativity and adventurous style of our best contemporary speculative fiction writers, among whom I fully expect Mr. Bagaev to be named in short order.

Brady Putzke, a novelist, an author of Dream House

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Fantasy novella
Eclectic collection of short stories
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The Debut Project and Other Stories

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