Vadim Shefner

Vadim Sergeevich Shefner Вадим Сергеевич Шефнер (1915- January 5, 2002) was a Russian poet and writer who started publishing poetry in 1936. His first poetry collection was published in 1940. He turned to philosophical science fiction in the early 1960s, but continued publishing non-genre fiction and poetry.
I’m, in my fifties, wait for something else:
Not for Great God, nor sacred flight from heaven,
Nor the big joy, nor black unhappiness.
Nor marvel, but for something that would happen.

The even host and guest by just a chance Here on that Earth between the dead and deathless, Where the nature’s patience had been cast Into granite full of the proud steadiness, --

I wait for something that has not its name, Together with white clouds and deeps breathless. Eternal darkness and eternal flame – Are nulls, compared with what I seek for centuries.

I wait for something, being poor or reach, Through years of woes and of bright creation; I wait for something in the World, in which Matter is just a form of this wait-action.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, April, 2001

The life is short to the offensive,
They do not give you crown for a long,
from the swallow of milk to the swallow
Of the weeping medicine brought. 

But between by those throats - note! - Several of choices are given to us: It is possible at home sit at the tea, it is possible to drink out of the distant wells.

If life is not light, not smooth, if in the life you step far, then the life is not too short, Do not swear on it.

Through the mountains, the thickets, the sands, not fearing nor fog or wind, you went from the sources of the river and to its mouth reached unnoticeably.

Here is ended the distant march, not medicine you drink out of the glass: Your lips are been poured over By the bitterish ripple of ocean.

Translated by Vald, January, 2006


  • "The Friar of Chikola" and "A Provincial's Wings", tr. Helen Saltz Jacobson, in New Soviet Science Fiction, New York, Macmillan, 1979, ISBN 0-02-578220-7
  • The Unman, New York, Collier Books, 1981, ISBN 0-02-610060-6, 233p. Includes:
    • The Unman (Chelovek s piatiyu ne), trs. Alice Stone Nakhimovsky and Alexander Nakhimovsky
    • Kovrigin’s chronicles (Devushka u obryba), tr. Antonina W. Bouis
  • "A Modest Genius: A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups" ("Skromnyi genij"), in:
    • Russian Science Fiction 1969, ed. Robert Magidoff, New York Univ. Press, 1969, pp. 83-100.
    • View from Another Shore, ed. Franz Rottensteiner, New York, Seabury Press, 1973, ISBN 0-8164-9151-8 Second edition Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-85323-932-0 and ISBN 0-85323-942-8
    • The 1974 Annual World's Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim, DAW, 1974, pp. 93-107.

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