Monday, April 18, 2016

Vasily Mahanenko, author of mind-blowing LitRPG novels

Vasily Mahanenko is a fantasy author working in the new genre of LitRPG - the MMO-based fantasy and sci fi. His Way of the Shaman series took Russian literature by storm in 2012.

MDB: Why gaming? What prompted you to dream up a virtual world?

VM: My love for computer games decided my choice of writing genre. You can still find me online in the world’s most popular MMORPG game (I’m not going to plug it in here but everybody knows which one I mean - this absolutely brilliant piece of computer art). Seven years of playing online couldn’t but leave their mark. So one day I realized I wanted to be heard. I wanted to communicate my own ideas, experiences, dreams and desires to the world. I just hope that I at least partially succeeded.

MDB: If you could transport yourself to the world you created, would you do so? And if you did, which of the game characters would you like to play?

VM: Absolutely! I did my best to create a logical and self-sustainable world, exciting enough for me to spend the rest of my life in. And if I could... I’d be playing the Shaman, that’s for sure!

MDB: In your opinion, is playing MMORPG games just mindless entertainment and a waste of time? Or does it help one grow and develop one's particular skills and character traits? Which ones?

VM: Let me be brutally honest. At the moment, online gaming is a waste of time. A major one, allowing one to escape reality into a fantasy world. A legal drug, if you like. BUT! As soon as gaming technologies evolve enough to allow all players - not just professional gamers - to make money and support themselves through gaming, the situation might change radically. And I do hope that we won’t have to wait too long for that.

MDB: What do you find more exciting: to play a game or to write about it?

VM: You can’t compare the two. They’re chalk and cheese. But as I play, I come up with stories; as I write, I play a mental game. In order to write LitRPG, you need to be able to do both.

MDB: Can we expect your new books to expand into other genres? What genres would they be?

VM: Talking about other genres, I do have an idea for a classic fantasy book. Still, in order to move on to it, I first need to finish my current projects. So it might take some time.

MDB: Can we expect new books in the existing series or do you have other plans?

VM: At the moment, I have two LitRPG series in the works: The Way of the Shaman and Galactogon. Even though I’m quite happy with both, I’ve got my sights set on a bigger goal so currently I’m working on a new series, The Paladin - a LitRPG set in the real world. It has none of that virtual-capsule and full-immersion stuff but still it preserves all of the genre’s attributes. I hope it turns out well.

MDB: Which other LitRPG authors would you personally recommend to your friends and readers?

VM: Most notably, I’d like to recommend Dem Mikhaylov with his Valdira series and Dmitry Rus with Play to Live. In my opinion, these two authors are the most prominent examples of LitRPG fiction.

Magic Dome books

"The Secret of the Dark Forest" by Vasily Mahanenko coming soon:

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