The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

A Russian Brown Bear is the Best Patronus! Our Pop Quiz Interview with Sergei Lukyanenko

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Sergei Lukyanenko, Moscow-based author of the Night Watch novels. Lukyanenko’s writing has been translated into more than twenty languages and continues to be hugely popular. His latest novel, The Genome, is available now in English from Open Road Media. Read an excerpt here on Tor.com!

Join us as Sergei answers all our Harry Potter-related questions (and a few non-magical ones, too)!

What literary or film science fiction technology do you wish existed in our world right now?

It would have to be a technology providing eternal life—anything else would be achieved eventually. The example is aTan from my book (“The Line of Dreams”)

What would your Patronus/familiar be?

Russian Brown Bear.

If you could open a new shop in Diagon Alley, what would you sell?

I would open a shop selling books about the life of Muggles and all the curious things they use in their life. I think I would make plenty of galeons!

Name your three favorite fictional villains of all time.

  • The Crimson King from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series
  • Assassin Mr. Teatime from Terry Pratchett’s Books
  • It, Pennywise the Clown, from It by Stephen King

Only they are not the favourite villains, they are the scariest in my opinion.

Having finally established communication with a distant alien species, what’s the first thing that we should tell them about Earth/humans?

Beware of us, chaps! We are not tasty and even poisonous!

If you, as a ghost, could regularly haunt one celebrity, author, or literary figure, who would it be?

It is boring to haunt a writer, and even more so to haunt a celebrity. I would haunt a literary figure! Possibly some superhero, maybe even James Bond. Constant adventures, fights, beautiful women—much more interesting that watching a writer who taps on computer all day long, or a celebrity posing in front of cameras.

If you were secretly going to write fanfic about any two characters, who would they be?

I would write a true story of Voldemort, a terrible enemy of Harry Potter, and his teacher, professor Dumbledore. I suspect that it would be a very sad story—how Voldemort turned into a villain. Did he have reasons for that? Was he a tragic suffering person? I would have to find out…
However, there have been so many fanfics written about Harry Potter, that somebody must have written this one already

List three things you’d like our readers to know about you and your work.
I am fat, lazy and kind.

If you could find one previously undiscovered book by a non-living author, who would it be? Why?

As a Russian author I would want to name Dostoyevsky. However, being a writer of science fiction I will choose Tolkien. Let’s imagine a book Rebirth of the Ring: Sauron Returns!

What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?

Yorkshire terrier. It’s my favourite breed.

What’s your favorite fairy tale, or fairy tale retelling?

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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