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I'm trying to find the exact name of the author and the novel.

Situation:

  1. I know the supposed Russian transliteration/translation of the novel/author.
  2. When I Google for the work, using my best guess at the original English author/title, I don't get anything useful.
  3. I don't know anything else about the work, but I do have a description of a Russian fantasy movie that was supposedly made “based on the novel”.

Details:

  • I ran into a description of a 1990s Russian movie called "Психодинамика колдовства" ("The psychodynamics of witchcraft").

  • According to the movie description, it is supposedly based on a novel by someone named James Gann, called “Wherever you are”[1] (Russian text has ‘По повести Джеймса Ганна “Где бы ты ни был”').

  • When I Google for this "James Gann", I get nothing useful - mostly, LinkedIn profiles and such.

    [1] the English translation is mine, and the most likely reason for the failure is the process of English-Russian-English translation, the final English version may have incorrect spelling or even wording. Although I don't rule out the movie info simply having incorrect fact.

  • I don't know anything about the work itself, except the info about this Russian movie made which was made “based on the work”. How closely it hews to the original novel is anyone's guess.

    Young scientist is working on a thesis called “The psycho-dynamics of Witchcraft” and is trying to prove that the "witchery" events described in historical witchcraft trials were not real witchcraft. But one day he meets a young village girl, who has supernatural powers, and falls in love with her.
    His human feelings conflict with the drive of a scientist… (English translation mine, Russian original below)

    Молодой ученый пишет диссертацию на тему "Психодинамика колдовства" и пытается доказать, что явлений, описанных в исторических судах над ведьмами, быть не может.
    Но однажды он встречает юную деревенскую девушку, обладающую сверхъестественными способностями, и влюбляется в нее.
    В нем начинают бороться человеческие чувства и азарт ученого..

  • The Cyrillic transliterates as "Po Povesti Jamesa Ganna Gde Be Te Ni Bel" Or something like that. My russian is really bad though, if I weren't lazy I'd ask Google. – John O May 26 '13 at 19:47
  • @JohnO - my russian, OTOH, is fluent (I still use Google translate for large chunks of text just 'cause I'm too lazy to type up 100% of translation - easier to fix up Google's mess than start from scratch) – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 27 '13 at 1:23
15
+100

Some browsing through ISFDB turned up "The Reluctant Witch"/"Wherever You May Be" by James E. Gunn. I haven't read it, but this synopsis sounds a lot like your description.

7

Found it!

It was indeed a failure in double transliteration/translation. And it was a novelette/novella, not a novel. Oh, and the name of the story that was given in Russian was a "variant name" - meaning the novelette was seemingly officially called something completely different, and one of his minor works to boot.

It was James Gunn (with a "u", not an "a") - IFSDB profile.

The title of the story was actually "The Reluctant Witch" (1953), and IFSDB says it has something called "variant title" - whateverthehell that means - "Wherever You May Be" - the name closely matches, and the synopsis is somewhat similar as well:

Synopsis: A man who has rented a cottage on countryside to finish his dissertation about witchcraft encounters a young girl in scruffy clothing, who invites herself to live with him. She turns out to be somewhat older than she first seems, and much more beautiful than the first impression was. And she turns out to have some very special powers, and turns out to be extremely persistent if she doesn't get what she wants. When angry she has almost limitless psi- powers. As the protagonist tries to study those powers, he makes her angry in purpose - something he really, really comes to regret.

protected by Community Dec 16 '15 at 18:23

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