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Pyongyang, ballistic missiles and Gorby

In response to popular demand, I have published on Kindle an omnibus of my famous Hotel Stories.

The price is much better than buying the stories individually.

In the early days, back when I’d only written four Hotel Stories, I threw in an old, strange story of mine which I wrote back in the early ’90s in Moscow.  I wrote several short stories and even a novel about Russia in those days.  This is one of my favourites.

Novy Bor (it means “new forest” in Russian) is not a hotel story.  But it does, like the Hotel Stories, have a female narrator.  It’s set at a time – the winter of 1991-92 – when the Soviet Union suddenly ceased to exist.


Street scene near Kyiv Station, Moscow, 2005. Photo: Robert Pimm

1991-92 was a period of turbulence, uncertainty and corruption in Russia: as the narrator observes: “with more dollars sloshing around in what people are beginning to call Russia than at any time since 1917, only a saint would have nothing to hide, and saints don’t make it big in Russian politics.”

“Novy Bor” is not at present available in full; but I might publish it on this blog sometime, if anyone says they’d like the read the rest of it.  You can read a taster here.  Let me know what you think via the “Contact me” page.


Novy Bor (excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

The piece about the Russian rocket boffins and the Pyongyang vacation jobs catches my eye in some guy’s copy of AIDS-INFO as I step onto the platform at Lubyanka. I see it over his shoulder – I’m pretty tall – but read only a line or two before the usual crowd of jostlers sweeps me up off exitwards. Shoving back against an elbow in the breast I break my knee on a crate of oranges on wheels which is being pulled along like a dog on a string by an old man in a black coat who chooses this moment to stop dead. (more…)

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