was born 21 November 1963 in Leningrad, USSR. His father, Daniil Alexandrovich Perumov, was a biologist. Nikolai began writing short stories when he was a teenager, and after reading The Lord of the Rings in the early 1980s, he became a fantasy fan. After studying at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute, Perumov worked at a research institute, and later as a translator.
In 1985–1991 he wrote his first fantasy novel Нисхождение тьмы (Descent of Darkness), which consisted of two volumes: Эльфийский Клинок (Elven Blade) and Черное Копье (Black Lance). The book was set in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, 300 years after the War of the Ring. Perumov initially regarded his novel as just a fan fiction written for friends, until one of his colleagues offered to publish it.
In 1993 the duology, re-edited and renamed Кольцо Тьмы (The Ring of Darkness) was published by Severo-Zapad, which paid Perumov a small sum of $300. The Ring of Darkness was a surprising success. It sold at least 100,000 copies and spurred Perumov’s popularity. The book also provoked a controversy in Tolkien fandom; some fans considered it was not fair to set the book in Middle-Earth rather than Perumov’s own setting and to challenge Tolkien’s philosophy of “Good against Evil” in it. Koltso Tmy, however, was one of a number of such projects, as several other 1990’s Russian writers, including Natalia “Niennah” Vasilyeva and Kirill Yeskov, would publish unauthorized Middle-Earth books that challenged Tolkien far more sharply.
After the success of his debut, Perumov decided to start a career as a professional writer. He wrote the novel Гибель Богов (Godsdoom), heavily inspired by Norse mythology. It was the first book to be set in Упорядоченное (The Consistent), a multiverse of many connected worlds. The Consistent became the primary setting of his following books, including the most known, 8-volume series Хранитель Мечей (The Keeper of Swords).
Over 4 million copies of Perumov’s books have been published, and his work has been translated into many languages, Northern and Eastern European mostly. One of his books, Godsdoom has also been translated into English by Liv Bliss. At Eurocon 2004 he was given an award as the best fiction writer of Europe. He is a good friend of Vera Kamsha, whom he persuaded to start a career as a writer. In the 2000s Kamsha also became a popular fantasy writer. Perumov enjoys Melnitsa music and wrote a cameo appearance for the band in one of his books.
In 1998, during the Russian financial crisis, Perumov moved to the United States of America. He currently works there for North Carolina Research Campus as a microbiologist. Nick claims writing is his ‘hobby,’ and science is his job.
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