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Born in 1973 in Lvov Alex Ray later moved to the oil-mining town of Urai in Western Siberia where he made a career in programming and system administration. Finally he founded a computer studio “Unit” and became a successful businessman. His first novel Ganymede-6 was published in Moscow by Eksmo and had a printrun of 13,000. After that came the novels: Chance Shadow, Lagrange-2015, In the Shade of our Wings. He contributes his SF stories to the top SF magazines.

The Smell of Weapons, Death, and the Great Desert
This semi-fantastic novel is about an opposition of two types of people: those who enjoy killing and bullying, which is a way of self-assertion for them and quite simply a way of life; and peace-loving people who are forced to take part in fighting against their will. The protagonist, an IT engineer loves to design solar power generators and wishes to be as far from any war as possible. In the beginning of the novel he goes on a business trip and just then a war breaks out. He gets drafted into the army there and then and forced “to defend his country against the invaders”. Later he gets into the landing force of the Stellar Confederates which makes his life so miserable that all he dreams of is to escape and go back to his solar power generators.
However there is more in this book than fighting and adventure spiced with sex. It is mainly about how humanity keeps making the same blunders even if they are given another chance and that people don’t really change – war is in their blood while a pretext would always present itself. It is also about the constant confrontation between East and West, the nations’ claims to each other’s territories, wealth, and achievements, and mainly about the eternal clash between intellect and brutal force.