Today i finally have read "Manual Drive" by Vadim Panov.
He is a russian sci-fi writer mostly working in "city fantasy" genre. I generally dislike this flavor of fiction, but this particular book was highly praised in the fandom. So, i decided to give it a try. Overall impression - meh. If this one is considered the best of Panov, i'd stay away from his other works.
If you are interested, "city fantasy" is a genre mix of (noir) detective and common heroic fantasy. It usually involves strong magical reality placed in a replica of our actual world - end of 20th century, beginning of 21st. The magic and its creatures are not considered a "common knowledge" like in any heroic fantasy, but rather lurks in the dark alleys, hiding from general public.
The popular nowadays vampire/werewolf pandemonium can be considered a subgenre of a "city fantasy".
Just finished watching the first (and only) season of "Kings" - a drama loosely based on biblical story, but set up in modern environment. Overall impression in one word - enchanting.
The show is not thrilling you with tightly packed action, astounding graphical extravaganza or plot full of mystery and spookiness, but it have something other modern shows usually lack - a soul touch. In its own moderate tempo the story tells you of kings and heroes, of bravery, patriotism and mens' fight for their destiny and against it.
Its not exactly a sci-fi, neither it is a fantasy. The genre is drama and the setting involves queen looking for her cell phone in a sock drawer, prince commencing a black-op behind country's border and gives you tingling sensation of what strong "god given" monarchy with court and all the intrigues and prophecies would look like in a world of computers and helicopters. To know the bible is not necessary to understand the plot, but it adds a spicy flavor as you see David defeats Goliath, for example.
Recommended to watch for anyone with a taste to high/classic culture.