Tony Vilgotsky

Last updated
Tony Vilgotsky
Tony Vilgotsky 1.jpg
Born (1980-06-14) 14 June 1980 (age 40)
Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation
Occupation Author, journalist, game designer
Nationality Russian
Genre Horror, fantasy

Anton "Tony" Vilgotsky (Russian: Антон Вильгоцкий) is a Russian musician, composer, horror and fantasy writer, [1] playwright, [2] and musical columnist. He is mostly known for his fantasy and horror novels (Chosen by the Pentacle, Evil Never Sleeps, The Charmed Roads, Shepherd of the Dead and others) as well as his journalist work in such magazines like Dark City, Mir Fantastiki, OM, KVIR and Darker.



Tony was born on July 14, 1980 in the Southern Russian city Rostov-on-Don. He spent some time studying journalism at a local university and then started to work as a correspondent in a local daily newspaper. [3]

Since his adolescence, he admired the horror genre, which inspired him to begin writing horror stories himself. Two issues of his dark fantasy saga, The Chronicles of Skharn (Russian: Хроники Схарны), were published by Armada Publishing House in December 2008 and May 2009. The first of these novels landed on 7th position in Top 100 bestselling books of this publishing house of several years. Such phenomenal success of debut novel was unexpected even for author himself. [4] This book was nominated for prestigious Russian fiction award Roscon. [5] The novel Evil Never Sleeps was nominated for one of the main awards of the fiction festival Star Bridge. [6] Vilgotsky's next novel Little Shop of Horrors became one of the most anticipated Russian books of the following decade. [7] His books were widely pirated [8] and in 2010 somebody even hacked Vilgotsky's PC with intention to steal his new texts before their official release. [9]

The novels Eye of Satan, Suburban Necromancer and The Charmed Roads were released in 2012 by company Litres which is a department of biggest Russian publishing house Eksmo. [10]

During very long period Vilgotsky was the main author of Russian metal magazine Dark City. During this period he interviewed such bands like Amon Amarth, Das Ich, Crematory, Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows, Suicide Commando and many more.[ citation needed ] For some time he was a literary editor of Russian horror webzine The Darkness (Тьма) [11] and continued to write for its successor, Darker magazine. [12] Tony Vilgotsky was one of the men who stood at the source of the first Russian horror fiction anthology. [13] Also, despite Vilgotsky is not a gay himself, his articles about different gay musicians often can be noticed in Russian LGBT-magazine Kvir . [14] Also he works as translator and music observer in Russian version of Classic Rock magazine.

He was the first Russian journalist who interviewed American musician and actor Ari Lehman (the first portrayer of Jason Voorhees in the first "Friday the 13th" movie), and famous movie composer Harry Manfredini who scored most of the "Friday" movies. The latter interview was published in Mir Fantastiki [15] Later Vilgotsky interviewed many horror celebrities, including Tom Savini, Felissa Rose, Scott Derrickson, Brian Paulin, Matt Farnsworth, Dieter Laser, Victor Brooke Miller and more.

Since 2012, Vilgotsky began to collaborate with Hollywood horror magazine Gore Noir. [16] Also he was noticed among authors of Australian horror magazine Midnight Echo. [17]

Vilgotsky is also the first Russian author who created a full biography of Ayn Rand. This book was highly praised by the critics and became a national bestseller in Russia and Ukraine. All copies of the book were sold out during the first month after its release. [18] The novel Shepherd of the Dead was listed among best new fiction books of the year just a week after its release. [19] Talking on this book the critics compared Vilgotsky's style to that of Clive Barker. [20] The novel also became a bestseller in Estonia, where all the copies of the book were sold out during one night after their delivery from Russia. By the end of the year 2018 novel Shepherd of the Dead became a national bestseller in Russia too. [21] In biggest Russian online book store, Ozon, the book was completely sold out during few months since its release. [22] This book also went to become a bestseller in Armenia. [23] Vilgotsky's novel Warriors of the Church was cited in the list of foreign books recommended to Americans who are interested in non-American horror literature. [24]

Tony Vilgotsky during the press conference in underground club of Rostov-on-Don, 2010 Tony Vilgotsky 2.jpg
Tony Vilgotsky during the press conference in underground club of Rostov-on-Don, 2010


In 2017 Tony released a new non-fiction book Self-Defence by Materials at Hand [25] [26] with illustrations drawn by himself. [27] This book is intended mostly for a female audience. [28] The book went to come a huge bestseller in Russia.


In the years 2009-2014 Tony Vilgotsky was active on dark electro stage as a leader of horror electro project Soul Cancer. They released several web albums and then disbanded. In one of the tracks the group collaborated with iconic B-movie actor Dieter Laser. [29] After the end of Soul Cancer's career Tony as musician and composer focused primarily on film and game soundtrack work. His score for American movie Cryptic Plasm was highly appreciated in Poland. [30]

Video game career

In recent years Tony has quit journalism as his day job, with a goal to focus on his lierature works and also to try himself in a world of business. For a year he worked as brand manager and press secretary in one of the largest Russian modeling agencies, Image-Elite, [31] than migrated into video game industry. As it's known, he was a member of at least two game development teams - Aurum Dust and Redox Entertainment, which produced, respectively, such games as Ash of Gods: Redemption (Tactical RPG) and Cows VS Vikings (tower defense). Also he provided music soundtracks for several indie games. In December 2016, Vilgotsky announced that he wants to try himself as game designer and that he started to develop his first video game. Details of this project weren't revealed yet. [32] Due to Vilgotsky's popularity over Post-Soviet space, the news about his first game project were widely spread by many sources of the region. [33] [34] [35] [36] Later was announced that Vilgotsky is planning to release another game before the one that was announced earlier. The name of the game is Evils Spirits Shotdown and it's based on his own novel Warriors of the Church. [37]

Personal life

As Tony admitted in one of his interviews, he is an enthusiastic gamer who began to play videogames from the early childhood. Among his favorite games he lists such titles as Witcher, Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Hellgate: London and Assassin's Creed. [38] He's a fan of ambient and world music (because, as he admits, he was tired of extreme metal during his metal observer career). [39]

He is also a fan of Twin Peaks and other movies by David Lynch. [40]



Short stories


Scientific researches


2013Cryptic Plasm (directed by Brian Paulin)Composer
2017Vitals (directed by Marc Morgenstern) [46] Composer
2018Septic (directed by Brian Paulin)Composer
TBAStalin's BunkerComposer, producer, actor

Video game music

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  1. A Book of European Writers
  2. Russian playwrights database
  3. Career of successful fantasy writer had its roots in Evening Rostov
  4. Tony Vilgotsky on
  5. List of Roscon-2009 nominees
  6. List of Star Bridge-2009 nominees
  7. Waiting for the computer horrors
  8. Rostov's writer became a victim of piracy
  9. Tony Vilgotsky talks hacking incident
  10. Official author's biography
  11. Tony Vilgotsky on Knigogid
  12. Tony Vilgotsky on Darker
  13. The Scariest book - list of gratitudes
  14. Tony Vilgotsky on Kvir
  15. Valery Galatinov. Tony Vilgotsky speaks about horror and not only
  16. Tony Vilgotsky, "Cheers from the other bank"
  17. About Midnight Echo Magazine
  18. Vyacheslav Surikov. Life on amphetamines
  19. Best new fiction books of 2018
  20. Peter Perminov. Review of Tony Vilgotsky's Shepherd of the Dead
  21. Russian Horror Bestsellers List, December 2018
  22. Shepherd of the Dead is sold out
  23. About Tony Vilgotsky's novel Shepherd of the Dead
  24. KC Regging-Gonzalez, Horror as a Second Language (Fresh New Horror From Other Places & Cultures)
  25. Self-defence by materials at hand
  26. Lifehacks for girls
  27. Rostov's resident wrote a book about self-defence
  28. Which items may help a woman to protect herself
  29. Dieter Laser takes part in Soul Cancer's song
  30. Cryptic Plasm review on Animal Attack
  31. Results of Lady Press 2015 beauty contest
  32. Tony Vilgotsky's interview to Life.Ru portal
  37. The first Orthodox video game will be on sale soon
  38. Triumph of the Rostov's writer
  39. The Demigod. Interview with Tony Vilgotsky
  40. Interview with Tony Vilgotsky
  41. Armada publishing house release schedule for December 2008
  42. Armada publishing house release schedule for May 2009
  43. The Russian Horror Book Series release schedule
  44. Tony Vilgotsky's Shepherd of the Dead is on sale from June 09 2018
  45. Review on
  46. Vitals movie on IMDB
  47. Scary Forest game