Adrian Tchaikovsky

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Adrian Czajkowski
Born Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Occupation Author and Legal Executive
Language English
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Reading
Period 2008 - Present
Genre Fantasy
Subject Zoology and Psychology
Notable works Shadows of the Apt series.
Website
shadowsoftheapt.com

Adrian Czajkowski (spelled as Adrian Tchaikovsky in his books) is a British fantasy author. His best known work is the Shadows of the Apt series.[1] Tor Books has announced it would publish a new science fiction book by Tchaikovsky after Shadows of the Apt has finished.[2]

Biography[edit]

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. He studied Zoology and Psychology at the University of Reading. He then qualified as a Legal Executive. He is currently employed as a Legal Executive in the Commercial Dispute Department of Blacks, Solicitors, Leeds.[3] He now lives in Leeds with his wife and son.[4][5][6]

After fifteen years of trying to get published Tchaikovsky obtained his first break in 2008.[7] That year Empire in Black and Gold was published by Tor (UK) – an imprint of Pan Macmillan – in the United Kingdom. The series was later picked up for publication in America by Pyr Books. He has stated in his blog, that he chose to publish under the name Tchaikovsky, as the spelling of his given name could have caused potential difficulties for American and British readers in both spelling and pronunciation. This is a common marketing approach in both UK and US publishing industries, where the publishers feel a name should be altered to help sales. Subsequently the American and German editions of the book and its sequels were published under the same name. Tchaikovsky expressed desire that the Polish editions of his novels be printed under his real name,[8] but these too used "Tchaikovsky".[9]

Bibliography[edit]

Shadows of the Apt series[edit]

Setting[edit]

The series is set in a hypothetical universe populated by different "kinden". Each kinden is a fictional race of humans, named after (and having certain characteristics of) an insect. Kinden are typically divided into two categories: "Apt" and "Inapt". The Apt do not have magical abilities, but are able to understand, use and design mechanical devices. The Inapt have varying amounts of magical abilities, but cannot use mechanical devices, even those as simple as latches. The series focuses on the attempted conquest of the Lowlands by the Wasp-kinden empire.

Live Action Role Play

Genesis of the Apt[edit]

Tchaikovsky revealed the story behind the Shadows of the Apt in an online essay entitled Entering the Shadows at Upcoming4.me.[10] Whilst studying at the University of Reading he ran a Role-playing game called Bugworld. Bugworld told the story of the insect-people of the Lowlands, under threat from the encroaching Wasp Empire. From this original scenario the entire series of books subsequently grew.

Tchaikovsky still uses Role-playing games to help construct his stories, but now this is Live action role-playing which assist in describing the numerous action and battle sequences in his books. Adrian is currently involved with the LARP game Empire.[11]

Novels[edit]

The list of novels in the series is as follows:[12][13]

Principal Characters in Shadows of the Apt[edit]

  • Stenwold Maker: Beetle-kinden spymaster and statesman. The character is pivotal to the entire series and was created back in the "Bugworld" game. Stenwold Maker runs a network of spies throughout the Lowlands. He is based at Collegium, the city of learning and the series starts with him warning of the growing dangers from the Wasp Empire when no one else is listening.
  • Tisamon: Mantis-kinden Weaponmaster, Stenwold's friend. This character is the most savage warrior in the series with a tortured past and present.
  • Tynisa Maker: Halfbreed daughter of Tisamon with a Spider blood, Stenwold's ward, duellist.
  • Cheerwell Maker: (Che) Beetle-kinden, niece of Stenwold Maker. Cheerwell Maker starts as a rather bumbling character (because she is "inapt") who nevertheless is a key player in the series and has a significant progress trough the story.
  • Thalric: Wasp-kinden captain, spymaster, a major in the Rekef, which is the secret service of the Wasp Empire, Stenwold's opposite number.
  • Totho: Halfbreed artificer with Beetle and Ant blood and unrequited lover of Cheerwell Maker. Totho is the inverter of the snapbow which significantly changes the course of the war. This introduces the recurring theme of the Arms Race.
  • Achaeos: Moth-kinden seer, who starts by being true to his people's traditions and hating all Beetls, their traditional enemies, but his view is changed by Stenwold and Cheerwell Maker.
  • Prince Salme "Salma" Dien: Dragonfly-kinden student in Collegium, duellist.
  • Seda: Wasp-kinden, sister of the Wasp emperor
  • General Tynan: Wasp-kinden, leader of the army sent to conquer Collegium
  • Eujen Leadswell: Beetle-kinden student in Collegium
  • Straessa the Antspider: A halfbreed student in Collegium, Eujen's girlfriend

Magic v Technology[edit]

Tchaikovsky has regularly expressed his intention in this fantasy series not to make science better than magic,[14] or vice versa: This is another key element, really: the magic/tech divide is a concept that turns up here and there in fantasy, but usually one side is good (mostly magic) and the other (dirty polluting tech) is bad. With the world of the kinden, they’re basically both as bad as the people who use them, whether it’s blood sacrifice in a Mantis-kinden grove or the Wasp Empire’s city-levelling weaponry.[15]

Portia's Children[edit]

Portia's Children is a science fiction novel, planned for release by Tor Books in summer 2015.[2]

Short Stories[edit]

  • Feast and Famine in Solaris Rising 2:The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction (Solaris Books, 2013) ISBN 978-1-78108-087-0
    The tense and gripping story of a rescue mission where the rescuers have to avoid sharing the same fate of those they have come to rescue.[16]
  • Feast and Famine (Imaginings 6) (New Con Press. 2013) ISBN 978-1907069543
    Imaginings is a series of short story collections showcasing the work of different authors in each volume. This collection contains the stories Feast and Famine, The Artificial Man, The Roar of the Crowd, Good Taste, The Dissipation Club, Rapture, Care, 2144 And All That, The God Shark and The Sun in the Morning.
  • The Final Conjuration in Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space (Abaddon Books, 2014) ISBN 978-1781082225
    A collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories

Critical Reactions[edit]

Longtime epic fantasy readers will find many familiar elements in this intriguing début...Patriotic but conflicted Wasp Thalric puts a sympathetic face on evil. Tchaikovsky exercises considerable talent in assembling these well-worn pieces into a new puzzle, developing an interesting story and world with humour and skilful prose. Readers may be pleasantly surprised to find themselves looking forward to future instalments. - Review of Empire in Black and Gold in the Publisher's Weekly.[17]

Tchaikovsky's fourth Shadows of the Apt installment is that rarest of gems in series fantasy: an intermediate book in which genuinely decisive events occur...Vast armies clash, but in the end the conflicts are determined by individual choices. Tchaikovsky tests all his characters in the full knowledge that many will fail, some heroically and others in despair. Readers who like their military fantasy to come with real consequences will be completely enthralled. - Review of Salute the Dark in the Publisher's Weekly.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tomio, Jay (26 September 2008). "On the Spot at BSC – Adrian Tchaikovsky interview". BookSpotCentral. Archived from the original on 5 April 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Pagan, Bella (14 January 2014). "New Book Deal: Tor Acquires Science Fiction From Established Fantasy Author". Tor Books Blog. Tor Books. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.lawblacks.com/Portals/43/pdf/WhosWho.pdf
  4. ^ "Pan Macmillan author page". Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Tchaikovsky, Adrian (2010). The Scarab Path. Tor Books. ISBN 978-0-330-51145-2. 
  6. ^ Wright, Jonathan (September 2009). "Meet a Brit author in the vanguard of the new heroic fantasy…". SFX Magazine. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Adrian Tchaikovsky interview
  8. ^ Tchaikovsky, Adrian (30 March 2008). "The Long Good Lunch". Empire Rising. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. However, as the possibility of the Polish rights being sold seems extremely viable, there is an epilogue to this tale of Frankish ignorance, for in Poland, one would strongly assume, I may finally see my name in print in its unadulterated form. 
  9. ^ "Imprerium Czerni i złota - Adrian Tchaikovsky" (in Polish). Rebis. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Story behind Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Entering the Shadows". Upcoming4.me. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire;jsessionid=17t6iey5fj5mj?0
  12. ^ "Adrian Tchaikovsky". Pan Macmillan. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Tchaikovsky, Adrian (3 February 2013). "Bibliography". Shadows of the Apt (blog). Pan Macmillan. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. 
  14. ^ See Magic in fiction
  15. ^ http://londoncalling.com/show/interview-with-adrian-tchaikovsky-author-of-shadow-of-the-apt-series#BLYtJLufO5KYWjVZ.99
  16. ^ Review by Ian Hunter in interzone (magazine) 247 Jul/Aug 2013 page 80
  17. ^ Publisher's Weekly
  18. ^ Publisher's Weekly

External links[edit]