Adrian Tchaikovsky

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Adrian Czajkowski
Adrian Tchaikovsky
Adrian Tchaikovsky
Born (1972-06-04) 4 June 1972 (age 50)
Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
OccupationAuthor and legal executive
Alma materUniversity of Reading
Period2008 – present
GenreFantasy and science fiction
SubjectZoology and psychology
Notable worksShadows of the Apt series

Children of Time

Dogs of War
Notable awardsArthur C. Clarke Award (2016)

Adrian Czajkowski (spelled as Adrian Tchaikovsky for his books) is a British fantasy and science fiction author. He is known best for his series Shadows of the Apt, and for his novel Children of Time.[1]

Children of Time was awarded the 30th Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2016. Author James Lovegrove described it as "superior stuff, tackling big themes – gods, messiahs, artificial intelligence, alienness – with brio".[2]


Adrian Czajkowski was born in Lincolnshire in Woodhall Spa on 4 June 1972.[3] He is of Polish descent.[4] He studied zoology and psychology at the University of Reading. He then qualified as a legal executive.[5] He was employed as a legal executive for the Commercial Dispute Department of Blacks, Solicitors, of Leeds.[6] In late 2018 he became a full time writer.[5]

He lives in Leeds with his wife and son.[7][8][9]

In 2008, after Tchaikovsky had spent fifteen years trying to get published, his novel Empire in Black and Gold was published by Tor Books (UK) – an imprint of Pan Macmillan – in the United Kingdom.[10] The series was later published in America by Pyr Books. Tchaikovsky expressed desire that the Polish editions of his novels feature the original Polish spelling of his surname,[11] but these too used "Tchaikovsky".[12]

On 23 January 2019, Tchaikovsky was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts by the University of Lincoln.[13]


Tchaikovsky revealed the basis of Shadows of the Apt in an online essay entitled "Entering the Shadows" at[14]

Whilst studying at the University of Reading he managed a role-playing game named Bugworld. The game concerned the story of the insect-people of the Lowlands, threatened by the encroaching Wasp Empire. From this original scenario the entire series of books grew.

Tchaikovsky still uses role-playing games to help develop his stories, but now also uses live action role-playing, which assists in describing the numerous action and battle sequences in his books. He is currently involved with the LARP game Empire.[15]

Tchaikovsky has regularly expressed his intention regarding the Shadows of the Apt series not to make science better than magic,[16] 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."[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Tchaikovsky has received the following literary awards and nominations:



Shadows of the Apt
Main novels

  • Empire in Black and Gold (2008), ISBN 978-0-230-73646-7
  • Dragonfly Falling (2009), ISBN 978-0-230-70415-2
  • Blood of the Mantis (2009), ISBN 978-0-230-70416-9
  • Salute the Dark (2010), ISBN 978-0-330-51144-5
  • The Scarab Path (2010), ISBN 978-0-330-51145-2
  • The Sea Watch (2011), ISBN 978-0-330-51146-9
  • Heirs of the Blade (2011), ISBN 978-0-230-75699-1
  • The Air War (2012), ISBN 978-0-230-75700-4
  • War Master's Gate (2013), ISBN 978-0-230-75701-1
  • Seal of the Worm (2014), ISBN 978-0-230-77001-0

Tales of the Apt (short story collections in the Apt universe)

  • Spoils of War (2016), ISBN 978-1910935217
  • A Time for Grief (2017), ISBN 978-1910935217
  • For Love of Distant Shores (2018), ISBN 978-1910935712
  • The Scent of Tears (2018), ISBN 978-1910935712

Children of Time

Echoes of the Fall


The Final Architecture

Standalone novels

After the War series

Redemption's Blade (Solaris Books, 2018), ISBN 9781781085790, is the first book in a multi-author series. The series was continued with Salvation's Fire by Justina Robson and published on 4 September 2018.

Warhammer 40,000

Tchaikovsky's first Warhammer 40,000 novel Day of Ascension (2022), like his short story "Raised in Darkness" from Inferno! Volume 6 (2021), concerns the insidious Genestealer Cults.


Short stories[edit]

Other collections[edit]

  • Feast and Famine (New Con Press, 2013), ISBN 978-1907069543. 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 Private Life of Elder Things (2016), ISBN 978-1911034025. Co-authored by Keris McDonald and Adam Gauntlett. A collection of new Lovecraftian fiction about confronting, discovering and living alongside the creatures of the Mythos.

Critical studies and reviews of Tchaikovsky's work[edit]

The Doors of Eden


  1. ^ Tomio, Jay (26 September 2008). "Bug Out with Adrian Tchaikovsky Before Children of Time". Nekoplz. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b Flood, Alison (24 August 2016). "Arthur C Clarke award goes to Adrian Tchaikovsky's novel of 'universal scale'". Retrieved 25 August 2016 – via
  3. ^ Clute, John (13 June 2022). "Tchaikovsky, Adrian". In Clute, John; Langford, David (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (4th ed.).
  4. ^ "About the author : Shadows of the Apt".
  5. ^ a b "Adrian Tchaikovsky: From Star to Star". Locus. Vol. 88, no. 5. 9 May 2022.
  6. ^ "404 Error Page" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2019. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  7. ^ "Pan Macmillan author page". Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  8. ^ Tchaikovsky, Adrian (2010). The Scarab Path. Tor Books. ISBN 978-0-330-51145-2.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Adrian Tchaikovsky interview". Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Imprerium Czerni i złota – Adrian Tchaikovsky" (in Polish). Rebis. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  13. ^ "First nursing associates graduate among 1,000 students in Lincoln". The Lincolnite. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Story behind Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky – Entering the Shadows". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Profound Decisions – Empire". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  16. ^ See Magic in fiction
  17. ^ "Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Shadow of the Apt series". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Announcing the 2017 British Fantasy Award Winners". 1 October 2017..
  20. ^ "Urban Mythic 2". 12 August 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Grimdark Magazine #1".

External links[edit]