Fantasycon 2018 19th - 21st October.
The Queen Hotel Chester, UK
Fantasycon 2018 is delighted to
announce our Guest of Honour:
Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself he subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor, has trained in stage-fighting, and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son
Reading Adrian Tchaikovsky
There is something deeply thoughtful and significant about any story Adrian Tchaikovsky writes. In some of his work, that thoughtfulness comes across right from the first page. There is an intrinsic sense of careful planning and construction of characters, locations and circumstances.
His epic ten book Shadows of the Apt series is set in a world in which humans are split into kinden types bases on insects and arachnids, which tend to set both physical attributes, ability based skills and what art (magic) they are likely to be able to access. So Beetle-kinden are generally hard working crafters who tend toward the tubbier side, Wasp-kinden are generally part of an empire working together towards world domination (think Romans with magic), Dragonflies are generally dreamers and artists who can fly, Moths are shadowy mystics, etc. Their personalities are often shaped either by embracing this identity or rebelling against it. This gives a world setting which is truly unique, adding a new factor into fantasy character interactions. The context and tone of the stories is a dark, war torn one, his characters are frequently put in most unpleasant situations, but somehow despite the setting, magic and kinden the character’s humanity, good and bad, definitely come through.
The first of these novels is Empire of Black and Gold which was first published in 2008 by Tor, with the last book of the set, Seal of the Worm, arriving in 2014. Book nine, War Master's Gate, was nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award in 2014. Adrian's series has continued in a selection of short story anthologies published by Newcon Press, starting with Spoils of War in 2016.
In 2016 the Echoes of the Fall series, published by Pan Macmillan started with The Tiger and the Wolf, which won the Robert Holdstock Award for Best Fantasy Novel at the British Fantasy Awards 2017. This was followed by a further novel in 2017 and concluding with The Hyena and The Hawk in 2018. These books tell tales of people linked to their animal aspect and the Gods that give them shape and the threat from over the seas of the plague people.
In both the Shadows of the Apt and The Echoes of the Fall novels, the characters are a blend of human and animal or insect. This blend in terms of culture and physiology is something that clearly shapes the themes of the novels and manifests in ways that make us question what we define as being human.
Children of Time was published in 2015 and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2016. This venture into science fiction is a weighty tome of six hundred pages. The opening diverts from his usual sober start by immediately establishing the extended crisis of the book. Avrana Kern seeks to re-establish humanity free of the mistakes of others by terraforming a planet and evolving a new human race by populating it with monkeys, in essence reversing part of Arthur C. Clarke's most famous plot and placing us as the monolith to a new society.
Adrian has written a number of other novels, novellas and short stories, I won't describe them all, but I can't not mention Dogs of War (2017) published by Head of Zeus. This is simply because it is an excellent science fiction novel and it made me cry so all I will say is this:
Rex is a Good Dog.
Adrian's forthcoming novel is the Expert System's Brother, also published by Tor, and announced here. This is expected in the very near future (at time of writing). This is again Science Fiction, demonstrating how he spans both Fantasy and Science Fiction with ease.