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Tchaikovsky, Adrian

Entry updated 4 September 2021. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of UK author Adrian Czajkowski (1972-    ) who until recently has been best known for his long fantasy series, the Shadows of the Apt sequence beginning with Empire in Black and Gold (2008). The epic fantasy appearance of the series is modified, though not entirely transformed, by the fact that all the races in the long unfolding tale are insectile, or have at the very least insect-like characteristics, which intuitively befits the Steampunk aura of some of the worldbuilding.

Tchaikovsky is of notable sf interest for Children of Time (2015), set in a Far Future universe in which the home planet Earth is dying, though soon left. The story traces a colonizing expedition to neighbouring star systems, at least one of which provides a too-convenient pre-Terraformed planet, apparently available for the taking. Space Opera action, and hints of a devious Forerunner civilization, fuel the remainder of the tale, in which it is discovered that a human-initiated Uplift experiment has gone awry, with spiders (rather than monkeys as intended) having been uplifted to sentience and Intelligence. Children of Time won the Arthur C Clarke Award; the loose sequel is Children of Ruin (2019), set in another solar system whose two habitable worlds respectively house a similarly uplifted octopus-descended civilization and enigmatic Alien life; this won a BSFA Award as best novel.

The Dogs of War sequence beginning with Dogs of War (2017), set primarily on Near Future Mars, unpacks dramas of class war and power politics, of a sort not unfamiliar to this sf venue; the series features Genetically Engineered animals, and at least one sympathetic Cyborg. Also of direct sf interest is Ironclad (2017), an example of class-conscious Military SF; in an impoverished Near Future UK, a soldier must attempt to rescue an elite officer, who has been accustomed to ride within his apparently invulnerable Mecha – not available to the lower orders – and to be able to think of War as a game played in the shambles of post-Brexit Britain. The Doors of Eden (2020), also sf, ambitiously enfilades a Technothriller surface plots with a web of interlocking tales set in various Parallel Worlds where Evolution has taken different courses. [JC]

see also: The Afterblight Chronicles.

Adrian Czajkowski

born Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire: 1972



Shadows of the Apt

  • Empire in Black and Gold (London: Tor Macmillan, 2008) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Dominic Harman]
  • Dragonfly Falling (London: Tor Macmillan, 2009) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • Blood of the Mantis (London: Tor Macmillan, 2009) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • Salute the Dark (London: Tor Macmillan, 2010) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • The Scarab Path (London: Tor Macmillan, 2011) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • The Sea Watch (London: Tor Macmillan, 2011) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • Heirs of the Blade (London: Tor Macmillan, 2011) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Jon Sullivan]
  • The Air War (London: Tor Macmillan, 2013) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Alan Brooks]
  • War Master's Gate (London: Tor Macmillan, 2013) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Alan Brooks]
  • Seal of the Worm (London: Tor Macmillan, 2014) [Shadows of the Apt: pb/Alan Brooks]

Children of Time

  • Children of Time (London: Tor Macmillan, 2015) [Children of Time: hb/Shutterstock]
  • Children of Ruin (London: Tor Macmillan, 2019) [Children of Time: hb/Shutterstock]

Tales of the Apt

  • Spoils of War (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2016) [coll: Tales of the Apt: hb/Jon Sullivan]
  • A Time for Grief (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2017) [coll: Tales of the Apt: hb/Jon Sullivan]
  • For Love of Distant Shores (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2018) [coll: Tales of the Apt: hb/Jon Sullivan]

Echoes of the Fall

Dogs of War

  • Dogs of War (London: Head of Zeus, 2017) [Dogs of War: hb/Matt Griffin]
  • Bear Head (London: Head of Zeus/Ad Astra, 2021) [Dogs of War: hb/]

Expert System

individual titles

  • Reading Between the Lines (London: Jurassic London, 2013) with Janine Ashbless [novelette: chap: in the publisher's Jurassic London Novelette Series: pb/Vincent Sammy]
  • Guns of the Dawn (London: Tor Macmillan, 2015) [hb/Shutterstock]
  • Spiderlight (London:, 2016) [pb/Shutterstock]
  • Ironclad (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Rebellion Publishing Company/Solaris, 2017) [hb/Maz Smith]
  • Precious Little Things (Birmingham, England: The Birmingham Science Fiction Group, 2017) [coll: chap: pb/David Hardy]
  • Redemption's Blade (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Rebellion Publishing/Solaris, 2018) [tie to the Shared World fantasy series: After the War: pb/Tomasz Jedruszek]
  • Walking to Aldebaran (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Rebellion Publishing/Solaris, 2019) [novella: hb/Gemma Sheldrake]
  • Cage of Souls (London: Head of Zeus, 2019) [hb/Leo Nickolls]
  • Made Things (New York:, 2019) [pb/Red Nose Studio]
  • The Doors of Eden (London: Tor, 2020) [hb/]
  • Firewalkers (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Rebellion Publishing/Solaris, 2020) [hb/Gemma Sheldrake]


  • Feast and Famine (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: Newcon Press, 2013) [coll: in the publisher's Imaginings series: hb/Jim Burns]


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