Quick Review: IRONCLADS by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Solaris)

TchaikovskyA-IroncladsAn interesting new SF war novella with a twist

Scions have no limits

Scions do not die

And Scions do not disappear

Sergeant Ted Regan has a problem. A son of one of the great corporate families, a Scion, has gone missing at the front. He should have been protected by his Ironclad – the lethal battle suits that make the Scions masters of war – but something has gone catastrophically wrong.

Now Regan and his men, ill-equipped and demoralised, must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover how his suit failed. Is there a new Ironcladkiller out there? And how are common soldiers lacking the protection afforded the rich supposed to survive the battlefield of tomorrow?

A new book from Adrian Tchaikovsky is always something to be cheered. Ironclads is something a little different — although, given Tchaikovsky’s growing body of varied work, this is perhaps something that we can now expect? Ironclads is an interesting re-imagining of the world: corporations have come to dominate the new world, but supernatural elements of the old world are pushing back. A squad of American soldiers are thrown into a special mission, and everything they thought they knew about the war turns out to have been wrong… Continue reading

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Upcoming: IRONCLADS and DOGS OF WAR by Adrian Tchaikovsky

As longtime readers will no doubt be aware, I love Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s work (despite having fallen behind a bit…). In addition to the recently-released The Bear and the Serpent (Tor UK), Adrian has a two other books coming out this year:

TchaikovskyA-IroncladsIRONCLADS (Solaris)

Scions have no limits. Scions do not die. And Scions do not disappear.

Sergeant Ted Regan has a problem. A son of one of the great corporate families, a Scion, has gone missing at the front. He should have been protected by his Ironclad — the lethal battle suits that make the Scions masters of war — but something has gone catastrophically wrong. Now Regan and his men, ill equipped and demoralised, must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover how his suit failed.

Is there a new Ironclad-killer out there? And how are common soldiers lacking the protection afforded the rich supposed to survive the battlefield of tomorrow?

Ironclads is due to be published by Solaris in November.

Tchaikovsky-DogsOfWarUKDOGS OF WAR (Head of Zeus)

Rex is a Good Dog. He loves humans. He hates enemies. He’s utterly obedient to Master.

He’s also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he’s part of a Multi-form Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Southeastern Mexico.

Rex is a genetically engineered bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?

Dogs of War is also due to be published in November by Head of Zeus in the UK.

I’m really looking forward to both of these!

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”, “The Art of Gunsmithing — Writing Guns of the Dawn, “Looking for God in Melnibone Places : Fantasy and Religion”, “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Books Received (July-August 2017)

Featuring: Stephen Barnes, R.S. Belcher, Simon Berthon, Christopher Bohjalian, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Robert Dickinson, Kate Ellis, Christie Golden, Nick Harkaway, Rebecca Harrington, Michael F. Haspil, Grady Hendrix, Joe Ide, Jay Kristoff, Stina Leicht, Eugene Lim, Jonathan Lyon, Jeannette Ng, Ross Raisin, Greg Rucka, Marcus Sakey, Steven T. Seagle, Charles Soule, Matt Taibbi, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Roma Tearne, Sage Walker, Matt Wallace, Zeni Zumas Continue reading

New Books (February)

newbooks-20170303

Featuring: Dan Abnett, David Annandale, Col Buchanan, John Connolly, Kris D’Agostino, N.S. Dolkart, C.Z. Dunn, Ben Galley, Guy Haley, Joseph Helmreich, Darius Hinks, Gabe Hudson, Stephen Graham Jones, George Mann, Brian McClellan, David Mealing, Megan E. O’Keefe, Liza Palmer, M.L. Rio, Roslund & Hellström, Adam Sternbergh, Anthony Tambakis, Matt Wallace, Keith Yatsuhashi

Continue reading

Upcoming: THE BEAR AND THE SERPENT by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)

TchaikovskyA-Bear&TheSerpentUK

A few days ago, Adrian Tchaikovsky revealed the cover for his next fantasy novel, The Bear and the Serpent, due to be published in the UK by Tor Books, on February 9th, 2017. It’s the second novel in the author’s Echoes of the Fall series. Here’s the synopsis:

Maniye, child of Wolf and Tiger, has a new soul and a new shape. But as Champion of the Crown of the World, does she represent an opportunity for the North — or a threat? Travelling as a bodyguard to the Southern prince, with her warband of outcasts, she hopes to finally discover her true place in the world.

But if only it was that simple. Tensions rise, and new allies face up to old enemies as civil war threatens to tear the South apart. Royal twins can’t share a throne, so one must be chosen. And whoever rules the southern Sun River Nation will hold the fate of the world in their hands. As the protector of one potential heir, Maniye soon finds herself at the eye of a political storm. Yet all the while, an enemy from the most ancient of times prepares for conquest, and could destroy everything in their path…

It is the sequel to The Tiger and the Wolf, which was also published by Tor in the UK (and is out now). Tchaikovsky is also the author of the critically-acclaimed Shadows of the Apt series, Guns of the Dawn, Children of Time and the upcoming Spiderlight.

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”“The Art of Gunsmithing — Writing Guns of the Dawn”“Looking for God in Melnibone Places: Fantasy & Religion” and “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn; Reviews of Empire in Black & Gold and Guns of the Dawn

Quick Review: SPIDERLIGHT by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor.com)

Tchaikovsky-SpiderlightA fantastic “novella” from one of my favourite authors

The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen.

Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…

I loved Spiderlight. I was already a big fan of Tchaikovsky’s work before starting this, and so had very high expectations for Spiderlight. I was not at all disappointed, and indeed the story exceeded my expectations. A must-read for the year. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Eye of the Spider” by Adrian Tchaikovsky

TchaikovskyA-AuthorPicWe humans encounter the world through a very limited set of senses, compared to much of the animal kingdom. Our visual acuity is good but our ability to see colours is crippled by nocturnal ancestors. Birds, reptiles and many grounds of invertebrates see far more bands in the rainbow (if there was a mantis shrimp pride march their flags would be incredible). Our hearing and smell are the shame of Mammalia. What to us is a satisfactory baseline would make dogs cringe with embarassment.

This is my first go-to when approaching a non-human character: the window on the world that the senses give. Obviously there’s more than that, but neuroscience and cultural tropes and the like are all going to be strongly influenced by the tools an entity has to perceive its surroundings. Continue reading