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