Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Impossible Worlds - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Roberta Stabilini  writes:
"Picture of Adrian sitting in his Throne of Games" (photo by Sally Bavage)
Local author Adrian Tchaikovsky made his passion for fantasy and his willingness to innovate the fantasy genre very clear to his audience, taking us through his many talents and interests.  He explained how important it is to him to find new paths, new sources of inspiration, in order to stand out and make a contribution to the genre as a whole and avoid imitating classics.

To achieve this goal, for instance, Adrian practises sword fighting. Not only does he enjoy it, but it is also useful to him to describe the technicality of the moves in his books (“You see only a lot of shaky camera and quick cuttings when they fight in the movies” – I write realistically”).

Adrian also enjoys role-playing (“Sometimes you just need to go out there and be someone else”) and studying insects, which is clear to those who have read his ten-book series Shadows of the Apt.

Adrian also discussed how fantasy writers tend to develop circular plots, at the end of which the world goes back to how it was at the beginning.  Instead, he prefers linear plots, which are more typical of science fiction, in which the world undergoes a permanent change.  Perhaps for this reason, Adrian decided to write his first science fiction novel, Children of Time, coming out in June.  He also read an extract from his recently-published novel, Guns of the Dawn, to the delight of his fans.

For further information about the Shadows of the Apt series, or on Adrian’s other writing for magazines and anthologies, go to

Follow Adrian on @aptshadow

Audience comments:

Amazing event! It was great to listen to the author himself! Usually, when people read, they picture the events in their mind according to their own imagination. This, of course, is great, but it is also fascinating to hear what the author actually meant in a certain passage, or why he decided to develop the story in a certain way.

The venue was perfect for this event, very cosy and welcoming. The time (6 o’clock) also suited me just fine.

The event was very interesting! It was lovely to chat with the author about his novels in such a nice little bookshop. I am a fan, so I would have loved some more time for Q&A, but oh well, next time! I reckon the event could be have been scheduled a couple of hours later maybe, to avoid rush hour.  Apart from that, I absolutely loved it!

I found out about this event from the flier on the bookshop’s window and thus decided to come in. I am glad I did, as the event was well-organised and it was very nice to talk to the author in person.

It was lovely of the Headingley Oxfam bookshop to host a LitFest event again - and great that Blackwell's were there too selling new copies of Adrian's books. How nice to see two booksellers collaborating to ensure that local customers could obtain new fiction whilst being able to check out the extensive secondhand  collections of not just sci-fi but other genres.  Where else but in Headingley!

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