Welcome to the Official ™ website of the series Shadows of the Apt

First things first: who the hell am I, that I have the right to comment? Am I, for example, award-winning author Neil Gaiman, internationally celebrated fantasist, whose excellent book, American Gods, has already been the subject of a blog about the post-writing process? No, I am not. ;

Am I, then, Leo Tolstoy, giant of Russian literature, whose own blog on the writing and publishing process would surely have been formidably instructive, had he ever heard of such a thing (1)? I am, also, not. (2)

However, I am none other than Adrian Tchaikovsky (3), who by dint of luck, flaw, extreme effort, perspiration, inspiration (4) and even some hard work, am shortly to be published by no less than Macmillan. ;

The novel is entitled (first lesson in the trade: is currently entitled) Empire in Black and Gold. A fantasy novel, one of a series (three books signed for so far), espionage, steampunk technology, epic battles, tragedy and the march of history. Oh and insects. A modicum of insectry.

The road to this point (also, indeed, the point to this road) has been a long one, and lord knows some encouragement would hardly have gone amiss, as well as some foreknowledge about what precisely is comme il faut in the industry. The lessons are many and hard, and the one I’m currently learning seems to be that the road doesn’t end, you just get further along it, and the incline changes. There is always another leg of the journey and you have never arrived. Unless, possibly, you’re JK Rowling. If she hasn’t arrived then there’s something seriously wrong with the system. ;

So: With considerable digression, I will be taking this blog down the road with me, in the hope that it will entertain, and in the hope that it will help anyone else who is on the same path, because under normal circumstances it can be a lonely enough journey.

And also to publicise the book. Let’s not forget that.  There should be some extracts. Or some insects.

This site, set up by the kind digital publishing people at Macmillan, will have some, none or all of:

-blog entries like this one.

-background material to supplement the book

-artwork based on the book, by artists. Although I may threaten at some point to post up artwork by the author (5). For now, check out the “kinden” section and you’ll see some very fine work by David Mumford illustrating some of the races of the book.

-a collection of short stories set in the world of the Kinden. The first of these, Ironclads should be up shortly (6)

-possibly some manner of compeitions, games, oddities or whatever else I or the people at Macmillan can find to divert you.

-an enormous number of footnotes.

So welcome to the show, read and enjoy, and check back regularly.

(1): Also very long, to judge by past form

(2): Furthermore, to properly distance me from the great man, I have not yet ventured any further into my copy of War and Peace than the title page, despite purchasing it some ten years previously. My edition of the work, although the word “edition” is cheapened by the phrase, was born in a time when “affordable classics” meant churning out books for a pound a time, with a remarkably small page count and print so tiny that the pages simply seem to ;contain a homogenous dark grey blur.

(3): Lies, damn lies. I am someone other than Adrian Tchaikovsky, as further entries may demonstrate. ;

(4) circa 10%

(5) Oh the dangers of giving a man a soapbox.

(6) or is already up, depending on when you’re reading this, of course.

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