cover image Elder Race

Elder Race

Adrian Tchaikovsky. Tordotcom, $14.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-250-76872-8

Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tchaikovsky (Children of Time) wows with this inventive and empathetic story of courage, science, and magic. Though Lynesse is the mere Fourth Daughter of the Royal Line of Lannesite, she knows she’s capable of more than being the family hoyden. When a demon ravages the countryside, Lynesse is determined to emulate her great-grandmother Astresse, who teamed up with the mysterious, ageless sorcerer Elder Nyr to destroy a monster. In truth, however, Nyr is not a mage but an anthropologist, the last of a team from Earth sent to study the colony that became Lynesse’s homeworld. He broke protocol to help Astresse defeat the demon, really a leftover piece of Earth-built equipment run amok, and wonders if that transgression is why he’s been cut off from Earth for over 300 years. Abandoned and unsure, Nyr knows the choice he makes now—to help or not—will define the rest of his life, and decide the fate of Lynesse’s world. Tchaikovsky takes beloved tropes to exciting new places, carried by memorable characters and clever prose. This proves yet again why Tchaikovsky is a master of the genre mash-up. (Nov.)