Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchakovsky
Publication date: 30 May 2019
Genre: Science fiction
Page count: 140 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I absolutely love Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time and was curious to see what his other science fiction books were like while I awaited the release of Children of Ruin. Walking to Aldebaran is the perfect way to sample his writing style — clocking in at right around 140 pages, it’s a short but effective story of an astronaut lost in space. This novella will please his long-time fans and new readers alike.
Chilling story of a lost astronaut on an alien artefact from Arthur C. Clarke award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky
My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut.
I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw.
I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived.
Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.
This story is both incredibly dark and incredibly funny, and it showcases what an amazing writer Tchaikovsky is. Although it took me a little while to get fully into the story, I found myself totally gripped by Rendell’s story. Rendell reminds me a little bit of Mark Watney from The Martian — he uses humor to get through his ordeal and has such a strong and unique voice. However, unlike Watney, Rendell is losing his grip on his sanity has he wanders the cold, dark, physics-defying Crypts — and he’ll be the first to admit it to you. I really loved, if that’s the right word, piecing his story together via flashbacks and the bits of his current situation that he chooses to reveal. As you uncover more and more of Rendell’s tale, your understanding and horror grow. The fact that Tchaikovsky pulls such a compelling and complex tale together in 140 pages is pretty incredible.
That’s all I’m going to say — again, this is quite a short book! If you’re looking for a short sci-fi read or want to sample Tchaikovsky’s writing before committing to one of his many (many) books or series, Walking to Aldebaran is a great place to start.
Want to give Walking to Aldebaran a try? You can pick up a copy at the following sites (affiliate links):