Elder Race

eBook, 176 pages

English language

Published Nov. 15, 2021 by Tom Doherty Associates.

ISBN:
9781250768711

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (37 reviews)

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.

But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) and although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).

But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, for his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…

2 editions

A short a humorous take on Tchaikovsky's theme of humanity spanning incomprehensible lengths of time

4 stars

In Tchaikovsky's "Children of Time" we saw his remarkable story of humanity's folly and brilliance as it spread across the galaxy, attempting to be it's own kind of god  – succeeding in unexpected ways while also failing spectacularly. In Elder Race he shows us a shorter and more humorous version of this failure as a holdover of an advanced form of humanity loses their ability to relate to humanity's successor, but really all they want is to feel connected to others and to belong.

Technology *is* magic, but it can't solve all your problems

4 stars

Arthur C Clarke famously once wrote that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", and this story is the living embodiment of that, presenting the idea from both perspectives. I enjoyed how the book regularly switched between those perspectives, showing how conversations were perceived differently by the protagonist who controls the technology and his more primitive, magic-fearing counterpart. The struggle to communicate is one of the themes of the book.

Besides that, this is a book that also tries to deal with the concepts of loneliness and isolation, and the profound depression that can spring from this. I found it interesting that the book depicts a technological solution to these human problems, but one that is deeply flawed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot. It's not action-packed, nor is it full of intrigue or plot twists; it prefers to focus instead on the thoughts and feelings of the …

Review of 'Elder Race' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A fast, fun, rewarding read.

This kept me reading from the first page to the last. What's happening isn't at all a puzzle, unlike some other books that use the same general concept (some of which I now want to go back and re-read). The way the high-tech protagonist's depression was dealt with was fascinating to me, and not one I've seen before; and having clinical depression myself, I found it plausible and relatable. And the relationship(s) between the high-tech protagonist and the indigenes who see him as a wizard were done well, feeling genuine on both sides.

Very recommended!

Review of 'Elder Race' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I think this is the first time I tag a book as both fantasy and science fiction. For me both are completely separate genres, however in this case Tchaikosvky makes a good blend of both, depending on who is the character that is presented. Clearly the idea of this book comes from Clarke's dictum "A sufficiently advance technology is undistinguishable from magic". That phrase is the base of this book. Special attention is deserved for the inner struggle of Nyr, in terms of his own depression and solitude.

This book was definitely a nice surprise, especially since I wasn't amused by Children of Time.

Interesting mix of SF and fantasy that works.

4 stars

An interesting tale that starts out like a fantasy story of a lowly Princess asking for the aid of a wizard to fight a demon. But when the viewpoint switches to that of the wizard, we learn that he's actually a very lonely off-world anthropologist studying the culture on a colony world and despairing at getting contact with his own home world.

In a collision of culture and world-views about magic and technology indistinguishable from magic, they (and a few others) would forge a bond as they confront the demon, which the wizard assumes is 'just' a local bully with advanced tools scavenged from the colony's initial technological days. But both would learn that the demon is more than it seems and some magic may be that: magic and not just advanced technology.

Resolving the problem of the demon may be anticipated by attentive readers, but the ending is still …

Review of 'Elder Race' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

Lynesse braves her mother’s wrath to beg help from the sorcerer in his tower to fight demons invading the land. Nyr awakens after 200 years asleep to discover that his one big adventure is now history, and he must decide whether to help once more, or to retreat into his anthropologist’s detachment.

The worldbuilding blew me away. There’s a well-described communication gap between the main characters. It’s beautifully executed, and is such a wonderful way to portray artificially-assisted translation in real time. This means that for everything that’s happening, the two main characters have unique vocabulary for describing the scene and different understandings of what’s relevant. It generates depth and meaning in the narrative through something that sci-fi often handwaves away. 

The narration is asymmetric, Nyr narrates in first person but Lynesse narrates in third person. This could mean anything from slightly favoring Nyr’s version of events to indicating that …

reviewed Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Good, almost great

4 stars

This was a good, quick read that had some interesting ideas. I wish it had explored some of those ideas a little more deeply, but then it may have overstayed its welcome.

Obvious comparisons to LeGuin's Rocannon's World , but it's different enough I didn't find myself thinking I should've just reread that instead.

Short and good!

4 stars

A nice little read with interesting ideas. I’ve been reading loooong books these last months, so it’s a good reprieve from the big-plot-storage mindset.

I especially liked how the setting is fully compréhensible as a Fantasy and as a sci-fi setting. The world works as both, the characters become more aware of the other side's point of view, as the plot works well in both ways.

avatar for Yogthos

rated it

5 stars
avatar for cblgh

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Tak@reading.taks.garden

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jzacsh

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jamesravey

rated it

5 stars
avatar for kopischke

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Yogthos

rated it

5 stars
avatar for chalpin

rated it

4 stars
avatar for joejoh

rated it

4 stars
avatar for tali

rated it

4 stars
avatar for IndustrialRobot

rated it

5 stars
avatar for IndustrialRobot

rated it

5 stars
avatar for rrees

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Smoak

rated it

5 stars
avatar for mrkvm

rated it

5 stars
avatar for paulj

rated it

4 stars
avatar for owenblacker

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Daylight

rated it

4 stars
avatar for xavierroy

rated it

4 stars
avatar for IndustrialRobot

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ScottSchlueter

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Old_Tim

rated it

5 stars
avatar for brlockwood

rated it

4 stars
avatar for the_lirazel

rated it

4 stars
avatar for joeyh

rated it

3 stars
avatar for stinkingpig

rated it

3 stars
avatar for broonie

rated it

4 stars