Firewalkers
A thrilling new limited-edition hardcover concerning class and climate change from Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky.Firewalkers are brave. Firewalkers are resourceful. Firewalkers are expendable. The Earth is burning. Nothing can survive at the Anchor; not without water and power. But the ultra-rich, waiting for their ride off the dying Earth? They can buy water. And as for power? Well, someone has to repair the solar panels, down in the deserts below. Kids like Mao, and Lupé, and Hotep; kids with brains and guts but no hope. The Firewalkers.

Firewalkers Details

TitleFirewalkers
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 12th, 2020
PublisherSolaris
ISBN-139781781088487
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Novella, Adult

Firewalkers Review

  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    The first review on GR! :)I was pretty thrilled to get the copy on Netgalley. So much so that I had to read it the same day. Am I nuts? Or am I just a Firewalker at heart?Gritty, depressing, and like a Hobbsian nightmare, these people live in a hothouse city on life support, barely kept alive because it is the base and the tether to the orbiting space station. Its people barely scrape by while the Roach Motel that takes in all the dignitaries and the rich are kept in Air Conditioned luxury.Sound The first review on GR! :)I was pretty thrilled to get the copy on Netgalley. So much so that I had to read it the same day. Am I nuts? Or am I just a Firewalker at heart?Gritty, depressing, and like a Hobbsian nightmare, these people live in a hothouse city on life support, barely kept alive because it is the base and the tether to the orbiting space station. Its people barely scrape by while the Roach Motel that takes in all the dignitaries and the rich are kept in Air Conditioned luxury.Sounds rather familiar. Doesn't it? Well, Firewalkers are the ragged teams of poverty-ridden go-getters that fix the things that not even the robots can fix. They are the ones that get things working, but they're expendable and most of these young kids never come back from the near-apocalyptic desert surrounding the town.The context is emotionally painful and takes up a large portion of the character building, but it's when the novella takes off into the wild that I was most thrilled. I loved the tight team. I LOVED all the discoveries. No spoilers, but damn, Tchaikovsky has a huge fascination with creepy crawlies and programmed personalities, no? The adventure is large, the stakes larger, and the end was super satisfying. I'm super glad I got my greedy hands on it. 'Nuff said.
    more
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    There can be little doubt that Adrian Tchaikovsky is among the most talented, creative and also versatile SFF authors of today.In Firewalkers he crafts an utterly bleak world, devastated by runaway global warming that has rendered huge regions of the Earth uninhabitable desert, complete dead zones. The rich have packed up and left for space via space elevators stationed along the equator, taking much of the Earth's most valuable resources with them. Firewalkers are the brash young troubleshooter There can be little doubt that Adrian Tchaikovsky is among the most talented, creative and also versatile SFF authors of today.In Firewalkers he crafts an utterly bleak world, devastated by runaway global warming that has rendered huge regions of the Earth uninhabitable desert, complete dead zones. The rich have packed up and left for space via space elevators stationed along the equator, taking much of the Earth's most valuable resources with them. Firewalkers are the brash young troubleshooters that venture out into the wasteland to troubleshoot critical infrastructure problems. Many never return.The story follows a team of three close friends, Firewalkers stationed at the base of a space elevator located in west Africa. They are sent out to find and repair the source of increasingly more severe power supply disruptions from the vast fields of solar arrays located within the nearby dead zone. The suspense and mystery build as the team sets out among the barren landscape and the aging ruins of human civilization abandoned long ago. In the midst of the dead zone they come to the vast underground ruins of the facility setup by the rich for the construction of their spaceship and make a shocking discovery, something forgotten from the past that has a new agenda, with chilling implications for the future.The themes here are not dissimilar to those Tchaikovsky took on in his marvelous Children of Time and Children of Ruin books. Science and technology run amok, developing and evolving in completely unforeseen ways, with surprising and devastating consequence.
    more
  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Don't believe it's possible for fiction to be enthralling whilst also addressing urgent topical issues? Then let Mr Tchaikovsky prove you wrong in Firewalkers. Not only does it explore the links between class and climate change but it discusses capitalism and its issues, the vastly different lives of the rich and impoverished and the often brutal unfairness of life, all within the context of this compulsive standalone science fiction novella. Earth is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland due to sign Don't believe it's possible for fiction to be enthralling whilst also addressing urgent topical issues? Then let Mr Tchaikovsky prove you wrong in Firewalkers. Not only does it explore the links between class and climate change but it discusses capitalism and its issues, the vastly different lives of the rich and impoverished and the often brutal unfairness of life, all within the context of this compulsive standalone science fiction novella. Earth is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland due to significant climate change whereby the sun has scorched the planet almost turning it to desert and the wealthy have managed to use their money to build spaceships on which to leave a destroyed Earth behind to linger someplace more inhabitable. Of course, those with little to their name bear the brunt of it all and haven’t the means to keep their families fed and clothed never mind being able to afford the luxury of simply upping sticks and leaving it all behind. They live in the hope that one day they'll be able to join those who are more fortunate.It follows Firewalkers Mao, Lupe and Hotep, a group of youngsters who are sent to repair vital infrastructure or retrieve items from the searing hot desert when necessary. Their employment is secured by promises of money, food, water and medicine, fuelling their hope that they will be able to leave soon too. This is a superb and exhilarating read right from the beginning and has both a stellar plot and impressive characterisation; it's what we've come to expect from Tchaikovsky and he never seems to let us down. Surprisingly for a novella, the cast is well fleshed out and come alive on the pages. It's a captivating, disturbingly bleak and all too real tale and one that cuts very close to the bone in that it captures impeccably how we are at a crossroads where we must make a decision as humans for the good of humanity whether we simply carry on in the way we have been or change our ways to save our planet. A sophisticated and thought-provoking piece. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Solaris for an ARC.
    more
  • Hélène Louise
    January 1, 1970
    A very good novel in a young adult science-fiction after post apocalyptic scenery.I appreciated that the post apocalyptic aspect wasn't too much moralising, letting the place for the story to unfold and expand, as an inventive and rather creepy tale!I also loved the three main characters, each one has a credible and nuance personality, without tiresome stereotype. The psychology was sane and believable.A very good story, with characters in 3D a strong atmosphere - as in all the author's books I' A very good novel in a young adult science-fiction after post apocalyptic scenery.I appreciated that the post apocalyptic aspect wasn't too much moralising, letting the place for the story to unfold and expand, as an inventive and rather creepy tale!I also loved the three main characters, each one has a credible and nuance personality, without tiresome stereotype. The psychology was sane and believable.A very good story, with characters in 3D a strong atmosphere - as in all the author's books I've read so far.A superb read! Note : for now this book seems to be published (in May 2020) only as an ebook (rather too expansive, I wouldn't have bought it) and a (very expansive too, the same) hard cover book - a signed limited edition. I hope that some accessible editions will be proposed in the future, it'd be a shame that this book which is, after all, a YA book, couldn't be purchase and read by its supposed readers! (I thank Netgalley and Solaris for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)
    more
  • Gabi
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars I'm swaying between 3 and 4 stars and I can't decide in witch direction I should go. So it stays without rating for the time being.It is Adrian Tchaikovsky and so I have to compare it to his own works. When I look at his novels I rated 4 stars "Firewalkers" can't quite reach their quality in terms of structure and ingenuity.But, well, it is Adrian Tchaikovsky - and this means that even with novels that are not his peak works he is still better than 90% of everything contemporary that's 3.5 stars I'm swaying between 3 and 4 stars and I can't decide in witch direction I should go. So it stays without rating for the time being.It is Adrian Tchaikovsky and so I have to compare it to his own works. When I look at his novels I rated 4 stars "Firewalkers" can't quite reach their quality in terms of structure and ingenuity.But, well, it is Adrian Tchaikovsky - and this means that even with novels that are not his peak works he is still better than 90% of everything contemporary that's labelled SF at the moment, which easily warrants a 4 star. So lets go for a solid and very good 3.5 stars."Firewalkers" takes place on an earth that's rendered nearly inhabitable due to clima change. While some regions are drowned in floods others haven't seen a drop of rain in ages. The equatorial zone of Western Africa is the setting of this novella. The settlement there only exists, because the anchor points for cables for the luxurious space ships for the rich classes need an equatorial station. Work and power are mainly distributed to the space port hotel while the working people have to get by with a minimum and have to take shelter from the heat of the day. A special group are the Firewalkers, mainly adolescents, whose job it is to go out into the unsheltered hot places to facilitate repairs among other things. The novella follows a team of three of those Firewalkers who have to find out what interfers with the energy supply of the hotel. As usual by Tchaikovsky the characterisation of those three team members is layered and distinct. As reader you get a grip on what makes them tick and how the circumstances made them become what they are.The things they encounter on their trip into the remote parts are - equally usual with Tchaikovsky - inventive, crazy and contain insects. This inventiveness is one of the trademarks of this author I love. You can always be sure to get a solid SF Story that takes some of the typical elements of this genre, but combines them in a very satisfying, intelligent way. "Firewalker" again sparks with ideas and subtle social comments (another plus with Tchaikovsky, there is no in-your-face writing with him, he relies on the intelligence of his readers to fill in the background)Yet in the end I was missing a bit of the wow-effect, that one unexpected twist that marks his great works.Which, as mentioned above, doesn't mean that "Firewalker" still isn't better than a lot of current SF. It just has to compete with the best: Tchaikovsky's other works.
    more
  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    This book had two principal effects on me. One was to make me really, really want to read Shadows of the Apt. Adrian Tchaikovsky’s been one of those people in the “I’ve heard his name, and I should get to him at some point, but really I’ve got so many books to read that if I’m being honest I probably never will” category, but after reading Firewalkers he’s getting bumped way up Mount Readmore.The other thing this book did was really, really piss me off.Let me start with the premise. This is a dy This book had two principal effects on me. One was to make me really, really want to read Shadows of the Apt. Adrian Tchaikovsky’s been one of those people in the “I’ve heard his name, and I should get to him at some point, but really I’ve got so many books to read that if I’m being honest I probably never will” category, but after reading Firewalkers he’s getting bumped way up Mount Readmore.The other thing this book did was really, really piss me off.Let me start with the premise. This is a dystopian book, as I seem to be reading a lot of lately. In this particular flavor of dystopia, humanity has managed to thoroughly fuck up the climate. Things generally suck for everybody, and the equatorial regions are getting hot enough that they’re basically uninhabitable. However, there are generation ships being built, to carry humanity to safety … or at least that segment of humanity who can afford it. Everyone else? Sucks to be you.The anchor points for the space elevators to the generation ships are on the equator, however. This means that despite the general unlivability of the area there do have to be settlements there. The protagonists of Firewalkers scrape a living working outside of the shelter of the settlement to service the solar fields that keep the A/C on for the rich folks waiting to ascend the space elevator. “Firewalker” is their title, and given how freaking hot it is - daytime temps of 140F/60C are mentioned as typical - it is appropriate.The three protagonists - kids, really, all under 20 - are Mao (the grandson of Vietnamese workers who initially built the elevator, there being lots of Vietnamese at the time needing a place to go that wasn’t underwater); Lupé, a descendant of the local African people; and Hotep, who was actually born on one of the generation ships, but was sent back down to Earth by her parents who didn’t want to deal with her “abnormal” behavior (it’s pretty clear she’s on the neuroatypical spectrum). The plot centers around the three of them being offered a very well-paying job, but one that requires going much deeper into the desert than anyone has gone for a very long time. The desert where the wealthy segments of society conducted all sorts of research, done in such remote locations because of concerns of industrial espionage. Those facilities have been abandoned for a long time, but there are rumors that “abandoned” doesn’t necessarily mean “dead.”Not going to go into any detail of the plot, but I will say that it’s fairly short, tightly plotted (this is a book that takes place over a few days), and mostly fairly hard science fiction with a generous sprinkling of horror.So why, you may ask, did this book piss me off so much? Because of the sheer injustice of it all. The people going up the elevator and leaving the Earth are the exact same ones who broke it in the first place. Mao and Lupé are just people trying to make do in a world they aren’t responsible for, literally risking their lives so that the people who wrecked everything can have comfortable air conditioning in the brief time they wait to go up the elevator. And they seem almost resigned to it. That’s not even right - they’re not “resigned” to it any more than I’m “resigned” to the sky being blue. It’s just the way it is. The message here isn’t subtle, and it left me furious at the world, guilty over my privileged place in it, and depressed at my powerlessness to change things.It’s not such a difficult thing to tug a reader’s heartstrings. But stirring this kind of reaction without something as crude as shooting poor Old Yeller is a real indicator of a craftsman at work. Highly recommended if you're looking for a quick, intense read that'll stick with you for a while.
    more
  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.This was my first read from this prolific SFF author and good enough that I am looking forward to reading more from him in the future, but also hopeful that this is not a representation of some of his best work.Overall I did enjoy this short book. The story was well paced and well written with distinct characters that had no problem holding my attention. The landscape and plot both pained a future that w Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.This was my first read from this prolific SFF author and good enough that I am looking forward to reading more from him in the future, but also hopeful that this is not a representation of some of his best work.Overall I did enjoy this short book. The story was well paced and well written with distinct characters that had no problem holding my attention. The landscape and plot both pained a future that was easily believable, and I appreciated that Tchaikovsky didn't fall back on generic forms of drama such as romantic and/or sexual tension between the three main characters.That all being said, there were two problems that stood out to me while reading. First, parts of the book I found to be really repetitive. There were character traits, background information, and plot points that did not need to be repeated five or six times in a 200 page book.Second, and more important, while the end as a whole was interesting and took me by surprise, the last pages/the end of Mao's story I found to be both unnecessary and unbelievable and was the defining factor in my decision to give this book three stars instead of four. There was no need to go back to that particular plot point and made the otherwise unique ending/character somewhat generic.
    more
  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    This is my second read by the author. Previously I’ve tried another of the relatively slender Solaris published books of his, Walking to Aldebaran, and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I figured I’ll give the author another try, after all he seems to be so popular and well liked by so many readers. But having just revisited that review of mine, I must say this just isn’t for me. The complaints in fact are exactly the same. The books are technically good, imaginative, conceptually inviting…but the ex This is my second read by the author. Previously I’ve tried another of the relatively slender Solaris published books of his, Walking to Aldebaran, and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I figured I’ll give the author another try, after all he seems to be so popular and well liked by so many readers. But having just revisited that review of mine, I must say this just isn’t for me. The complaints in fact are exactly the same. The books are technically good, imaginative, conceptually inviting…but the execution remains oddly flat. It’s downright peculiar, but despite all the good on paper, exciting on paper components, the entire thing fails to excite. So much so that it might be a strictly personal thing, but then again this is precisely what reviews are. The young age of characters almost turned me off initially, but this is definitely not YA, though I suppose it can be read as such. The characters may be young, but the devastating and dangerous world they inhabit has aged them into early maturity. The entire thing is a sort of metaphor for the wealth disparity with the one percenters residing above it all in all the comforts money can buy and the rest are scrambling in the scorched earth below trying to survive. The Firewalkers are the ones bold enough to go out into the most uninhabitable of lands to take care of the solar panels for the oligarchs. It’s a job too dangerous and too difficult to do for long, so only the young take it on. This is a story of one such team. The rest, the details have already faded from my memory in a week, which usually is its own statement, but that’s the gist of it. And the thing is there has been so many metaphors and set ups just like that one in recent literature and movies. I’ve just watched Alita and it looks just like the world described. So yeah, sure, it’s timely and all that, but not exactly original, is it. So yeah, very bland read. Something about the author’s writing just doesn’t work for me, doesn’t engage me at all. There's some nice imagery and ideas, but overall it underwhelms. Quick, though. Thanks Netgalley.
    more
  • Billy
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating:4.3/5What can I say, Adrian Tchaikovsky knows how to write Sci-Fi. Bruh!This world he created is so frigging bleak and yet it's so beautiful. I don't like comparing authors or books, but I can help remembering the fact that I read a book that shared a few similarities to the premise of the book a couple of months ago. Yet, in terms of execution, they are truly worlds apart. My only gripe with this story is that I really wanted it to be longer and I wanted to immerse myself more in Actual rating:4.3/5What can I say, Adrian Tchaikovsky knows how to write Sci-Fi. Bruh!This world he created is so frigging bleak and yet it's so beautiful. I don't like comparing authors or books, but I can help remembering the fact that I read a book that shared a few similarities to the premise of the book a couple of months ago. Yet, in terms of execution, they are truly worlds apart. My only gripe with this story is that I really wanted it to be longer and I wanted to immerse myself more in the lore of this hopeless world 🤣Selfish? Of course. But what can I tell you, Adrian knows his stuff!
    more
  • Peter Baran
    January 1, 1970
    This is a brief and somewhat depressingly plausible morality tale set just before the end of the world, and its peppily picaresque adventure style ends up being a little at odds with is black as coal denouement. But that is the end of the world for you. And here we are in the hot zone. Regular tropes are set up for the start - a Space Elevator, on the equator, a climate ravaged society. In space the escape generation ship full of the rich arseholes, what's left of a support system eeking out a l This is a brief and somewhat depressingly plausible morality tale set just before the end of the world, and its peppily picaresque adventure style ends up being a little at odds with is black as coal denouement. But that is the end of the world for you. And here we are in the hot zone. Regular tropes are set up for the start - a Space Elevator, on the equator, a climate ravaged society. In space the escape generation ship full of the rich arseholes, what's left of a support system eeking out a life of servitude on the ground floor. And that's where our firewalkers come in, trouble shooters sent out into the blistering desert to sort out broken solar arrays and have some world building adventures on the way.And so off go our three firewalkers, with little more than broadly drawn personalities and background to play off what they find. And what they find initially challenges what felt like the hardish scientific underpinning of the book, and then unfolds into one of the older plots we can expect. That said the first two thirds are strongly picaresque, and the over theme or direction takes a long time to coalesce. This is not a problem, partially because two thirds of a short book is plenty of time to meander and do some solid world building. But it does mean that when we get to the psychological underpinnings of its denoument, it feels a little rushed, and the final deal struck is dodgy at best. Tchaikovsky likes burning through ideas in the other books i have read of his, and there is definately a case here where the characters are never quite as fleshed out as I would like. But it is a hugely enjoyable read for all of that, and I just wonder that it might have a bit more impact if the moral dilemma presented so reasonably at the end could have been given a little more weight if the audience was also allowed to participate in it. (Netgalley ARC)
    more
  • Nicole Sweeney
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.Firewalkers is the bleak and harrowing tale of a world in which Earth is burning, with very little water left. Very little is able to survive, but the rich are able to ascend to ships that have everything they could ever need. While they wait they remain at the luxurious hotel, able to buy water and live and peace. Mao and his team of Firewalkers are tasked with ensuring the solar panels continue to function, to keep the rich people happy. B Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.Firewalkers is the bleak and harrowing tale of a world in which Earth is burning, with very little water left. Very little is able to survive, but the rich are able to ascend to ships that have everything they could ever need. While they wait they remain at the luxurious hotel, able to buy water and live and peace. Mao and his team of Firewalkers are tasked with ensuring the solar panels continue to function, to keep the rich people happy. But as the venture into the burning deserts, they find that there’s much more out there than broken solar panels.This novella might only be 200 pages, but it packs a punch. It’s a fast paced tale that doesn’t let up the entire time. I read it in a day, but I thought about it for a long time afterwards. Touching on themes like class, climate change and the power of technology, Firewalkers is certainly a book that will give you food for thought. With many of the themes being incredibly relatable, it makes for a gripping read. It’s a cleverly woven tale, and one that I think fans of Tchaikovsky will absolutely love.The characters were really fascinating in this book and despite it being a short read you get to know them really well and are rooting for their survival. Mao, Lupe and Hotep make a brilliant team and I loved seeing them work together to survive the dangers of the desert.The story does have quite a bleak outlook, with our main protagonists being made to risk their lives to keep the rich in comfort. The story does also have some pretty creepy moments, featuring some monstrous beasties as well as an ominous AI. Firewalkers is a brilliant read, and I can’t wait to pick up more from Adrian Tchaikovsky.
    more
  • Kriti | Armed with A Book
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a nice commentary on AI and climate change and humanity. Full review coming soon. Thank you Nerd Daily and publisher for the review copy.
  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    3.8 / 5 ✪https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com...I was kindly provided an advance-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Solaris Books and Rebellion for the ARC! All opinions are my own.The second Tchaikovsky novella in two years, Firewalkers features a cast entirely too young to drink, but old enough to wander the post-apocalyptic wastes of the world, fighting and dying for nothing more exotic to us than A/C. Hitting the shelves next week, most of us will be forced to 3.8 / 5 ✪https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com...I was kindly provided an advance-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Solaris Books and Rebellion for the ARC! All opinions are my own.The second Tchaikovsky novella in two years, Firewalkers features a cast entirely too young to drink, but old enough to wander the post-apocalyptic wastes of the world, fighting and dying for nothing more exotic to us than A/C. Hitting the shelves next week, most of us will be forced to get it via ebook, though it proves entertaining in any format. Just make sure you appreciate the cover—courtesy of Gemma Sheldrake—which is quite eye-catching, don’t you think?The city of Ankara Achouka isn’t perfect. There’s never enough food, medicine, or water. There are rolling blackouts, if you can find electricity at all. Jobs are scarce, money is even scarcer. But here, at the base of the Anchor, those things are at least present. The rest of the planet is burning. Deserts and wastelands cover the world, the only refuge from the dying world being aboard the Grand Celeste—the only space station in orbit above the Earth. A space station connected via space elevator at Ankara.At the base of the elevator sits the Anchor—the only area of government control left in Ankara, perhaps even the world—and within its domain the so-called “Roach Hotel”, a resort that caters to the super-rich and elite, so named for the fact that they check in, but never check out. This is where those powerful or connected enough spend their last days on planet, before ascending the elevator to orbit and the Grand Celeste. The hotel has food, water, and amenities. Amenities including A/C, since just because the planet is burning, god forbid the 1%-ers get a little uncomfortable.But when the power goes on the fritz, someone has to go check and repair the solar panels—located far the south amidst the desolate wastes. Enter the Firewalkers. They leave the city to scavenge, scout, and yes, fix the power. Firewalkers are all young and desperate. Or the insane. They have a short life-expectancy, on account of the raiders, the predators, the heat, the desolation, the unknown beyond the bounds of Ankara Achouka. Only those with no future and no better option would consider the life of a Firewalker.Mao is one such man. A legend at only nineteen—a middling age for one of his profession—he once walked back to Ankara through the wastes after an accident that killed his entire crew. Joining him are Lupé and Hotep, two of the best in their respective fields. Their mission: to restore the power to the Roach Hotel, before some of the elite lose their cool. Their lives have already been filled with disaster, but this trip into the wastes may well be their last.If Adrian Tchaikovsky is the master of anything, it’s science fiction. Specifically science fiction with the most distasteful of organisms. His Shadows of the Apt series features a whole host of insects, while the Echoes of the Fall deals with predators. Children of Time plays host to spiders, and several novellas feature several other creepy crawlies. This one is no different, as, in Firewalkers, he returns to bugs.I can’t get much into it without giving everything away, but if you have a problem with or a phobia of insects… maybe skip this one? Otherwise it’s a highly entertaining post-apocalyptic read. The characters are lovely, each with their own personalities and loyalties that evolved to impressive levels, particularly with this only being a novella (albeit a long one). All are well-written, as each portrays both strengths and weaknesses, making them seems very, very human.The setting itself is quite interesting—something of a cross between the world of Metro and the Darwin Elevator, with Tchaikovsky’s particular brand of chaos thrown right in. Though I’d really’ve liked to know more about the state of the world. There’re hints of additional space elevators, the status of which is unknown. The setting itself is a bit of a mystery; I was guessing Africa somewhere, though the most famous Ankara is in Turkey. Other than these few hints, the world itself is hidden in the fog. Or, it’s burned up. There’s very little given. It’s more the kind of story that’s “here’s the world, this is how it is—it’s not about what happened, it’s about the future”. I have a mind curious for details; I always wonder after what’s happened before. While the story itself is pretty good, it isn’t the best thing I’ve ever read by Tchaikovsky. Firewalkers takes a decent amount of time to get moving, and there’re distractions along the way. It’s a solid 4-star tale, though there was a bit of a letdown at the end. Nothing big—the story was completed and all threads tied up nicely—it was just a bit underwhelming. While once I got into the meat of it I had no problem reading to the end, it took some time to get to the meat, as it were. TL;DRWith a landscape like that of Hades and a plot out of Metro, Firewalkers tells a post-apocalyptic tale not quite like any other. Together with Tchaikovsky’s particular brand of chaos, it makes for an entertaining read—with excellent characters, a provocative setting, and good writing throughout. However, the story takes a bit to get off the ground, and wanders a bit more upon doing so. Additionally, the world-building itself seems incomplete, with little more told than those aspects directly relevant to the matter at hand. All in all, Firewalkers is definitely worth a look, especially if you’re a fan of the author, or short on reading material.
    more
  • Alex Sarll
    January 1, 1970
    So I think that's two novels Tchaikovsky has out in May, never mind the rest of the year. This is the fifth I've read from him – so approximately 2% of his output – and the closest to what was briefly called mundane SF; no far futures or distant worlds, no fiddling with the laws of physics as currently and commonly understood. Just a glimpse a few years into the future, which inevitably is not pretty. The rich are heading up the space elevators to orbital cruise liners, but this is a story of th So I think that's two novels Tchaikovsky has out in May, never mind the rest of the year. This is the fifth I've read from him – so approximately 2% of his output – and the closest to what was briefly called mundane SF; no far futures or distant worlds, no fiddling with the laws of physics as currently and commonly understood. Just a glimpse a few years into the future, which inevitably is not pretty. The rich are heading up the space elevators to orbital cruise liners, but this is a story of the poor bastards left at the bottom to keep operational the very same systems from which, as per bloody usual, they'll never see a benefit. Depending where they are, they have far too much water, or not nearly enough. Because of course around the equator, the best place to leave the planet, is also one of the first areas that's going to become uninhabitable, isn't it? And the story follows three brave, desperate 'firewalkers' out into the desertified badlands to investigate a problem with a solar farm, a journey with definite and deliberate overtones of a less humid but even deadlier Apocalypse Now. It's not a cheery read, in other words - although afterwards the news does seem comparatively less stressful, even if it's basically the prequel. I don't know that I altogether buy the final act, but until that it's a painfully likely glimpse into the crystal ball, which of course also serves to remind us of the degree to which we're already inhabiting a monstrous dystopia.(Netgalley ARC)
    more
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    I first started reading Adrian Tchaikovsky's work with Children of Time. What I found is I really like his type of almost optimistic view of post apocalypse humanity. In Firewalkers he tells a story of those who left on Earth as it's dying. Firewalkers is a good, if short, tale of how humanity struggles to survive as well as all the un-intended consequences to actions. Tchaikovsky works to quickly flesh out the characters and give a somewhat limited world view, which is all the main character kn I first started reading Adrian Tchaikovsky's work with Children of Time. What I found is I really like his type of almost optimistic view of post apocalypse humanity. In Firewalkers he tells a story of those who left on Earth as it's dying. Firewalkers is a good, if short, tale of how humanity struggles to survive as well as all the un-intended consequences to actions. Tchaikovsky works to quickly flesh out the characters and give a somewhat limited world view, which is all the main character knows about. As the story progresses, you get to feel like you know what is driving each character and that helps their decisions make sense. I didn't give this book five stars because like I said, it's short. I do feel like the brevity of the book leads to a lack of identifying with how the general populace are acting towards the end of the book. Overall it's a good book and I am hoping he's planning for a second story in this universe.
    more
  • Jameson
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this fast-paced novella from the author, who brought us Children of Time. The group of main characters are several teenagers who have been summoned to provide services to the space community, since they are the last resort, young, and replaceable, and can accomplish things that robots cannot. They live in a world that’s connected to a space resort above their planet, and there is a huge disparity of lifestyles. The author does a fantastic job of character development within this I really enjoyed this fast-paced novella from the author, who brought us Children of Time. The group of main characters are several teenagers who have been summoned to provide services to the space community, since they are the last resort, young, and replaceable, and can accomplish things that robots cannot. They live in a world that’s connected to a space resort above their planet, and there is a huge disparity of lifestyles. The author does a fantastic job of character development within this novella, and really makes the characters the focus of the story, and their roles within the greater story. They run into some crazy insects, a rogue AI and attempt to figure out what the hell is going on, and why they have been sent on this particular mission?I recommend that science fiction fans read this title, and also suggest that public libraries purchase this title. I was able to get an advance copy of this from NetGalley and in return would provide a review.
    more
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* Firewalkers is a stand alone sci-fi novella from Adrian Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky has written some of the most fascinating and imaginative stories I’ve read in the last few years, and that trend has continued here.This is a story of an Earth which is slowly becoming less and less habitable. The equator is becoming a desert, the heat of the sun during the day no longer survivable. People are migrating north and south, toward the coasts, toward lives o *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* Firewalkers is a stand alone sci-fi novella from Adrian Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky has written some of the most fascinating and imaginative stories I’ve read in the last few years, and that trend has continued here.This is a story of an Earth which is slowly becoming less and less habitable. The equator is becoming a desert, the heat of the sun during the day no longer survivable. People are migrating north and south, toward the coasts, toward lives of desperation, armed compounds, and survival. Well, most people are. For the super-rich, for those with the will and the resources, there’s another option. The rich have their own starships. These are being built, in theory, to save some remnant of humanity from climate catastrophe. Practically, they’re the playground of oligarchs, accessible only by space elevators scattered across the equator. Nobody goes up without an invitation, and while a lot fo resources go up the elevators, not a lot comes back down again.Around the elevators, the gates to an unseen world of privilege, towns have sprawled, dedicated to fulfilling the needs of those who haven’t yet made their way up the elevator. People are crammed cheek-by-jowl, searching for patches of shade in the day, eyeing the slow disintegration of their society and their dignity each night, as the desert gets closer, and hotter, and the number of jobs goes down.It’s a harsh world, yes, but there are wonders. The ships themselves are fantastic, of course, but there are other things out in the deep desert, where those now up the elevator spent their youth in secret research labs, building the technologies that would save them. There are rumours of botched biological experiments, of stashes of forgotten riches, of rogue computers taking over facilities, of research vaults that could make you rich, if you could find them. And the infrastructure, the power which ran those labs, now runs the cut down shanty towns around the elevator whisking the privileged away.That’s where the Firewalkers come in. Sometimes, things break. Or things need retrieving from the deep desert, no questions asked. Firewalkers will drive days through killing sun, into unmapped geography, and face the monsters - for a price.Our crew is Mao, and Lupé, and Hotep. The muscle, the mechanic, the tech wizard, teenagers taking a horrifying risk for the promise of just a little more money, just a little more medicine, just a little more hope. The story stands by Mao, a boy growing into a man, deciding who he’s going to be, and whether he’s ready to keep taking risks, keep walking into the fire. It’s a wonderful portrayal of someone fumbling for answers, driven by their confidence and confusion, struggling to keep making things right. The two women, Lupé, and Hotep are wonderfully realised themselves. Hotep is damaged, cutting, and surprisingly fragile, wrapped in bandages both concrete and metaphorical, trying to live out a life wrapped in rage and hurt and betrayal. Lupé is pragmatic, generally more phlegmatic, with moments of fire and a sense of the burden of responsibility. The three of them are chaos, a team working well together, with an abiding friendship disguised under an atmosphere of mercantilism. You can see them all, out there in the broken-down dustrunner that they use to hurl themselves into the teeth of danger, striding through the ruins and secrets of a shattered world, risking their lives, but not heroes - just people, with all the fragility, the hard edges and quiet looks that make them feel real.And they’re on an adventure, for sure. I won’t spoil it, but there’s so much cool stuff here. The climate crisis and the concentration of wealth in the hands of an elite are front and centre here, explored with a precision and passion which makes for searing, unforgettable reading. It’s linked to some fabulous characterisation, and more personal stories, which help shape their world. Of course, if you’re here for the delving into shattered datavaults looking for remnants of a world long gone, whilst dodging sec-bots and horrifying abandoned experiments, it’s here too. This is a great story; it has a lot to say, and wraps its larger themes in a compelling narrative that kept me reading all night, even as I didn’t want it to end.This is great stuff, and you really should read it.
    more
  • Ithil
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. However, my review may be slightly biased because I am a huge fan of his books. When a science fiction book plot is so close to reality that is actually scary. That is exactly what you can find in Firewalkers.It was really devastating, reading a world where the rich and privileged are able to live in space, while the rest of the humanity, not rich, powerful or “necessary” enough have to remain on Earth. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. However, my review may be slightly biased because I am a huge fan of his books. When a science fiction book plot is so close to reality that is actually scary. That is exactly what you can find in Firewalkers.It was really devastating, reading a world where the rich and privileged are able to live in space, while the rest of the humanity, not rich, powerful or “necessary” enough have to remain on Earth. An Earth that is on the verge of destruction. Where the global warming has made inhabitable most of the planet, made extinct most animals and plants. Everything was set up, in case any problems arise, the people who remained in Earth would go and fix it even though this implies going towards the worst part of the planet, literally risking their lives and sometimes sacrificing themselves, so the small privileged people could live surrounded by luxuries and commodities. The future was scarily believable and the plot was very well paced. It is not a very large book, and its chapters are quite short, which makes it a very easy an enjoyable read. The plot is very dynamic, once the main plot has started, and the characters are different enough for the reader to love them for their particularities but still realistic enough.The ending for me is slightly bittersweet. On one hand, I really liked the idea and the message of it, but on the other hand it clashed slightly with the idea of the world that was created. Sorry if this sounds too vague, but regarding the end, I rather not give away too much. Nevertheless, feel free to ask me if you want to. However, for me, the best part of the book is what I have already ranted about: it’s message. I feel like it was not too much in your face, so it turns more moralistic but not too subtle that only insinuates stuff. A very enjoyable read for me that, although too short for my personal liking, reaffirms my biasing for Tchaikovski.
    more
  • S.J. Higbee
    January 1, 1970
    I won’t deny that initially I struggled a bit with this one. This setting is brilliantly portrayed and therefore rather on the bleak side. Tchaikovsky’s depiction of a parched, dying world where not even heat-adapted animals and vegetation can any longer survive is very well done. As ever, he manages to weave in Mao’s back story in with the ongoing action so that I quickly bonded with this gutsy, capable youngster, struggling to keep himself and his family fed and watered in this harsh environme I won’t deny that initially I struggled a bit with this one. This setting is brilliantly portrayed and therefore rather on the bleak side. Tchaikovsky’s depiction of a parched, dying world where not even heat-adapted animals and vegetation can any longer survive is very well done. As ever, he manages to weave in Mao’s back story in with the ongoing action so that I quickly bonded with this gutsy, capable youngster, struggling to keep himself and his family fed and watered in this harsh environment. The science is well done, again, without holding up the pace with chunks of indigestible information. And soon enough, I was caught up in the adventure as the three youngsters set off into the heat discover why the power from the solar panels isn’t getting back to Anchor.I couldn’t see how this was going to end in anything other than a rather downbeat, grim message about what we were doing to the planet – and though I won’t deny that is wrapped up within the story – Tchaikovsky also manages to deliver an ending with plenty of hope, after a tale packed full of incident and well executed story twists. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and it comes highly recommended for fans of clif fi and coming-of-age stories in challenging settings. The ebook arc copy of Firewalkers was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.9/10
    more
  • DeklinClark
    January 1, 1970
    Fire Walkers by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a great new read. The author does a great job of setting up the story. Creating a harsh setting for the main character Mao to live in. When interlocking space and earth and introducing social class as a main place holder and importance in the story, Tchaikovsky does a great job of opening up lots of potential for the story to go. You are able to place yourself in Maoś's shoes and really get a feel for what living at the time would have been like. This would' Fire Walkers by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a great new read. The author does a great job of setting up the story. Creating a harsh setting for the main character Mao to live in. When interlocking space and earth and introducing social class as a main place holder and importance in the story, Tchaikovsky does a great job of opening up lots of potential for the story to go. You are able to place yourself in Maoś's shoes and really get a feel for what living at the time would have been like. This would've taken place in the future due to its unrealistic depiction of earth. It was cool to think to yourself what it may have been like for you and the class you would be in.Mao, a teenage boy is very relatable. He would be like your average teenage boy if the timeline was lined up. He and his team are firewalkers. A firewalker, middle-class career, is assigned to go out into the desert and fix any electrical problems with the solar panels and such. Mandatory for operating. We get a great understanding of this boy and who he would have been like as a friend. His squad seemed to have a lot of fun and ignore the tough times. When making a regular trip, a huge discovery unfolds to his team changing everything that once was known to them. At this point in time, the reader has already placed themselves in the character. Every decision the boy has to make, we think right along with him as if we were him and were placed in his situation. We as the reader develop right along with the boy and feel all the emotions tied with it.
    more
  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    Not bad? But I feel let down by the ending. If I hadn't already read stuff by this author (eg: Children of Time) and been *blown* away, this probably could have wangle jangled that 4th stare. Not so, knowing the author is capable of much more.Overall it was a decent read. I don't dispute it's future look at the world and it's climate, or the impact on (effectively) migrants/migrant workers. It's more the ending arc (you'll know what I mean) that was disappointing and hand wavy. For all that, qui Not bad? But I feel let down by the ending. If I hadn't already read stuff by this author (eg: Children of Time) and been *blown* away, this probably could have wangle jangled that 4th stare. Not so, knowing the author is capable of much more.Overall it was a decent read. I don't dispute it's future look at the world and it's climate, or the impact on (effectively) migrants/migrant workers. It's more the ending arc (you'll know what I mean) that was disappointing and hand wavy. For all that, quick and enjoyable.
    more
  • Hemanth Kumanan
    January 1, 1970
    I was in the middle of my biggest reading slump since two years (thanks to all that's happening around the world, I just couldn't focus) and this book helped me with it. It's a short read, a good read and throws light on how one of the possible dark hypothetical distant future might sound and feel horrific inspite of all the scientific advancements. Humans and emotions remain the same. I loved it!!!!!!!!!
    more
  • J. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    January 1, 1970
    Rolled my eyes at the social issues, but I'll probably read it because Tchaikovsky.
  • Alyssa (Sweetkokoro)
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review in return.I'm just going to jump straight into this, I enjoyed this book, is it my favorite Sci-fi book out there no, but it was enjoyable and worked great for the short length. Scifi is a genre that I will admit I am still very new to, so at times there are moments when I don't particularly feel like I know what its going on. The first chapter of this book was honestly very confusin I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review in return.I'm just going to jump straight into this, I enjoyed this book, is it my favorite Sci-fi book out there no, but it was enjoyable and worked great for the short length. Scifi is a genre that I will admit I am still very new to, so at times there are moments when I don't particularly feel like I know what its going on. The first chapter of this book was honestly very confusing to me. I had to re-read parts a few times and I'm not entirely sure if it was an editing thing or just my mind not grasping what was being told. Once I got out of chapter 1 everything started to make sense, so don't be turned away if you run into the same feeling.We are thrown into this post apocalyptic world, where the rich live in space and have everything they could ever desire and the poor are left back on Earth where its basically a giant dried up wasteland. And of course its the poor who make sure the rich keep getting to live their comfy lives up there in space, in hopes of one day getting to join them. Its a common theme for storytelling but I did enjoy it none the less.In the initial meeting of the Firewalkers we are told they are a group of young adults, late teens who walk the burnt, dried up Earth when problems arise in their townships. Now when I initially read the ages of the characters I did my usual eye roll, because you know 19 year olds saving the day is just..... so realistic haha. But the thing that I liked that Tchaikovsky did with this, was he provided an excellent and thought out reason as to why a bunch of 19 year olds are the best choice for being Firewalkers. After it was explained I sat back and genuinely thought about the approach and agreed with the logic behind it.The pacing of the storytelling, was wishy washy for me, some moments it was super interesting, others felt like I was trudging through mud, and others left me just confused (but that one is more of a personal issue with being new to sci-fi terminology so don't hold to much to that please) The characters where alright, none of them really stood out to me, I didn't feel any strong connection to them, they were decently built and easy to follow along with, and I'm sure someone out there will enjoy their character types. Although at times the conversations they had felt hard to follow and understand because of the approach to the language that was taken. The story is obviously years in the future and language changes over time and I felt like I couldn't get a grasp on some of the terms or phrases that they used that were suppose to be considered normal for them.The plot itself was entertaining once the story moved from the township to actually following the firewalkers out in the open. For me the storytelling really picked up about chapter 4 and beyond. The last half of the book, was exciting in terms of action but then the very tail end of the story just seemed to drop the momentum, the twists were good in my mind, maybe to the more experienced sci-fi reader it might be an obvious approach but for me it felt twisty and unexpected. Overall, I really did enjoy the idea and it was executed well, For the most part I believe its an easy to follow plot, with decent likable characters, and good world building, with well executed ideals. A quick fun read for something to pass the time.
    more
  • Hannah Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    The story is set on earth in a near/distant future where climate change has completely changed the landscape of the world. Population is much smaller and people have condensed into smaller communities, creating cities with extremely diverse cultures, languages, religions, and overall worldviews. In this world, the rich are able to buy their way off the planet and to a much easier life aboard the Grand Celeste, a giant space-cruiser city with all the luxuries the rich are accustomed to and none o The story is set on earth in a near/distant future where climate change has completely changed the landscape of the world. Population is much smaller and people have condensed into smaller communities, creating cities with extremely diverse cultures, languages, religions, and overall worldviews. In this world, the rich are able to buy their way off the planet and to a much easier life aboard the Grand Celeste, a giant space-cruiser city with all the luxuries the rich are accustomed to and none of the hardships of the nearly-destroyed earth. Back on earth, though, people are subjected to the extremely difficult living conditions of a world completely altered by climate change. Work is scarce, and water even more so. One of the only good jobs that exist is that of a firewalker.Firewalkers are sent off into the desolate areas far from the cities to fix issues that arise with the barely-functioning power systems, among other things. They are skilled and, usually, young because it is a job that’s hard on the body and difficult to maintain for a long period of time. This story follows three such firewalkers (Mao, Lupé, and Hotep), all nineteen or so, that are sent on a job to figure out why the city’s hotel for the rich is having such difficulty getting the air conditioner units to work as fully as they have in the past. Over the course of the story, our firewalkers go on a road-trip of sorts to discover who (or what) is using up all of the power.This story is so well-developed, and its themes of climate change and class are extremely timely. The characters are diverse and view the world in different ways, but still manage to be friends at the end of the day. Genre-wise, Firewalkers is, I think, best described as hard sci-fi. However, I think it’s a very approachable version of hard sci-fi, as the story sits in a space somewhere between post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and science fiction. There is very little romance, so don’t worry about that being an issue here. The story is mostly focused on its themes and its friendships, and both of these things are well-conceived and well-done.I will say that this book was a little difficult for me to fully emerge myself into, and I had trouble fully connecting with some of the characters. I loved Hotep, and think she was brilliantly conceived and portrayed. However, I had trouble fully relating to Mao, and he was the main character for most of the story. I wish we had gotten some scenes from Hotep’s perspective, like we did for both Mao and Lupé, because I think it would have added a lot to the story as a whole. In addition, there was a lot of slang used throughout the dialogue of the book, and some of the slang was specific to this story and showed the mixing of of all the languages of this city. I thought this was interesting, but it took me out of the story several times, unfortunately, because I had to figure out exactly what the characters were trying to say.All in all, I think this book will rate around 3.5 stars for me, rounded up to 4 stars, because of how much I enjoyed the story thematically. I recommend this to people who are fans of this genre, enjoy stories with progressive themes regarding class or climate, or are a particular fan of this author.I received an arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but it hasn’t affected my review of the book whatsoever. My Blog
    more
  • Scott Whitmore
    January 1, 1970
    When you’re offered double-double danger pay to do a job with no other information, you know it’s not something you particularly want to do. But when you pause to consider this fact and the boss instantly ups the offer to double-triple … well. That’s a lot of money — and a whole lot of something to avoid — but if you live in a scorching, apocalyptic hellscape and your family depends on you for survival, literally, need trumps want. Every time. Such is the thinking of Mao, one of the main charact When you’re offered double-double danger pay to do a job with no other information, you know it’s not something you particularly want to do. But when you pause to consider this fact and the boss instantly ups the offer to double-triple … well. That’s a lot of money — and a whole lot of something to avoid — but if you live in a scorching, apocalyptic hellscape and your family depends on you for survival, literally, need trumps want. Every time. Such is the thinking of Mao, one of the main characters in Firewalkers, an outstanding dystopian sci-fi thriller by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I was hooked from the very first page and tore through the book, reading in every spare moment and late into the night. This review is based on an advance copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for that purpose. The book will be available on May 12, 2020.Firewalkers is set in a climate-change devastated future, in a part of equatorial Africa where human survival relies on avoiding the daytime heat and sun. Mao and his friends Lupe and Hotep are Firewalkers, part of a select group of young men and women (Firewalkers don’t survive long enough to get old) who journey out into blasted wastes to repair the infrastructure keeping their boomtown settlement of Achouka scratching along. Achouka exists in a land otherwise devoid of life because it is an anchor point, the terrestrial landing point for a cable to space. At the other end of that cable, a long elevator ride away, is a space ship where some of the planet’s most wealthy and powerful continue to live lives of comfort. Alongside the anchor point is a hotel where those lucky enough wait for their turn to ride the elevator to salvation. The great demand for power to keep these fortunate guests comfortably air conditioned is supplied by automated fields of solar panels connected to Achouka. When the power supply is disrupted just before a large group of guests is scheduled to arrive, Mao and his crew are sent Far South to locate and fix the problem.Far South, where mysterious things are said to exist, and double-triple danger pay may not be enough.I can’t say more without spoiling the fun for future readers. The pace is quick but not rushed, and the author does a great job of setting the scene without excess words. Mao and the other characters are well developed and interesting. There are some twists that took me by surprise, and some very thought-provoking ideas about inequality, the environment and family. While this doesn’t appear to be the opener of a series (and I’m not advocating for it to be), the ending is somewhat open-ended and I spent some time wondering what would happen next. There is a realistic uncertainty at the end of Firewalkers, and that made me enjoy it all the more.
    more
  • Banshee
    January 1, 1970
    Firewalkers follows a group of teens who venture out into the scoring hot desert to repair the centuries old solar farm. This solar farm powers the Roach Hotel and the surrounding towns. Without it life in this area would cease to exist. The novel was dark, gritty and hellish as everyone struggles to survive while under the shadow of their potential salvation. The town and solar farm was build so an elite few could escape Earth by building and living on a space ship. The injustice that the world Firewalkers follows a group of teens who venture out into the scoring hot desert to repair the centuries old solar farm. This solar farm powers the Roach Hotel and the surrounding towns. Without it life in this area would cease to exist. The novel was dark, gritty and hellish as everyone struggles to survive while under the shadow of their potential salvation. The town and solar farm was build so an elite few could escape Earth by building and living on a space ship. The injustice that the world experiences was sad yet truthful. The rich destroy the planet while having the money to escape when they have too, while refusing to help their fellow human beings. The ending was great as it was such a perfect twist and a HEA all in one. The characters were good but nothing ground breaking. I liked each character as they had their own struggles, history and strengths. The pacing was good, since it is such a short novel (208 pages) there wasn't any slow parts. Overall this was a great climate sci-fi dystopian novels that creates a perfect atmosphere. I would strongly suggest it to all fans. Thanks to Netgalley and Solaris for the ARC.
    more
  • Sarah Connor
    January 1, 1970
    Tchaikovsky creates an all too believable world here. Global warming has taken hold, and the rich have ascended into luxurious space stations, leaving the poor behind on a world of deserts, scarce resources, skin cancer and water shortages. This is the background for the adventure that unfolds when Mao, Lupe and Hotep take double-triple pay to head out into the desert to find out what's causing the power shortages. What Tchaikovsky does brilliantly is capture different intelligences and give a r Tchaikovsky creates an all too believable world here. Global warming has taken hold, and the rich have ascended into luxurious space stations, leaving the poor behind on a world of deserts, scarce resources, skin cancer and water shortages. This is the background for the adventure that unfolds when Mao, Lupe and Hotep take double-triple pay to head out into the desert to find out what's causing the power shortages. What Tchaikovsky does brilliantly is capture different intelligences and give a real insight into what they might be like and what they might mean. He's good on how societies work, as well. This gives this book a real sense of being grounded, so that even when things get weird you can see how they got there. Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this ARC. I absolutely loved it.
    more
  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun read. Fairly short, with a compelling story and good pacing, I read it in a single setting.There was some "local" parlance that you have to sift through and decipher on your own, but I did not find that overly problematic.Overall, I enjoyed it and with the minimal time required to read it I would freely recommend it to others. I would love to see this world revisited in future works.
    more
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good story. Teams of Firewalkers go out in environmentally sealed buggies to work on jobs that only they can do - and many times, don't come back. You have a scorched earth, psychopathic holographs and lots of big bugs. Reminds me of a horror movie at a Saturday matinee with heavy ecological overtones. I gave it 5 stars because it is so well written.
    more
Write a review