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Walking to Aldebaran

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  72 reviews
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
Hardcover, 140 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2019 by Solaris
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans
'Aldebaran' is a red star whose name comes from the Arabic word for 'follower,' because it seems to follow the Pleides. Interesting choice, although like others, my reading eye slurred it to 'Alderaan,' Princess Leia's world, and I had to wonder if Tchaikovsky is playing with us, just a little. In this novella, scientists have discovered an unusual object and sent a team to explore. It contains some of the best of sci-fi: astronauts, exploration, discovery. Oh, and some of the worst of what can ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is dark and quirky scifi noir as astronaut Garry Rendell finds himself lost in an alien labyrinth. Part of a combined nations space mission to explore an artifact discovered in the Oort cloud beyond Pluto, Rendell, separated from the rest of the exploration team, recounts his wanderings through the never-ending tunnels, and his encounters with fellow wanderers. Although he has maintained his sense of humour, the experience has clearly transformed him.

Original and imaginative with a twist o
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, horror, sci-fi
You know those times when you are reading Harlan Ellison and you say to yourself, "Where are all the newer writers doing DARK FREAKING TWISTS in their SF, full of humor, horror, and anxiety?"

Ah, good news, ya'll! This one fits the bill. :) In fact, I think I should make a little bookshelf named "MUAHAHAHAHAHA".

Yep. Expect a first-contact scenario playing out in flashback, wry and disturbing humor as we catch up with our poor pedestrian walking through the halls of the Frog God, and explore dista
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Do you happen to know the movie The Cube (and/or maybe it's sequel)? What started out as a relatively straightforward space adventure turns into quite similar mindfuckery.

Gary is one of a number of astronauts from all kinds of countries on Earth that are sent to a mysterious Artifact that looks a bit like a frog face. It's huge and somehow not entirely abiding by the laws of physics and we've discovered it behind Pluto.
As these things go, once we finally get over our usual squabb
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019
I had read a couple of this author's books already so I was expecting good things when I took up this one and I was not disappointed. Not by a long shot! It was exceptionally good.

I loved the main character, Gary Rendell from Stevenage, with his snarky, sarcastic comments, his self deprecation and his spoiler alerts. The concept of the tunnels leading to other universes was just brilliant and I enjoyed all the aliens including the Egg people and the Pyramid people. (Gary failed to attend the lec
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 7k-challenge
I absolutely loved this novella from the moment I picked it up to the moment I put it down. It starts out very light. The protagonist is a funny guy. He's lost on an alien artifact humans have been calling "the Crypts."

The story is told in two timelines, present and past. The past timeline outlines how he came to be lost in the Crypts and tells us a little about the state of the world before he left earth. In the present, he's wandering the Crypts encountering all manner of alien life.

The writin
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
“It had a dozen many-jointed legs, and I snapped them off and piled them up, a campfire just like my old scoutmaster taught me, and I used one of my shonky little jury-rigged pieces of nonsense to spark it into flames.” That is astronaut Gary Rendell in survival mode. He is part of the international crew of the Quixote. A probe was sent to look for other planets, but it found the Crypts instead. Rendell is now lost in the Crypts (a/k/a the Frog God a/k/a the artifact) after becoming separated fr ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the bright new lights in today’s science fiction offers us a harrowing glimpse of space exploration and madness. With echoes of Space Odyssey, an artifact appears out by Pluto. It’s large. It’s ancient. It has openings that beckon for exploration. And,it is riddled with passages, chambers, and all manner of space aliens from other planets and other dimensions. No one ever imagined this was how the first contact with intelligent life would play out. And, one man, Gary Randell, has survived ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
3.5 stars...

This was a bizarre little novella but highly, highly captivating. Tchaikovsky pulls you right into the Crypts and you feel like you're walking right along side Gary. It's the type of story that I feel like I need to read more then once to pick up all of the things that I missed the first time around. I never expected this to be my first Tchaikovsky piece, but it was a nice introduction and definitely won't be my last.

*I received this ARC from Netgalley and Solaris in exchange for an
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
NetGalley may excommunicate me if I don't toe the line and review this one soon, so . . . RTC? 😰
Apr 16, 2019 added it
Recommended to Melindam by: carol.
ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviw

WOooh-hoooo! What a ride ... walk!! Creepy & intriguing with self-mockery I appreciate.

This has been my first book by author Adrian Tchaikovsky, and certainly not my last!

It is hard to ride a proper review without being spoilerish, but I will try eventually.

More detialed review to come after some digestion.
Bob Milne
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Walking to Aldebaran was an entirely odd reading experience, equal parts exciting and exasperating, but I suspect that is exactly what Adrian Tchaikovsky was going for. This is the story of a stranded astronaut, lost and alone in an alien landscape, who is certainly struggling . . . and who may even be going crazy.

The thing is, we feel for Gary. We share his horror, his frustration, his helplessness, and his sense of desperate awe. Normally I would be bothered by the lack of wonder and awe in a
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my second time reading Tchaikovsky and I gotta say that I’m impressed. I was blown away a year ago after reading Children of Time and he’s done it again to me with Walking to Aldebaran.

Aside from the fact that both stories take place in space, they are nothing alike. WTA is about us finding an alien artefact in the furthest reaches of our solar system and then sending out an expedition to explore it. The artefact is known as the Crypt and it is huge. After doing some research in close p
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Adrian Tchaikovsky’s 2019 stand-alone novella “Walking to Aldebaran” in kindle ebook, which I received from Solaris Books through, in exchange for publishing an honest review on social media platforms and on my book review blog. The novella's publication date is expected to be 28 May 2019. Adrian Tchaikovsky is the pen-name of British writer Adrian Czajkowski, previously known for his Shadows of the Apt series (which I have not read), and his award-winning Children of Time ( ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chilling, quick paced, full of action and suspense. Essentially a Big Dumb Object story, but this BDO is an immense alien fun house, full of mystery and horrors. The story is told through the often witty, sarcastic first person narration of a lone astronaut lost within the maze like object, making for a fun ride, yet always with a feel of something sinister lurking just out of view. I literally could not put this down. Not to be missed!

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchan
Hélène Louise
4,5 stars

After having read, and loved, Children of Time by the author, I was quite interested by reading more of him, and this novella was nicely timely!

The story, the tone, the context were quite different from the big and serious "Children of Time", which didn't surprised me: a novella is a very interesting format to show an author personality and range of writing capacities. "Walking to Aldebaran", a short story, a creepy tale, with a mystery hidden in plain sight, is one perfect example. It'
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

Gary Rendell is the lucky (lucky, so lucky!) astronaut chosen as part of a team to investigate a mysterious artifact found in the outer reaches of the solar system. As Gary descends into the depths of the artifact, he also descends further and further into insanity as the Crypts slowly strip of him of any remaining humanity.

Coming into this book after The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling, I was prepared for a novella heavy o
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This looked so exciting. Not just did it feature the brightest star in the best constellation out there, but also it’s a space adventure. From a new to me author and in a novella form, which as everyone knows or at least should is an absolutely best way of trying out a new author. But somehow it just wasn’t music to my ears and yes, that is the pun on the author’s name, sorry, it was irresistible. So why was Gary the astronaut’s walk not all that fun. Actually, I’m not quite sure, I’ve thought a ...more
Jon Adams
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I love this author, but I don't love this novella. It was good, but I was anxious for it to be over with.

I really don't know what else to say. I should probably stop getting books off Netgalley to read as I kinda suck at reviews unless I love the book.
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A short book (more novella than novel) about exploration, the unknown, first contact(s), and horrors lurking in the darkness.

The narrator, Gary Rendell, is an astronaut who got separated from his crew while exploring an odd artefact/construct he has nicknamed “the Crypts”, at the edge of the solar system, and suspected to be a gate to other parts of the galaxy. Gary’s narrative is disturbingly humorous, which in
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I was certainly entertained. The main character is starkly realistic and humorous, and being a part of his thought process was really amusing.

Imagine you're trapped on a weird alien structure with no feasible way out and no other company. That's essentially what happened to Gary Rendall, an astronaut sent with a team to uncover the truths of this mysterious Frog God. Part of me was expecting for this to be like The Martian by Andy Weir, a tal
Scott Firestone
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Out at the edge of our galaxy, a Big Dumb Object appears. Astronaut Gary Rendell joins a team tasked with going out and attempting to make contact. Things go sideways, and we're left with Gary's first-person account of what he's experiencing in the Crypt, as it comes to be known. The combination of being cut off from his fellow crew members, wandering around this artifact, and having a lack of food, means Gary's not the most reliable of narrators. Indeed, Tchaikovsky is an avowed Gene Wolfe fan, ...more
César Bustíos
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Most of the Crypts are dark as midnight; a horror of endless cold corridors cut in the stone where every step could see you into a trap, a drop, some peculiarity of physics, a reversal of gravity, a sudden drop in pressure or a toxic aerome."

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

I've heard nothing but good things about Tchaikovsky. It was a good book, couldn't really put it down after the first third of it. It's really easy to read, the pace is great, it's also funny and chilling. I had a really good
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first thing I've read by Adrian Tchaikovsky, but it won't be the last. I'm amazed at how much story was packed into a relatively small amount of pages. The world building was interesting, and the whole tale played with my brain. It also helped that there was some humor, espeically at the first. It really helped me get into the story. The aliens were very alien, as was the setting. I really liked it!
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved 'Children of Time' by Adrian Tchaikovsky, so I was eager to read this novella.
I was hooked from the beginning.

Tchaikovsky writes well-rounded, believable characters. Here he lets poor Gary Rendell tell his story. We learn how he became stranded from his ship-mates whilst exploring a mysterious artefact in deep space, and his herculean efforts to be reunited with them. This is no easy ride, but our hero has the guts and the sheer instinct to survive to keep him focused on his quest.

In c
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Due to be published by Solaris, 28th May 2019.
This review copy from Netgalley.
A science fiction/horror novella. When a strange artefact, looking like a giant frog-face, appears on the farthest edge of our solar system a combined expedition is sent to investigate. Inside, there's an atmosphere and a maze of tunnels. What is its purpose? Does it link to other stars, or maybe even to other galaxies or even universes? One lone astronaut, Gary Rendell, survives and this is his story. It's told in th
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Gary Rendell,astronaut,stuck in a strange object with a vast network of tunnels in space, trying to find his other crew members after being separated. This book flips back and forth to Gary exploring these tunnels to Gary pre-tunnel experience. The humor in this book is excellent! Gary’s experiences eating the local “cuisine” is not to be missed. As he’s going along in the cold, dark tunnels, he becomes lonely and starts talking to an imaginary friend “Toto” or as I felt, he was talking directly ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not often a sci-fi guy and haven't read any for a while but I'm really glad I ended my 'sci-fast' with this delicious, darkly-fun novella by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The story concerns a mission to a mysterious planet-sized artefact, called The Crypts, that has been discovered near Pluto. Of course, said mission turns out to be a bad idea...leaving us following the experiences of a sole English astronaut, Gary Rendell, who is lost in the mind-bending, physics-devouring. alien-inhabited world of Th
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Adrian Tchiakovsky's novella about a lost astronaut, endlessly wandering the corridors of a vast alien artefact existing in multi dimensional space makes an interesting but slightly frustrating read. There's not much in the way of character play. Occasionally the protagonist comes upon explorers from other planets with whom he is unable to communicate but essentially this is a study in dehumanisation.

Alien consciousness is a subject that Tchaikovsky has explored in previous novels and his depict
Ben Haskett
Funny, shocking, and creative.

(Thank you to NetGalley for this free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)

A great little novella. Astronaut Gary Rendell has been wandering the "crypts" (a planet-sized orb with various entrances that seem to connect planetary systems together; the innards of which almost seem randomly generated, like a roguelike video game) for so long that he's beginning to go a little crazy. This insanity starts with a run of sardonic humor about his predicament (and there are
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.