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Made Things

(Made Things #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,870 ratings  ·  233 reviews
She was good at making friends.

Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like friends: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppeli
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Tor.com
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Dom Mooney The story is self-contained - it's not the start of a trilogy. It could, however, easily have a sequel. "Precious Little Things" is also available, wh…moreThe story is self-contained - it's not the start of a trilogy. It could, however, easily have a sequel. "Precious Little Things" is also available, which is effectively a prequel, but there are no character cross-overs.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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On the upside, I can now spell ‘Tchaikovsky.’ Anything that isn’t spelled correctly is purely a typo. On the downside, the trouble with reading some of an author’s truly impressive works–in case you are wondering, Children of Time and Doors of Eden–is you just know when they aren’t really living up to their potential. Yes, I’m like that teacher in school who refuses to give the A to a perfectly acceptable paper because I know you can do better. Tchaikovsky can do better than this, so he gets an ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Full review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Adrian Tchaikovsky is an unusually versatile author. I never know what to expect from him — insect and shapeshifter fantasy, Iron Man-inspired science fiction, and Regency/Napoleonic historical fantasy are just a few examples — but I know it’s going to be imaginative and intelligently written. The last work I read by him, Walking to Aldebaran, was science fictional horror with an unusual literary streak. In a nearly 180 degree turn, Tchaikovsky now
Oct 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
Tchaikovsky-lite. Still quite good, and has some teeth, but tends to hold back the bite.
“[…]If you were a thief in Loretz, then your fingers itched for the magic the place was famous for.”

It’s a straightforward fantasy adventure with homunculi, thieves and mages, a quick and easy read under the surface of which you sense just a hint of deeper and darker themes, but it barely brushes against them. And so I assume it would be well-suited for a bit younger reader - although it’s not entirely co
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a short, entertaining book featuring some very likeable, living puppets. Not keen on the cover though - my imagination drew much better looking ones in my head!

This author is one of my favourites and he has the most enormous range. I never know what to expect when I pick up one of his books although for me his sci fi are his masterpieces. Made Things was very imaginative. The characters were interesting as was the magic world they lived in.

I enjoyed it but it will not live on in my mem
* A Reader Obsessed *
Apr 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022, fiction
4 Stars

The sequel to Precious Little Things.

The “puppets” have left their sanctuary and have tentatively infiltrated the human world, and what they find is so much possibility but so much danger as well…

These magical impossibilities form a partnership with Moppet, a poor vagabond who survives on petty crime and making magical dolls to serve the elite. When Moppet is dragged into a heist against her will and captured, what she finds can upset her world social order. Her tiny new friends make a bo
K.J. Charles
A delightful fantasy novella set in a city of magic and thieves. Ophaned puppeteer Coppelia is trying to make a dishonest living and also to build bodies for a race of tiny magical homunculi who reproduce by imbuing made bodies (of wax, paper, metal, wood etc) with magic. Things go south in a suitably dramatic way.

Beautifully written, well plotted, great characters, and a masterpiece of world building in a small space. Hugely enjoyable.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a great, well considered idea! And so darn cute!

I bumped this novel up my TBR list after I read the short story prequel "Precious Little Things" a few days ago in the Tor.com short fiction Fall edition and was hooked.

Tchaikovsky's homunculi are a bit like Toy Story for adults, with more thoughtfulness and inventive worldbuilding. As with all his works he again succeeds in creating three-dimensional absolutely likeable characters, giving them distinctive voices and seasoning his storytelling
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Puppets Have Come to Town

Move over Pinocchio and Gepeto. There’s a new game in town. Yes, there’s a puppeteer, but she’s also a thief, an orphan, and the best friend the little people (the homunculus) ever had. The little people, you ask. Why yes, they are only six inches tall and are made of wood, metal, and paper and they’ve been brought to life by magic. This is a quieter fantasy about a city ruled mercilessly by great magi and those who would have influence battling and maneuvering for a
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adrian Tchaikovsky is a versatile author. Whether he's writing about a far future, spiders, artificial intelligences, or any number of other things in his stories, I'm happy to check them out. This novella is a fantasy in a world with mages, homunculi and thieves.
The main character Coppelia is a thief and puppeteer, working for other, more successful criminals, and stealing little bits and bobs of magicked items to augment her slight magic so she can enhance her puppets. She has some help from t
Michelle F
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made Things is fun; the sort of story that made you wish there was more to it, but clipped along so nicely that you are ultimately glad there wasn't.

There is something notably admirable in the way we are handed, essentially, a cut-scene from what could have been a fairly epic saga, if you ignore the ending. We land in the middle of the quest of the titular 'Made Things', magically imbued (and wonderfully inventive) little automata who simply want to find a way to survive and ideally even thrive.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is there no limit to Adrian Tchaikovsky's creativity? This is my first fantasy work by him, but it does not disappoint. Beautifully written and wonderfully entertaining. I only wish there were more stories written in this fascinating world! ...more
The Captain
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there mateys!  This author's work is fairly new to me but I am really enjoying it so far.  It seems that the author writes in a variety of styles with a variety of subjects.  The first sci-fi novella was walking to aldebaran which was definitely unusual but made me laugh.  The second, a novel called dogs of war, took some time to track down but I ended up finding that one interesting too.  Strange sci-fi about bioforms but good.  So I was looking forward to reading this fantasy that involve ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know Pinocchio, right? This is not his story. Here the Made Things or rather the homunculi come across as a separate world of clans and types with their own society and ecosystem. They connect with the world of humans via the help of the Moppet, aka our main character Coppelia.

This is a fantasy heist story. Not my favourite trope, it‘s usually too formulaic for my taste. Which this is, to some extent.

The story didn‘t do a thing for me. I actually considered to DNF this, but it probably does
Oct 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Disappointing. Tchaikovsky is very up and down for me - great peaks and dismal valleys.

Like Tchaikovsky”s Walking to Aldebaran and I suspect most of his books - this is my third by him - we get an interesting premise: a young puppet maker meets and befriends living puppets with minds of their own (homunculi) in a city of magic. Tin soldier, rag doll, an artfully designed wooden thief, an oragami witch made of crippled old paper, each homunculus is unique. They seek to grow their ranks. To do so,
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
I feel like this was right up my alley, but I couldn’t really follow it for some reason. And because of this I quickly bored.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A delightfully rough and dangerous story with magical, animated creatures who captured my heart.

“What’s the world coming to?” the big human said. “I remember when this was simple. And now there’s little doll people threatening me with a shave. Fuck me.”

This is my first Adrian Tchaikovsky book, but it certa
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review at The Quill to Live: https://thequilltolive.com/2019/08/08...

I have a fear of dolls. Or maybe not a fear, so much as I find them intensely off putting. Their miniature faces are creepy, and any horror story that involves dolls coming to life and murdering people deeply upsets me. So, when the lovely people at Tor.com sent me Made Things, a novella by Adrian Tchaikovsky about a dollmaker who brings her creations to life, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, Tchaikovsky is one of th
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A writer strives to give their characters the spark of life, as does the puppeteer. It can’t be done. The cold, hard, truth is, it would require magic, and there’s no such thing as magic. And yet, if there’s one thing in this entire universe that a perfectly reasonable person might be forgiven for thinking of as magical, wouldn’t it be life?

That magical spark is at the heart of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s short novel “Made Things,” where petty thief and master puppet-maker/puppeteer Coppelia (AKA “Mopp
actual rating: 2.5

This should have been right up my alley but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. I might have just not been in the right mood, but I felt like none of the characters really stood out and it made the book fall a little bit flat to me. Definitely a good concept but I wish the character had been as original as the setting.
S. Naomi Scott
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It’s fair to say that Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite contemporary authors. I’ve only read a handful of his works to date but every one of them has been excellent in its own way and the more I read the more eager I become for his next book. Made Things is no exception.

It’s an absolutely delightful novella that follows the trials and tribulations of puppeteer Coppelia as she finds herself getting pulled into the machinations of the local thieves guild and their ongoing struggles against
Dawn F
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
A cute story, though hardly anything new. The plot is the same as in his Dogs of War; an artificial group of lives become sentient and wish for autonomy. I’m a big fan of Tchaikovsky’s SF, so perhaps I was more into that mindset and therefore felt I missed the setup of this. Perhaps it would have been better as a full fletched novel and time given to each character, or maybe a narrower character focus, for such a short story.

Regardless, the writing is pleasant and comfortable, and you won’t be h
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Even in paper I just couldn't get into it. I'm in a bad book slump due to family crises, but still, this reads like a resurrected early work, pronouns w/out antecedents & other awkwardnesses that seem to be artifacts of attempts to give a certain kind of fantasy tone. Oh well; I guess I don't need another orphan & magi & puppets story. ...more
Oct 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Short fantasy in a highly magical world, this has some very well drawn characters - though the cover isn't a good representation.

This is the second book I've read by Adrian Tchaikovsky, both ever and this year. Both had excellent world building and characters. In this tale, the reader can really feel the effects of a highly magical world - especially the disparity between classes.

Like the earlier book, this was grabbed on a whim during a quick access to the library - despite the misrepresentativ
Mae Crowe
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hi, yes, I would like to order a stop-motion film of Made Things, please. Yes, now. It's important.

Made Things is unlike anything I've ever read. Coppelia and her sentient puppet friends live in an atmospheric world of magic and class divides. I felt like I was there along with them, experiencing the same hardships and injustices, bearing witness to the same miracles and travesties. The world really was tangible, formed in such a naturalistic way that the story contained therein couldn't be anyt
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
An imaginative little story about a small people trying to get a foot in in a gigantic world of humans and magic and about a girl that makes puppets.

Tchaikovsky has easily become a sure way to find an interesting read for me.
Not even 200 pages and still a picture painted of a world with many varied characters and their fates.
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
That was thoroughly enjoyable. The most fun I've had Ina while. Whitty and snarky, well written and wonderfully imaginative.

Tchaikovsky is fast becoming the most versatile and imaginative written of the 20s
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable reading. Just didnt have the scope of his other works. These TOR novellas just dont have enough pages
Claudia ✨
Adrian Tchaikovsky seems like one of those authors that can write anything - he goes from enormous spiders to talking military animals and now tiny, animated homonculus-dolls. Best of all, Tchaikovsky does it well, and Made Things is no exception; even if it somewhat suffers from its shorter novella format.

Coppelia is an orphan and puppeter, surviving by thieving in a city where magic rules. She gets by more easily after befriending a group of dolls with an agenda of their own. When a gollem is
Good story. Quick read. I did laugh at Arc, tin man, wearing the lace frock. I’d enjoy a sequel.
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up

Charming short story with really good world building and nice characters.
Really nifty and creative "made things"! The tiny golems were really funny.

Although I sometimes found the actual plot somewhat contrived it all worked out for the better (of course). The ending was quite delightful, as far as it can be within the world of thieves.

I listened to this story rather than reading it. It was read by the author himself, I believe.
It was nicely done, but I would have liked a b
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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.

Other books in the series

Made Things (2 books)
  • Precious Little Things

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