Short Changes (Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald)

Short Changes is a short story collection by Adrian Tchaikovsky, with an additional short story he wrote together with Keris McDonald.
Finished on: 18.7.2020

I was curious about Tchaikovsky’s writing, so when he offered this collection of previously published stories for free, I thought it would be a good chance to get an impression of his style and work to determine whether I wanted to get more into it. Having read the collection, I mostly enjoyed it, but nothing really blew me away enough to go out and buy his other writing straight away. But maybe at some point.

There is no book cover, but you can read more about each of the stories after the jump.

Family Business

Tarrant uses his magic to work as his debt collector. He and his magical siblings have been getting by in a world that is increasingly unmagical. But when one of them is killed, they have to re-evaluate some things.

Family Business hints at an interesting world with interesting characters. I am pretty sure that there is enough material here to make for a good novel – so the glimpse we got was rather tantalizing. I quite liked Tarrant’s voice. A good start to the collection.


Steve has decides to take his dad home with him from the nursing home, despite the warnings from his sister who still remembers what it was like to grow up with him. But age gets to everyone.

Care was nice, but didn’t quite engage me as it should have. Maybe because I would probably react more like Steve’s sister than Steve. But it did have its moments.

Not a Cat Person

Stewart comes to the house of famous other George Bechter who recently died. He is supposed to finish Bechter’s last book, a book that was close to completion. But there is something else in the house with him.

Not a Cat Person features an intriguing creature that is somehow right in the middle between helpful and terrifying. The story was certainly very atmospheric.


The alarm clock is worried that it isn’t going right and therefore won’t sound at the right time. How can it make sure?

Beep works with a cute idea and it runs just short enough so that this idea doesn’t run out of steam. It’s not a great short story, maybe, but it’s entertaining and fun.

The God-Shark

People were struggling and so they prayed to the gods for help. They were answered by the God-Shark who offered to rule them. But do they want to be ruled by the God-Shark?

I found The God-Shark and its highly stylized writing style a little tiring and couldn’t really get into it, although here, too, were some n ice moments.

Reading Between the Lines – with Keris McDonald

Oliver receives a litter from his friend Jed who details his plans for an experimental journey to a mysterious place below. And it appears that the journey actually worked.

Reading Between the Lines has an interesting parallel world and it’s an epistolary short story. Both things should make me want to like it a lot, but I was constantly wondering about the possibility of letter delivery in the first place and the twist in the end was a little tired. Ultimately, it just didn’t work for me.

Summarizing: nice collection.

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