Children Of Time
Eight Legged Tweaks
Release Date: OUT NOW!
600 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky Publisher: Tor Books
Tchaikovsky ( writer of the Shadows Of The Apt series) makes a move into outer space in this SF tale of postcatastrophe survival for the creatures of Earth. He takes his interest in arthropods with him, however.
Children Of Time begins with humanity on the verge of seeding life throughout a barren cosmos. Discord at this pretence to godhood simultaneously sees human society cast down across its fragile holdings. As war erupts, the terraforming project of Kern’s World is nearing completion, and from its ruin arises a race of uplifted spiders.
This is a twin- stranded novel. The primary plot, concerning the nascent civilisation of the spiders, is the more effective, and the radically different course of technological development the arachnids take is marvellously realised. The secondary plot concerns the survivors of a human culture that developed after the dark age that came in the wake of the war. They are forced to seek out the worlds created by their ancestors as the poisons of the past render Earth uninhabitable. This is generally gripping, although it becomes somewhat repetitive in the middle reaches.
Tchaikovsky favours a rather didactic style, laying everything out in detail. This works well for the creatures of Kern’s World, but robs the narrative of a certain mystery, and the set- up requires some stretching of credibility. But overall this is a smart, involving story with a brilliantly imagined “alien” race. Guy Haley Tchaikovsky is actually a Czajkowski. Of Polish descent, he uses the Russian version of his name for ease of recognition.