Chil­dren Of Time

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Eight Legged Tweaks

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

600 pages | Hard­back/ ebook Au­thor: Adrian Tchaikovsky Pub­lisher: Tor Books

Fan­tasy au­thor

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.

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