CHILDREN OF TIME
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s epic sci-fi novel Children of Time follows two beings at opposite ends of their evolutionary timeline. Having left a dying Earth, the remaining, desperate members of humankind have journeyed across space searching for worlds believed to be colonised by their ancestors hundreds of years in the past. In that time a nanovirus intended to kick start these new worlds into a habitable environment has taken nature in a different direction. Now the arachnid is the dominant species.
Children of Time is a thought-provoking, detailed account of how these very different civilisations react to their changing environments. Time is the key factor in Tchaikovsky’s novel, being set over many generations of spider development while the last of the humans spend most of their journey cryogenically asleep. Initially both unaware of the other and believing themselves to be the most advanced species, the approaching encounter is interesting to observe as Tchaikovsky explores the differing beliefs and societal structures. Where the novel struggles is in making some of the exposition “fun”, especially when outlining the plight of the humans. While the spiders make interesting and original subjects, the humans feel more stereotypical and formulaic, and you find yourself almost rushing through those chapters to find out more about the spiders.
Epic is definitely the correct word to describe Children of Time as it does require a certain amount of commitment to reach the end. As with the human characters, many readers may fall by the wayside searching desperately for the conclusion, but while the journey may be fraught with risks it is still one worth taking. Part evolutionary study, part hard sci-fi: Children of Time falls somewhere between the two.
INFO: CHILDREN OF TIME / AUTHOR: ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY / PUBLISHER: TOR / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW