Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time is an outstanding Science Fiction novel. For me it harks back to the early days of Sci-Fi: it has big ideas, a grand scale, and it has that feel of boundlessness. More than that, though, Children of Time is a brilliant story with great characters, a fantastic plot, all taking place within a ddystopian future that is eminently believable.
Tchaikovsky tackles big themes in the novel, but never loses sight of the characters and story. Not only that, but it’s bold: Tchaikovsky introduces non-human species to the tale and one thread of the narrative is told entirely from their point of view as a genetically-tailored virus accelerates their evolution. Some of it is downright frightening, and for anyone with a fear of spiders I’d suggest this may not be comfortable bedtime reading. I don’t suffer from arachnophobia, but the author still left me uncomfortable with chapters told from the point of view of giant sentient spiders. And that, I think, is a mark of just how good Tchaikovsky is: bringing sympathy to non-human characters and their struggle for survival when their ancestors are one of humanity’s most common phobias.
There is so much to recommend this book, but if you’re a fan of big, bold Science Fiction then this is likely to be right up your street.