Children of Time (Paperback)

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Children of Time By Adrian Tchaikovsky Cover Image

Children of Time (Paperback)

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This is book number 1 in the Children of Time series.

Staff Reviews


This is one of my new all-time favorite space operas. It’s got it all: generational ark ships with cryosleep chambers, genetically engineered viruses, artificial intelligence merged with brain uploads, and, wait for it…SPIDERS. 

The lone survivors of the human race are concentrated on their last remaining ark ship looking for a new home. When they finally arrive at the most promising planet, they find it guarded by a millennia-old scientist protecting her precious experiment. Little does she know her monkeys did not survive the initial impact, and the nanovirus intended to rapidly accelerate their evolution has impacted the native spiders instead. As the spiders swiftly progress in communication, religion, and technology to finally meet their god, they find themselves threatened by their maker’s very ancestors. The story depicts two civilizations at odds with each other: one in its earliest days of evolution and the other in its final, desperate days of salvation. It’s a wildly fun     exploration of creation and conflict. 

— From Alden's Picks

Adrian Tchaikovksy's Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

Who will inherit this new Earth?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age -- a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth? 
Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, and headed off to university in Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself, he subsequently ended up in law. Adrian has since worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds and now writes full time. He also lives in Leeds, with his wife and son. Adrian is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor. He has also trained in stage-fighting and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind -- possibly excepting his son.
Product Details ISBN: 9780316452502
ISBN-10: 0316452505
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: December 11th, 2018
Pages: 640
Language: English
Series: Children of Time
"Children of Time is a joy from start to finish. Entertaining, smart, surprising and unexpectedly human."—Patrick Ness

"Brilliant science fiction and far out world building"—James McAvoy

"A refreshingly new take on post-dystopia civilizations, with the smartest evolutionary worldbuilding you'll ever read"
Peter F Hamilton

"A magnificently imaginative space opera."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

"Like a Stephen Baxter novel with an epic sweep of history (see his Evolution, for example), added to a broad cast of a Peter Hamilton Space Opera and the narrative drive of, say, a David Brin or a Greg Bear old style SF novel, Children of Time soon got me hooked."SFF World


"Children of Time has that essence of the classic science fiction novels, that sense of wonder and unfettered imagination but combined with this is the charm of a writer who really knows how to entertain, how to spin a good story. Essential science fiction, a book not to be missed."
SF Book

"The novel's clever interrogation of the usual narrative of planetary conquest, and its thoughtful depiction of two alien civilisations attempting to understand each other, is an exemplar of classic widescreen science fiction."—New Scientist

"This is superior stuff, tackling big themes - gods, messiahs, artificial intelligence, alienness - with brio."—Financial Times

"An entertaining and thought provoking novel of post humanity, survival and legacy."—SF Signal

"Tchaikovsky's prose is superb, and his world-building was exceptional, brilliantly realized on the page, and both fascinating and original."—Civilian Reader