Children of Time, Hardback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Winner of the 30th anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed, stand-alone 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?


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Space opera
  • ISBN: 9781447273288



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I sort of read this by accident. I bought it at Edge-Lit 4, and on the train ride home I finished the book I’d taken to read during the journey there and back, so I started Children of Time. And since I’d started it, I decided to continue reading it. Which I think makes it one of the very few books I’ve actually bought and then started on the same day. The elevator pitch for this novel didn’t sound all that appealing, and the author is better known for a ten-book fantasy series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a polished sf novel with several neat twists on the generation starship story (it seems to be the generation starship’s year, with this and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora). The world the ship plans to colonise, and the only possible candidate its crew have found, unfortunately turns out to have been terraformed and colonised millennia earlier. By spiders (the result of a human seeding programme that went wrong). The novel alternates between events on the ship and the development of the spider civilisation – and the latter narrative is absolutely fascinating. Tchaikovsky puts a few spins on his generation ship tropes, although it soon devolves into a well-visited territory. Which was a little disappointing – but on balance the spiders more than make up for it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on the BSFA Awards shortlist next year.

Review by

What a fascinating read this was! An intriguing combination of fantasy, sci-fi, thriller. The writing is beautiful, the story is complex and genuinely surprising as it unfolds. And the whole thing is based on what comes across as authentic science - the author had a science advisor, which shows. The complex movement across time and space is epic. Brilliant!

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