SF Book Club. "Children of Time" by A. Tchaikovsky.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Diziet Sma, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Kanly

    Kanly Well-Known Member

    I missed out on the selection/voting, but I'm still in for this read! Spiders remind me of Vernor Vinge's seriously awesome Zones of Thought books - specifically, the second one.
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have only managed to read 20% but I’m really enjoying myself. I love Portia and little Fabian so far.
    Safari Bob likes this.
  3. hrafnwasser

    hrafnwasser Well-Known Member

    Nearly read ...
  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have only read about 40% of CoT. I’m really loving its concept and in particular those scary and wondrous creatures.
    Those who have finished the book, please go ahead and start discussing it before we roll into November.:)

    TomTB likes this.
  5. R-Hat

    R-Hat Well-Known Member

    Count me in! I finished the book a few days ago.
  6. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    I'll start things off then, shall I?

    I loved the spiders and their world. I thought it was incredibly well thought out and I mostly rooted for them throughout.
    However, I found the human story more challenging. I felt the going in and out of stasis was a means to keep the same cast over a period of time and, for me, it stilted the story. I would have liked two societies growing and changing. I also found it hard to like a single one of the humans. :)
  7. R-Hat

    R-Hat Well-Known Member

    Yes, technically not a single of them was a strictly good guy to the end, perhaps except the classicist, but he was more of a witness storyteller anyway. There was a bit of an anti-human vibe going on the whole time :)
  8. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Completely agree. Found myself getting a little bored with the human element of the story, just seemed to be unnecessarily long winded compared to the spider element, which was brilliant to follow as they evolved, and evolved, and evolved some more. Their exploration of space was superb! Overall really enjoyed it, I definitely want to read some more from him.
    Safari Bob likes this.
  9. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have only managed 55% of CoT. I’m really enjoying myself but I’m struggling to find time to read.
    I haven’t read the above comments for fear of spoilers and I’m curious to find out whether everyone is enjoying it or whether there are some negative comments too.
    By the way, @kenubrion , how are you getting on with the spiders?
  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    What spiders? I had to quit and return it. I read the prologue and first two pages so I did try.
  11. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I found the ending to be fascinating. No spoilers, I guess, but when Darth Portia reveals that SHE is his father... oh no! I've said too much!
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I can understand that. Not easy for a puppy to deal with big, ugly spiders...
  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Well, finally with some delay I finished the book.
    I agree with everyone here that conceptually was very clever. Two parallel stories told inversely: while the humans degrade, the spiders evolve.
    I enjoyed the arachnid evolution with their recurrent characters: little Fabian my favourite.
    Maybe, as I have recently read Empire of the Ants with its insect point of view, I wasn’t that amazed by some of the information related to the inhabitants of the green planet.
    The way Tchaikovsky plays with time was clever as it allowed him plasticity in the plot. Besides, I enjoyed the way he hinted at old theories about conditions governing the mind's operation, which influence the way the characters experience the surroundings: time/space and the principle of causality.

    Towards the end I was expecting some kind of last minute, miraculous communication between humans and spiders that would allow some cooperation and survival for both species. I wasn’t expecting this gentle, goodwill nano virus solution: a bit of a wishful thinking in my opinion.
    Nevertheless, a very exciting and trepidant ending. I would have loved though to read more about the initial symbiotic relationship between the two groups.
    Maybe in the next book...
  14. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

  15. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've been taking a break from SF (and most reading) this past month. I was in the middle of CoT, and then I just came to a dead stop. I'll get back with my thoughts when I get back to the book and finish it.
  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Funny you mentioning this. I feel I have "hit the wall", as we say in the running jargon because at the moment I cannot summon the concentration nor the will to read more than 5 minutes. As much as I'm enjoying Robinson's book, I haven't managed any reading in the last few days. It just feels like a chore.

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