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Search tags: Adrian-Tchaikovsky
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review 2017-12-21 23:23
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (audiobook)
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky,Mel Hudson

Narrator: Mel Hudson

 

All the stars. This was a reread by audio and I honestly had just as much fun the second time around, and I quite liked the narrator.

 

In a far-flung future, Adrian Tchaikovsky explores humanity, empathy, and how to overcome your species's past. It's awesome. And he makes you empathize with the spiders. That's quite an achievement. Spiders make awesome alien species, by the way.

 

I'm counting this for square 12 Saturnalia: read any work of science fiction that takes place in space. Half the book takes place on board a cryogenic space ship.

 

Previous updates:

38%

36%

29%

25%

3%

 

Previous review

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text 2017-12-12 23:48
Reading progress update: I've listened 376 out of 990 minutes.
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky,Mel Hudson

The debate on its purpose and meaning – on the lesson that the arrival of such a prodigy was intended to teach – lasted for generations, over the whole span of the creature’s long life and beyond. Its behaviour was strange and complex, but it seemed mute, producing no kind of gesture or vibration that could be considered an attempt at speech. Some noted that when it opened and closed its mouth, a cleverly designed web could catch a curious murmur, the same that might be felt when objects were pounded together. It was a vibration that travelled through the air, rather than across a strand or through the ground. For some time this was hypothesized as a means of communication, provoking much intelligent debate, but in the end the absurdity of such an idea won out. After all, using the same orifice for eating and communication was manifestly too inefficient. The spiders are not deaf, exactly, but their hearing is deeply tied into their sense of touch and vibration. The giant’s utterances, all the frequencies of human speech, are not even whispers to them.

 

The spiders are awesome. They also see value in preserving ecological diversity.

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text 2017-12-12 03:07
Reading progress update: I've listened 355 out of 990 minutes.
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky,Mel Hudson

They could hear Bales screaming as soon as the outer door opened. The woman lay on the ground just outside, smashing both hands against her suit, kicking and flailing as though beset by an invisible attacker. Everyone except Holsten and Tevik piled out to help her, trying to get her under control. They were shouting her name now, but she was oblivious, thrashing out at them, then trying to force her helmet off as though she was suffocating. One foot was a red ruin – seeming half cut away – the leg of her suit slashed open with a weird precision.


It was Nessel that released the catch and dragged Bales’s helmet off, but the screaming had already turned to a ghastly liquid sound before then, and what came out first, after the seal broke, was blood.


Bales’s head flopped aside, eyes wide, mouth open and running with red. Something moved at her throat. Holsten got sight of it just as everyone else suddenly recoiled: a head rising from the ruin of the woman’s throat, twin blades brandished at them under a pair of crooked antennae that flicked drops of Bales left and right as they fidgeted and danced.

 

Mwahaha. Meet...the ants!

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text 2017-12-02 05:37
Reading progress update: I've listened 284 out of 990 minutes.
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky,Mel Hudson

I think this was about the point where I came across this other passage about spider society that I also wanted to share:

"Portia gives the activity below a second glance, and is shocked. Your assistants are male.
Indeed, Bianca agrees, with a stance that suggests this topic is not a new one.
I would have thought they would prove insufficient for the complexity of such work, Portia assays.
A common misunderstanding. If well coached and born with the pertinent Understandings, then they are quite able to deal with the more routine tasks. I did once employ females, but that results in so much jostling for status and having to defend my preeminence; too much measuring of legs against each other – and me – to get the work done. So I settled on this solution."

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text 2017-12-01 01:19
Reading progress update: I've listened 244 out of 990 minutes.
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky,Mel Hudson

Ah, the quirks of a spider society:

"The act of courtship is consummated as a public ritual, where the hopeful males – in their moment of prominence – perform in front of a peer group, or even the whole city, before the female chooses her partner and accepts his package of sperm. She may then kill and eat him, which is thought to be a great honour for the victim, although even Portia suspects that the males do not quite see it that way.


It is a mark of how far her species has come, that this is the only openly acceptable time when killing a male is considered appropriate. It is, however, quite true that packs of females – especially younger ones, perhaps newly formed peer groups seeking to strengthen their bonds – will descend to the lower reaches of the city and engage in hunting males. The practice is covertly overlooked – girls will be girls, after all – but overtly frowned upon."

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