Reading : An itsy bitsy spider, built up a whole civilisation.

“So, What are you reading ?” That’s a question we get more often these days, especially since whatever book i’m into, is not obvious by its cover. For the last 18 years I’ve been ruining my eyes on the displays of various electronic readers, so whatever work of literature I indulge in, is not obvious to an outsider. That’s ok, because on of the last books I read was a little hard to explain and would make the nosy busybody inquirer frown and mutter .. uh .. ok.

So there is this planet with itsy bitsy spiders who have giant human problems.

Me .. explaining it to a stranger.

Children of Time – Adrian TchaiKovsky

“Children of Time is a 2015 science fiction novel by author Adrian Tchaikovsky. The novel follows the evolution of a civilization of genetically modified Portia labiata on a terraformed exoplanet, guided by an artificial intelligence based on the personality of one of the human terraformers of the planet.”

Yup, sounds delightfully weird and … it is. Our author isn’t just some flimsy fantasy writer but a deep deep nerd who dives deep into the subject he writes about. The result is a biologically accurate approach of the Portia Labiata spider and how it accidentally gets infected by a genetic virus to “evolve”. Said virus came from a colonisation ship (filled with monkeys) sent out by terraforming humans who thought: No need to go ourselves, we will just send some apes, make a virus that lets them evolve and have an IA guide them towards making high tea and crumpets in a few million years. Well, thats not the way it turns out. Ship crashes, monkeys die and itsybitsy spider get’s reversed-spidermanned into having powers the human mind.

The result? A fantastic “world building” book that is not just pulled straight out of the writers imagination (LOTR, Dune .. ) but based on actual bio-science and a fantastic amount of ‘what if” extrapolation. A great read, well written and respectful to the readers intelligence by valiantly plodding ahead (on all 8 legs) into more and more complex civilisation problems and asking you to “keep up, will you ?”

I love Scifi, and with age has come the preference to indulge in more and more complex works that find the middle ground between being challenging and insightful to read (Books like this) and plain arrogant intellectual grandstanding of writers who create a book that reads like an overloaded halter in a sweaty gym.

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky is available on Amazon , but order it at your local bookstore, wait a couple of days in anticipation and dive right in.

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