Children of Memory by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one offered up some pretty great SFnal surprises.
From the start, I had some suspicions that this would be something like a culture-shock kind of novel in a poor human colony world meeting the long list of truly fascinating alien (ish) races that were serendipitously uplifted in the previous Children of Time novels. (All fantastic, clever, philosophical, and well-explored.)
This one, however, takes a right turn to the others. My expectations had to swerve and were nicely pummeled by Tchaikovsky.
Now, as for the new alien race we get to explore, it's a classic Sentience problem with some great Corvids, as conducted by an actual AI, with lots of opinions carried by a slime mold, octopus, spiders, and some human memories. :) I mean... to say I'm intrigued is to say very little at all.
That being said, the author continues a dialogue with older SF but writes it in a great modern way with lots of attention to detail and description. I still say this series is a must-read for any fan of SF.
That twist... whew.
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