Solaris | 2021 (4 March) | 191p | Review copy and Bought copy | Buy the book | Listen to the book
Welcome to the end of time! A farmer lives a quiet life in the aftermath of the Causality Wars, wars that nobody remembers because everybody was unmade. The past has gone, blown apart into chunks of time, which the farmer pops into in his time machine, gathering up goodies to make his life at the end of time even more perfect. Other people do turn up now and again, time travellers from the past, but he sorts them out, following a lovely meal and some polite conversation. There are benefits to having a pet allosaur called Miffly. And then the unexpected happens, the impossible, the future comes to visit.
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s science fiction is absolutely incredible, hugely clever, vividly imaginative and wondrous – Children of Time is one of my favourite novels of all time and I loved The Doors of Eden and Cage of Souls. I also love time travel books. The novella One Day All This Will Be Yours was therefore irresistible to me. And there’s a dinosaur on the cover. Oh yes.
Our narrator remains unnamed and our view of the end of the world, the Causality Wars, the broken past, is entirely his. He’s a genial and witty host, generously recounting his experiences of entertaining amusing and astonishing visitors who have come calling, as well as his trips to the little fragments of the past that survive. There is also the elaborate detail of how he keeps his present safe by fixing the past. It’s extremely jovial (albeit distinctly troubling), as he passes the time with us, and then everything changes when the future arrives and he meets his match. It’s fair to say that I was riveted.
As you’d expect from a time travel novel, there are more paradoxes, causality loops and upset space time continuums than you can shake a very friendly but always rather hungry pet dinosaur at. It can be complicated at times but I think you just have to sit back and enjoy it and not try and unravel it too much as that would raise some questions. It’s a novella and so it is short, at a little less than 200 pages, but it is meaty and, as it’s narrated entirely by this farmer, it suits the novella format.
I listened to the audiobook (which lasts three hours and something), which is narrated by Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author himself. I had my doubts about this as authors don’t always make good actors but Adrian is fantastic! As a result, I’ll be listening to more of his other books that I have yet to catch up on. He fully captures the wry humour of our narrator, his tormented personality, his (self-appointed) godlike status, and the sheer absurdity of the situation he finds himself in. And I loved Miffly. Listening to One Day All This Will Be Yours for an afternoon was a perfect way in which to spend time.
Children of Time
Children of Ruin
The Doors of Eden
Cage of Souls
With C.B. Harvey and Malcolm Cross – Journal of the Plague Year