The Doors of Eden
Aliens in fiction are mostly rubbish.
Given the size and scope of the universe, they always happen to be so… recognisable. Like two legs are the innate best way to get around. Or everyone happens to have similar brains and emotions, so conveniently legible in a book.
Or they’re basically bugs or something, because if it turns out the universe is not filled with other humans it must be bugs.
Tchaikovsky solves this problem for me somewhat. With Children of Ruin and Children of Time we got a look at something totally alien, but with a good reason for being so familiar.
With my disbelief suspended, he then used that to take us on a tour of the really wild and alien that already exists on our doorstep. That seems grounded in real biology, and is all the more shocking for the element of truth.
But the gimmick to those books is not easily repeated, so can he pull off another close encounter with some interesting other minds?
To my surprise, the answer is yes!
We get another tour through the most alien parts of Earth’s natural history. Tracing outlines through time and highlighting the surprising sophistication that surrounds us.
After "The Doors of Eden" I read: A Closed and Common Orbit
Before "The Doors of Eden" I read: The Fat Years