- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1855 KB
- Print Length: 226 pages
- Publisher: 47North (18 April 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0176BJYRK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 43 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,813 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dreams Before the Start of Time Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“Charnock pulls hard on the parent’s universal worry—that no matter what we do and how much we want the best for our children, somehow we aren’t doing it right—in a skillfully executed multigenerational saga that explores a potential future driven by rapid development of reproductive technologies…A story that feels personal and intimate.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Philip K. Dick Award finalist Charnock follows the progression of reproductive science across people in five generations…The reader will experience not only the changing views of society at large, but also the progression of the characters’ views as new opportunities arise for the next wave of parents. None of the technology seems far-fetched, leaving the reader to wonder whether this is predictive fiction.” —Booklist
“highly enjoyable and thought-provoking…The willingness to experiment with viewpoint through time, as well as present a human agenda (what little science fiction these days can say that), make the novel very worthwhile.…The futuristic technology depicted is extremely likely—in development as we speak—making the novel groundbreaking.” —Speculiction
“Reminiscent of Cloud Atlas...This is a novel about the evolution of family and humanity and how inextricably they’re tied together. It’s a unique, challenging, and immensely successful story.” —Tor.com
“Charnock explores what the family of the future will look like, as well as how society and pregnancy will change. Deceptively intimate, this is big-idea SF reminiscent of the societal changes mapped across generational sagas like [Asimov’s] Foundation or [Robinson’s] Mars trilogy.” —LOCUS Magazine
"Not a sequel to Charnock's previous novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind so much as its organic successor, Dreams Before the Start of Time is a luminous, deftly crafted and occasionally disturbing portrait of the future we may be entering. A novel that explores the notion of family in all its myriad permutations, Dreams Before the Start of Time is science fiction at its most contemplative, asking intriguing questions about human reproduction, gender identity and interpersonal relationships and providing thought-provoking answers on a human scale. Anne Charnock's third novel leaves the reader in no doubt of her evolving talent, and showcases all that is most imaginative and forward-thinking in British science fiction right now."—Nina Allan, author of The Race
“Charnock’s third novel is a beautifully nuanced exploration of future developments in fertility science. The science underpinning the narrative is subtle and unobtrusive, allowing the novel to shine on the neuroses of its large, three-generational cast of characters as they struggle to come to terms with the decisions of their parents. As with her previous novels, Charnock is marvellous at communicating a huge amount in a short space.” —E.J. Swift, author of The Osiris Project series
“Charnock’s interest is always in the human aspect first: her characters are real, living, breathing individuals; lost in some ways, directive in others.…With Dreams Before the Start of Time already on my Best SF of 2017 list, Anne Charnock is now solidified as one of my favorite SF authors.” —From Couch to Moon
“This is an excellent novel, and a worthy successor to the very wonderful Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind.” —Adam Roberts, author of The Thing Itself
About the Author
Anne Charnock’s writing career began in journalism. Her articles appeared in the Guardian, New Scientist, International Herald Tribune, and Geographical. Her debut novel, A Calculated Life, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award and the 2013 Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award. Her second novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, was included in the Guardian’s “Best science fiction and fantasy books of 2015.” Learn more at www.annecharnock.com, on Twitter @annecharnock, and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/annecharnock.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's not one of my normal genres but I'd found myself choosing my reading based purely on reviews (I know!) and then finding I was reading a lot of dull, uninspiring books, so part of my New Year's Resolution was to only buy books when the synopsis appeals first and then only consider the reviews as advice. This book is the first result of that resolution and it paid off.
I was drawn in, tucked in and felt cosy within its pages. I felt as if i was amongst friends, my chosen family, and I was content. I accepted my friends unconditionally - their warm personalities, their failings, their quirks. Their lives were connected yet independent of each other. I enjoyed how their stories were told in just short snapshots of their lives as they aged, often as a mere reference during a different character's 'turn' yet enough to keep you updated on their progress.
And now it's all over! I will definitely read more by this author.
Also, it's not really a novel. It's just a collection of very slightly interconnected essays about how different childhood, dating and marriage/partnerships are in the future. There is absolutely no plot at all, not a thing happens. I kept waiting for something and by the time I was half way through I'd resigned myself to just plod my way through the rest of it out of morbid curiosity.
The whole thing, short though it is, feels padded to novel length. Characters are just introduced and then abandoned and it wouldn't have affected the overall story if they had been left out. As an example, one of the recurring characters goes to Battersea Park and takes an exercise class, the next chapter is a description of the class teacher and her sister having a day out in Brighton, these two sisters had not been mentioned before are never mentioned again.
It's also written in the present tense which I find a bit grating, but that's just my personal preference, and three of the chapters are written in the first person when the rest of the book isn't, it just seems weird and disjointed.
Top international reviews
I found the concept of this book unusual and fascinating. How would we have our children in the future? In this story if a woman carries her child through birth, she is looked down upon and considered lower class, yet one of the characters chooses to do this for her first child.
It is fundamentally the story of two female friends, Toni and Millie, their children and families. The characters are engaging and I enjoyed following how the different generations lived their lives with conveniences and innovations in health care that we don't have. But families are the same no matter how far in the future they live. It's a great book to read around Mother's Day!
It's well written, and I loved the last chapter, but mostly because how it connects to the start of the book.
*I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways. The format was Amazon Kindle.
I have no idea what this book was about. I do not see a relationship between the title and the story. I did enjoy the writing with it's ease of flow.
There are several parts, all taking place in different future time periods. It seems that in the future, people do not feel it's necessary to marry but it absolutely necessary to be a parent. Pregnancy inside a woman is frowned upon, so most individuals create designer babies. A man can have his sperm broken down to create an egg that will then mate with his own sperm. A woman can use sperm donors. It was strange to read about a world where having a child is more valued than marriage. It was also strange to read about individuals creating children in a way that is most convenient to them with many options for the DNA makeup of that child.
One part examines the individuals and explains their personal choices. The next part examines the children of these parents and how their choices have impacted their lives. The last part examines grandchildren and how they are connected to their parents and grandparents.
What I don't understand is why? What was the point/message/moral of all of this storytelling? Most of the time I just wanted to stop reading because I couldn't connect to the stories or the characters. I read a lot of books and feel I am fairly good at reaching the deeper meaning. But I really failed in this book. That was disappointing.