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Children of Ruin

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Top 10 Best Quotes

“evolution had gifted them with a profoundly complex toolkit for taking the world apart to see if there was a crab hiding under it.”

“Advance science as far as you like, the human mind continued to place itself at the centre of the universe.”

“Despite the barriers to communication, they have developed an idiolect of their own, mostly devoted to complaining.”

“We’re going on an adventure.”

“The entire elaborate operation looked good on paper to anyone who didn’t suspect he’d gone through it solely because he wanted more space for fishtanks.”

“An inclination to play God was part and parcel of wanting to go out and terraform other worlds, but good practice was to at least play nicely with the rest of the pantheon.”

“The whole audacious, ridiculous plan of his had worked out in every particular, save that he had failed to adjust for the destructive stupidity of the rest of humanity.”

“The octopus knew he was happy, and it loved him, or valued him, or felt something enough that his happiness was important to it. And that in itself is a miracle; that is the grand triumph Senkovi never grasped, that his creatures could empathize, could apply a theory of mind to entities quite unlike themselves, could be great-hearted enough to be happy that someone else was laughing, even if they couldn’t get the joke.”

“The acerbic computer helpfully attaches a legend identifying just which pieces of the wreckage are Meshner and Fabian, because she always has computing power for put-downs.”

“Senkovi’s personal theory was that the pressure of being in the middle of the food chain was an essential prerequisite for complex intelligence. Like humans (and like Portiid spiders, had he only known), octopuses had developed in a world where they were both hunter and hunted. Top predators, in Senkovi’s assessment, were an intellectual dead end.”

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