The Neutronium Alchemist - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book
used paperback in good condition.
The voidhawk Oenone reaches Jupiter and docks with one of the 4,250 habitats orbiting the planet. Whilst medical assistance and trauma counselling begin to help heal Syrinx, the information from Laton and the events on Atlantis is transmitted to the Jovian Consensus. As they become aware of the scale of the crisis, the Edenists immediately switch their economy to a war footing, rendering Jupiter space impregnable to attack. They also develop personality-query systems which should render all Edenists, voidhawks and habitats immune to possession. They detach a quarter of the voidhawk fleet and assign it to reinforce the Confederation Navy. The Consensus also summons an emergency session of the Confederation Assembly on its meeting world of Avon. On Avon the Confederation Assembly is stunned to learn of the threat from the possessed. The Confederation Navy shuts down all interstellar flights to contain the threat and goes to its highest state of alert. In a startling move, the Tyrathca immediately cut themselves off from all contact with humanity for the duration of the crisis. The Kiint ambassador reveals that, many thousands of years ago, they also suffered a 'possession crisis', as the secret of death is one that is eventually discovered by all sentient races. They claim that their solution to the crisis is not applicable to humanity, who must find their own way.
Alkad Mzu departs from the blackhawk Udat, leaving behind a virus in its jump system which causes the destruction of Udat whilst making a wormhole transit. She does this both to protect knowledge of her whereabouts and also as revenge: Udat was one of the blackhawks which crippled the Beezling just before the Garissan Genocide.On the planet Norfolk, the possessed succeed in overrunning most of the planet. Louise Kavanagh's father, Grant, is possessed and gives up his home estate to forces loyal to Quinn Dexter. However, Dexter's attempts to have Louise and her sister Genevieve possessed are thwarted by another possessed, who assists Louise and Genevieve in reaching the nearest aerodrome. He reveals his name - Fletcher Christian - and vows to protect them from those who mean them harm. He bemoans the lack of chivalry and honour among his fellow returnees. They flee to the capital, which is in danger of falling, and briefly find refuge with Louise's cousins, the Hewsons. One of the cousins, Roberto, attempts to rape Louise, but fortunately is thwarted. After this, with her parents declared missing, Louise takes control of the Kavanagh fortune and is able to use this to book passage on a starship fleeing the system for Earth. They end up on a ship owned by SII (Mars' national company) and eventually reach High York, an asteroid in the O'Neill Halo in orbit above Earth. Christian's true nature is detected and he, Louise and Genevieve are all arrested.
On Ombey Ralph Hiltch assists the local police and military in tracking down the possessed from Lalonde. Princess Kirsten authorises the use of lethal force and, in a move which establishes a precedent across the Confederation, the planet's own strategic defence platforms are turned against the possessed, destroying an aircraft and several buses carrying them. One bus manages to get onto Mortonridge, a hilly peninsula, and the entire human population of nearly two million is possessed. SD platforms and the military manage to seal off the peninsula, containing the possessed in this one area. The leader of the possessed, Annette Ekelund, agrees to a cessation of hostilities until a more permanent solution to the crisis is found. However, the Kulu Kingdom is unwilling to look inactive whilst its citizens are in danger, and contingency plans are made. Hiltch visits Kulu itself and is shocked to learn that there was an outbreak of possession in Nova Kong, the capital, but it was put down hard by the authorities. King Alastair agrees to authorise an alliance with the Edenists, who will provide bitek soldiers to help retake Mortonridge. They know now that the possessed fear zero-tau and plan to use thousands of zero-tau pods to force the possessed to give up their bodies. The campaign will likely be bloody, but the Confederation badly needs a victory.Joshua Calvert and the crew of the Lady MacBeth return to Tranquillity with news of events on Lalonde. Kelly Tirrel becomes an overnight celebrity for her reports of the conflict on Lalonde, and the children rescued from the planet are well-treated in the habitat's children's home. Ione asks Joshua Calvert to take his ship and pursue Alkad Mzu and Udat wherever they have gone. Ione believes that the Alchemist may pose as great a threat as the possessed. Joshua reluctantly agrees. Before he departs, Father Horst Elwes relates to him a story about he was able to 'exorcise' a possessing spirit on Lalonde and tells Joshua to have faith.
On New California a few possessed manage to get loose on the planet, but they are disorganised and unable to make much headway. One of the possessed appears to be a raving lunatic, but as the days pass the possessing soul's presence in a normally-functioning brain restore his sanity and his memory. The possessing soul turns out to be Al Capone, a famed gangster from 20th century Chicago. Capone organises the possessed and they take over the planet in a matter of weeks. Capone realises they need to keep the planet's economy and starship-building capability going to defend themselves from any counter-attack, so many citizens are spared from possession (the act of which interferes with electrical systems nearby) as long as they contribute to the expansion of Capone's 'Organisation'. The interstellar superstar Jezebelle (a singer and 'mood-fantasy' artist) is on the planet at the time and she rapidly becomes Capone's lover, but also proves to be a valuable source of intelligence on the Confederation. The Organisation spreads to another planet and its ships begin causing problems for the Confederation Navy. First Admiral Samual Aleksandrovich learns that the Organisation's next conquest will be the planet Toi Hoi and develops a plan to intercept and destroy their fleet there.Quinn Dexter leaves Norfolk and travels to Earth, hoping to infiltrate the arcologies there. However, Earth's defences and security measures are far too strong for him to penetrate. He instead travels to a planet called Nyvan, one of the earliest colonies founded before the policy of ethnic-streaming colonies came into effect. As a result the planet is locked in a permanent state of cold war. Dexter effectively takes over one of the orbital asteroids. During his conquest he discovers it is possible to shift his body into a 'ghost realm', where he finds more dead souls. They claim that when someone dies only some are trapped in a beyond, whilst others become locked in a ghost-like state. Although he has no use for the ghosts, Dexter realises he can use this new ability to break through Earth's security again.
On the Valisk habitat, the possessed, aided by Dariat, become organised and swiftly take over much of the habitat. Rubra, the personality controlling the habitat, tries to reason with Dariat to little avail. Kiera, the leader of the possessed on Valisk (and the possessor of Marie Skibbow), travels to New California and is able to secure an alliance with the Organisation. Thanks to Dariat's knowledge of bitek systems, he is able to arrange for several dozen blackhawks to be possessed. The resulting 'hellhawks' become a valuable asset and Kiera is able to sell their skills to the Organisation. However, Dariat becomes gradually opposed to the possessed, due to their brutal tactics and penchant for destruction. He decides to side with Rubra, helps some of the non-possessed population to evacuate, and then merges his personality with Rubra's in the neural strata. The resulting blast of energy ends the threat of the possessed but also rips Valisk out of the material universe and into a strange realm of grey mists. Dariat is horrified to wake up and discover that he is now a ghost.
At Jupiter, Syrinx recovers from her injuries. She visits Eden, the original habitat, where the personality of Wing-Tsit Chong, Edenism's founder, lives on in the habitat's neural strata. With his guidance, Syrinx is able to overcome both the trauma of her experience and also her prejudice against Adamists. She also visits Syrinx and Oenone begin flying again and are assigned to a Confederation Navy squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Meredith Saldana, which is assigned to the upcoming Toi Hoi interception mission. Saldana's squadron travels to Tranquillity, where Ione Saldana agrees - reluctantly - to let them use the habitat as a staging ground for the attack.On Trafalgar, the Confederation Navy HQ asteroid orbiting Avon, a possessed prisoner demands a hearing to confirm her human rights and stop the Navy personnel running tests on her. However, she nearly escapes during the hearing and manages to have several other people possessed, one of whom has knowledge of the Toi Hoi operation. She re-kills this individual, and then surrenders to the staff.At New California the possessing soul from Trafalgar manages to get reincarnated and warns Capone of the Toi Hoi ambush. Capone prepares his own plan in response.On Tranquillity the Kiint researchers at the Ruin Ring project become intrigued by reports reaching them about a Tyrathca religion they previously did not know about (when one of the children from Lalonde tells a Kiint youth about it). They acquire the relevant data about the Sleeping God from Kelly Tirrel. Tranquillity observes this and Tirrel gives Ione a copy of the data. Ione is puzzled - the Tyrathca are a notably unimaginative species and have no need for supernatural deities - but her advisors suggest that the Sleeping God is actually a real entity who was able to aid the Tyratha centuries ago, and may be able to aid humanity now against the threat of the possessed.
Joshua Calvert's hunt for Mzu and the Alchemist takes him to several worlds and asteroid settlements. On Ayachuko asteroid, in the Dorados, he is shocked to discover that he has a half-brother, Liol, the result of a liaison between Joshua's father Marcus and a local woman nearly thirty years ago. With possessed loosed on Ayachucko, Joshua agrees to let Liol depart with them. Joshua is attacked by a possessed but his attempt to 'exorcise' him as per Elwes' instruction fails, apparently because the possessing spirit was a Sunni Muslim and has no fear of Joshua's crucifix. Joshua and his crew manage to escape. Mzu's trail leads them to Nyvan. Joshua's pursuit is hampered by agents from the Edenist Intelligence service (led by Samual) and the Kulu External Security Agency (led by Monica Foulkes) who have surprisingly joined forces in their own pursuit of Mzu. Possessed loosed on Nyvan have also learned of Mzu's weapon and are searching for her. The pursuit culminates in a showdown at an iron yard. Joshua and his companions survive thanks to the intervention of a man with strange abilities named Dick Keaton, and are able to extract Mzu safely, although they also have to pick up Monica and Samual. Dexter destroys an orbital asteroid with nuclear bombs, causing a rain of asteroid chunks to fall on and annihilate the planet's biosphere. Satisfied with the chaos he has caused, Dexter departs for Earth. He abandons his comrades, slips into the ghost realm to evade security, and reappears in the space elevator descending towards the planet.
With knowledge of the Confederation's Toi Hoi assault fleet grouping and refueling at Tranquility, the Organisation fleet, aided by a large number of hellhawks, stages a massive assault on Tranquillity, surrounding the habitat and its few blackhawk mercenary and Confederation Navy defenders. They demand Tranquillity's immediate surrender. When Ione hesitates, they launch over 5,000 anti-matter weapons at the habitat.Later, when Lady Macbeth arrives at Mirchusko, they find a vast radioactive dead zone where Tranquillity used to be. However, there is insufficient debris or disintegrated matter in orbit to suggest the station was destroyed. Its fate is unknown.
About the Nights Dawn Trilogy
The Reality Dysfunction
The Neutronium Alchemist
The Naked God
In the Night's Dawn trilogy, humankind, although now united under an organization known as the Confederation, has been broken up into two major divisions, Adamists and Edenists. The economy is dominated by the Edenists, who maintain a powerful monopoly across the Confederation by harvesting helium 3 from suitable gas giants. This resource is used by all Adamist starships as a primary fuel source. The use of the only other major energy source, antimatter, is illegal due to its devastating military potential, and its possession or production is a capital crime.
Adamists are the larger of the two groups, and consider themselves to be normal humans. They allow themselves to use some genetic-engineering improvements (referred to as "geneering"), but do not generally condone the use of "bitek" (organic/bio technology) in their culture. They are a vast group of people of various cultures and backgrounds, and realistically, the Adamist group encompasses any non-Edenist humans. The majority of Adamists, who are at least nominally religious, do not utilise bitek because it was banned by the Pope during the 21st century. Instead, they use nanotechnology, which they refer to as "nanonics". Nanonics perform many of the same physiological feats as bitek, and the two technologies are relatively compatible. Adamist starships use fusion-energy based drives, and as such much of the human economy is based on the proliferation of He3. Use of the ZTT (Zero Temporal Transit) faster-than-light drive allows Adamists to colonize star-systems, usually through the settling of both planets and asteroid belts.
Edenists are, for the most part, a single culture. They are an idealized, egalitarian, utopian society which, while not believing or practicing religion, do not prohibit it. The majority of Edenists live in huge, multi-kilometre space stations called 'habitats' orbiting gas giants. Each individual habitat is a living organism, fully sentient, and is the perfect arbitrator of its community. Habitats cannot be bribed, are perfect impartial judges, and are aware of almost everything that occurs within them and immediately around them. The most important aspect of any Edenist is his/her use of affinity. Affinity is an advanced form of mental communication similar to the present-day concepts of telepathy or entanglement. Edenist affinity allows them to communicate with each other as well as with their technology (known as bitek). Unlike Adamist culture, which is divided into various political units, Edenists form a single governmental entity known as Consensus. Consensus is formed when all Edenists willingly join into a temporary collective-consciousness. This allows total direct representation of their entire population in government decisions. At death, Edenists can use affinity to transfer their memories and personality into the mind of one of their bitek ships or habitats, where they live on for many centuries before gradually becoming an integral part of the habitat personality. Since habitats have a lifespan measured in millennia this is regarded as a form of immortality. However, no habitat has yet died of old age (nor will for millennia) and could in turn pass their memories and personality on to another habitat were they ever to die. Adamist religions reject this as an attempt to avoid God's judgment on the soul after death, and it is this which is the root cause of the schism between the Adamist and Edenist cultures.
Edenists have access to faster-than-light travel through large, fully sentient bitek creatures called "Voidhawks". They, along with their crews, make up a vast armada of Edenist merchant vessels operating throughout the Confederation as well as a large fraction of the Confederation Navy. Voidhawks are born and live in the vacuum of space. They are naturally attuned to the magnetic fields and energy fluctuations of space around them, and can generate and precisely control a distortion field to manipulate space around them. By manipulating space in this way, Voidhawks can open wormholes and jump long distances (many light years) instantaeously. Such jumps are known as "swallows". Another product of the distortion field is the ability to affect gravity in and near the Voidhawk. This is used to reduce the effect of high-g manoeuvering on Voidhawk crews. By using the full power of their distortion fields, Voidhawks can attain a speed and manoeuvrability unmatched by Adamist vessels (except those powered by illegal and highly dangerous antimatter).
Edenists heavily genetically modify their children, including the gene which allows affinity to develop from conception. They also use modified "servitors" which are often chimpanzees with affinity which carry out small tasks and leave Edenists to concentrate on more important matters. Edenists operate cloud scoops in gas giants in order to extract the rare isotope helium 3 which can be used for fusion energy.
About the Author Peter F Hamilton
Peter F. Hamilton (born 2 March 1960) is a British science fiction author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide, making him Britain's biggest-selling science fiction author. Hamilton was born in Rutland, England on 2 March 1960. He didn't attend university. He said in an interview, "I did science at school up to age eighteen, I stopped doing English, English literature, writing at sixteen, I just wasn't interested in those days."
After he started writing in 1987 he sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. His first novel, Mindstar Rising, was published in 1993, followed by A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower. After this he wrote a massive space opera, called the The Night's Dawn Trilogy. His latest work is the The Temporal Void. As of 2008 he still lives in Rutland, near Rutland Water, with his wife Kate, daughter Sophie, and son Felix.
Peter F. Hamilton generally uses a clean, prosaic style. His space opera is characterised by the way it switches between several characters-often there are three or more main characters, whose paths begin separated but eventually cross. Common themes in his books are politics, religion, and armed conflict. Though far between, there are sex scenes in his books, and some of them quite explicit.
Critically, Hamilton is often grouped with Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, and other writers of new space opera in the United Kingdom.
Hamilton first came to prominence in the mid-1990s with three novels featuring the psychic detective Greg Mandel. Set in a near-future Britain which has been run into the ground by global warming and a communist government, the books describe a society beginning to rebuild itself through the production of advanced technology. The books are a blend of lively scientific, political and social speculation mixed with elements of detective fiction. The books, and Hamilton himself, took some amount of criticism in British science fiction literary circles for his less than positive portrayal of an authoritarian left-wing British government.
Hamilton stated in SFX Magazine that he chose this route for his books in order to make people think and challenge their preconceptions, stating that it would be too easy to make the bad ex-government a fascist one.
His next full length novel, Fallen Dragon, is in many ways a condensation of the ideas and styles (and even characters) of the Night's Dawn trilogy, if rather darker in tone. The stand-alone book describes a bleak ultra-capitalist society dominated by five mega-corporations which wield almost unlimited power. It describes the troubled military campaign by one of these companies to pacify a minor colony, through the eyes of a veteran mercenary. One of the more interesting aspects of the book was its unconventional description of a spacefaring society which had not been able to develop an affordable method of interstellar travel, and where mankind does not easily adjust to zero gravity/free-fall conditions.
Misspent Youth is much shorter than either the Night's Dawn novels or Fallen Dragon, and again depicts a near-future version of Britain (but different from that in the Greg Mandel trilogy). It combines a rejuvenation theme with a growing preoccupation with the phenomenon of European integration from the Eurosceptic point of view. This was his least well received book critically, perhaps because it was Hamilton's first attempt at an in-depth character study or perhaps because much of the book was taken up with descriptions of sex which did not allow many of the characters (particularly the females) to be developed. In addition, most of the protagonists had severe character flaws which added a more uncomfortable tone to the novel than much of his other work.
Misspent Youth is placed in the same universe as the Commonwealth Saga, though it is not integral to the storyline of those novels. Much of the technology used in those novels (rejuvenation and low cost/high capacity memory storage) is established within this book.
The lengthy Commonwealth Saga, is published in two halves, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Set approximately 300 years later in the same universe as Misspent Youth, it explores the social effects of the almost complete elimination of the experience of death following widespread use of the rejuvenation technique described in Misspent Youth. In somewhat similar style to Night's Dawn, Hamilton also outlines, in detail, a universe with a small number of distinct alien species interacting essentially peacefully and who suddenly become faced with an increasingly ominous external threat.
Set in the same universe as the Commonwealth Saga, the Void Trilogy is set 1500 years after the end of Judas Unchained. Announced in August 2005, it has been revealed that the contract calls for the series to be completed by 2011. The release date for the first book, The Dreaming Void, was 3 August 2007. A time line that links the Commonwealth Saga with the Void Trilogy, filling in the 1500-year gap, has been written by Hamilton. The second book in the trilogy The Temporal Void was released on 3 October 2008. The third book in the trilogy has been titled The Evolutionary Void.
The Neutronium Alchemist - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book
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