Pandoras Star - Peter F. Hamilton - NEW Novel
Part One of the Commonwealth Saga
The Saga begins in 2380, when astronomer Dudley Bose performs the first detailed observations of an astronomical event known as the Dyson Pair Enclosure. Two stars, located roughly 1,000 light years from Earth (750 light years from the edge of Commonwealth space), seemingly disappeared some time earlier. The theory is that they have been enclosed inside Dyson spheres. Bose's investigations reveal that it is unlikely that the enclosing of Dyson Alpha and Dyson Beta (as the stars become known) was a natural occurrence. This raises the possibility that extraterrestrial intelligences were responsible; furthermore, did the Dyson Aliens enclose themselves, or did some other force enclose them? Was it for protection or to protect those outside the spheres?
To investigate, the Commonwealth builds its first interstellar ship, the Second Chance. Using a self-generating wormhole for propulsion, the Second Chance travels to Dyson Alpha. As they arrive and begin to explore what appears to be an enclosure generator, it is shut down by an unknown mechanism and the barrier around the star disappears. Inside the first imprisoned star system is an incredibly warlike and aggressive species, a race that come to be called the Primes. They consist of intelligent immotiles that breed and control vast armies of semi-sentient 'motiles' via electronically extended neural interfaces. The few immotiles constantly vie with each other for territories and resources.
Primes had colonized Dyson Beta and enslaved its native inhabitants in the process. Beta's Primes started to routinely alter themselves through genetic manipulation and mechanical augmentation and therefore were referred to as alienPrimes by the Alpha Primes. They also broke away from the control of Alpha's Primes and thus a war began between two systems. The war continued until the barrier was erected around the stars.After capturing two crew members of the Second Chance, one of whom was Dudley Bose, the Primes eventually discover the location of the Commonwealth. Upon learning of the Commonwealth's existence, the dominant immotile grouping, MorningLightMountain, makes it their primary objective to destroy the Commonwealth. MorningLightMountain believes that it is necessary to eliminate all other life in order to achieve immortality.
Following the capture of the two crewmembers, MorningLightMountain discovers the concept of wormhole technology, and quickly creates its own generator. Using wormholes to transport and detonate nuclear weapons within the defences of other immotiles, it secures its dominance over the Dyson Alpha solar system. At the same time, an underground human organization known as the Guardians of Selfhood is determined to prove the existence of an alien known as the Starflyer, which originated in the crash of an ancient spacecraft (the Marie Celeste) on the planet Far Away. The Guardians of Selfhood have been declared a terrorist organization by the Commonwealth's government, and are pursued by famed investigator Paula Myo, working on behalf of the Commonwealth government. Throughout both books, Ms. Myo becomes gradually convinced that the Starflyer may be real and has organised the liberation of the hostile aliens for its own purposes. The Prime attack on the Commonwealth is devastating, including widespread use of nuclear weapons to both subjugate and contaminate the human worlds, resulting in tens of millions of human deaths.
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.
Pandoras Star - Peter F. Hamilton - NEW Novel
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