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The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book

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The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book

The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book

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A nightmare with no end ....

In AD2600 the human race is finally beginning to realise its full potential. Hundreds of colonised planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature's boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary spaceborn creatures. Huge fleets of sentient trader starships thrive on the wealth created by the industrialisation of entire star systems. And throughout inhabited space the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. A true golden age is within our grasp.But now something has gone catastrophically wrong. On a primitive colony planet a renegade criminal's chance encounter with an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all our fears. An extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it 'The Reality Dysfunction'. It is the nightmare which has prowled beside us since the beginning of history.

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 Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton - Used Book

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