The Reality Dysfunction's harrowing climax, involving a rescue from Lalonde that all the wizardry of Lucasfilms couldn't top, will leave you breathless in more ways than one. On the one hand, you'll scarcely believe the book is finally over. On the other, it will immediately dawn on you that the story has only begun. The metaphysical implications of what Hamilton has going on are quite staggering, and the question remains, even if humanity manages to turn back this invasion, what then? That he can pull this off puts Hamilton amongst a rare breed of writers. If you've gotta do it big, do it well. Do it like this.
Space is not the only void...
In AD 2600 the human race is finally beginning to realize its full potential. Hundreds of colonized 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 industrialization 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.
THE REALITY DYSFUNCTION is a modern classic of science fiction, an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale.
All too often, long novels suffer the same crippling flaws. Either they meander all over the place in search of a solid narrative thread to grab hold of, or their plots are so thin to begin with that the author merely pads out the exposition to give his work the illusion of substance. Hamilton keeps a simple but strong plot at the core of The Reality Dysfunction at all times, and shows us with increasingly unnerving clarity just how the ramifications of what is happening on Lalonde are poised to affect civilization on an interstellar scale at shocking speed.
The Reality Dysfunction is the first volume in the Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter Hamilton.
In the far future, humanity has divided along a single major line. The Edenists are genetically engineered space-dwellers with telepathic affinity to their biotechnological homes and ships. Adamists are effectively the Luddites of the future, willing to pioneer new worlds much as their ancestors did hundreds of years previously. The two clash on a primitive world called Lalonde, involving a huge cast of characters including a beautiful teenage girl who has inherited a vast technological empire; a freebooting adventurer in search of alien treasure; a renegade Edenist criminal; an alien race which observes human behavior; an ineffectual priest shocked by the world he has come to settle . . . and many, many more.
I've always had a weakness for books that has more resemblance too bricks than normal books - and Dysfunction full qualifies as a brick of a book at 1200+ pages - oh, yes and its only the first book in a trilogy (the name of the trilogy is Night's Dawn Trilogy).
Anyway - back to the book at hand: In some ways Dysfunction is a space soap opera of the old kind - star ships pressured to the limit, lots of lasers and other space age weapons and real heroes what acts on instinct and (nearly) always does the right thing. But it's also an idea book written as they did it in the golden age - Hamliton has lots of interesting ideas and he uses them to the limit. Dysfunction manages to keep a fast pace, all the way through with out slowing down - and I have no fears as to Hamilton's ability to keep up the pace for two more books.
What I like the best about this books is that Hamilton not only add alot of his own ideas, but he also uses a lot of old SF idea's in Dysfunction - idea's that has been a part of every SF-fans basic dreams about the future for a long time. And the good thing is that he does it extremely intelligently and seamlessly. It just all fits together!
(please note that this books is released in two seperat volumes in the USA)