Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Dreaming Void - Peter F. Hamilton

What was once thought to be a black hole in the middle of the galaxy turns out to be a large void with another universe inside it. As it expands it eats away at the Common Wealth Universe. Various humans and aliens are stationed nearby to study it and prevent it from growing. However, one human has received dreams from this void. Dreams of the ideal life which he has shared with others. A whole cult has grown up around it. The dreamer though has disappeared and the man who has replaced him as leader is organising a pilgrimage into the void. The common wealth is split over this. Half want it to occur and the other half believe it wall cause the void to expand and destroy their own universe. The human race is fighting among itself and trying to prevent and at the same time trying to prevent an attack from an alien race who want to stop the pilgrimage. Meanwhile, new dreams are being filtered out among Living Dream and the leader is determined to find who that is and use him to promote the pilgrimage.

If that sounds like a lot it is. Hamilton is known for his large chunky reads with lots of main characters and lots going on. This one isn't quite as busy (or as long) as some of his other books though which made it quicker to read than is usual with his books. Not that this is a bad thing. It means less chance of losing important threads as you read. The story was still complex enough though and it took time to work out why some threads were important.

I should point out before I go any further that this is from the same universe as his Common Wealth series (Judas Unchained). It's set a good few centuries later and the human race has moved on somewhat in it's development with some moving on to being non-physical. This is an element that was in his Reality Dysfunction series early on. It was deemed as a good thing there but in this series there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Anyway, the reason I mention this is that some of the characters and history of his previous books pop up in this one. I don't think it's 100% necessary to read those ones first but I would recommend it. It irritated me not remembering some of the detail as it was mentioned in this.

Although I have always loved Hamilton's take on the future of humanity and the technology he comes up with it wasn't actually my favourite part this time (still like it mind you). It was the dreams that the dreamer had from the void. It depicted a much simpler life and a young talented boy who wanted to change the world. It was a nice pace from all the sci fi and I looked forward to each of these.

Lastly I also recognised one of the short stories from last months book. With this you definitely don't have to read the short story first. The Dreaming Void was published first. It was just more detail of some of the hints given in this book about one character.

I read this as part of the sci fi challenge hosted by Ellie of Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. The group choice was Earth Girl by Janice Edwards. I haven't looked into it but I think it's a more recent book. I chose though to pick from my book pile as I am trying to work through it. Plus after reading his short stories last month I had an itch to pick this one up. I will definitely be reading the others in the series but that might wait until after the new year (which scarily isn't that far away now). This book was actually my last sci fi in my tbr pile. Which means I might join in next months choice depending on what it is. Or I might take a trip to the library and see what catches my eye. If you want to see what others have chosen to read you can do so here

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