The Dreaming Void
By Peter F. Hamilton
(Del Rey, Mass Market Paperback, 9780345496546, 608pp.)
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
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Reviewers exhaust superlatives when it comes to the science fiction of Peter F. Hamilton. His complex and engaging novels, which span thousands of years–and light-years–are as intellectually stimulating as they are emotionally fulfilling. Now, with The Dreaming Void, the eagerly awaited first volume in a new trilogy set in the same far-future as his acclaimed Commonwealth saga, Hamilton has created his most ambitious and gripping space epic yet.
The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime. Now an even greater danger has surfaced: a threat to the existence of the universe itself.
At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be breached, cannot be destroyed, and cannot be stopped as it steadily expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path: planets, stars, civilizations. The Void has existed for untold millions of years. Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin, its makers, or its purpose.
But then Inigo, an astrophysicist studying the Void, begins dreaming of human beings who live within it. Inigo’s dreams reveal a world in which thoughts become actions and dreams become reality. Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise. Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, Inigo’s dreams are shared by hundreds of millions–and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet. But then he vanishes.
Suddenly there is a new wave of dreams. Dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serve as the inspiration for a massive Pilgrimage into the Void. But there is a chance that by attempting to enter the Void, the pilgrims will trigger a catastrophic expansion, an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds.
And thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and the mysterious Second Dreamer. Some seek to prevent the Pilgrimage; others to speed its progress–while within the Void, a supreme entity has turned its gaze, for the first time, outward. . . .
Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous short stories and novels, including Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, Fallen Dragon, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God). He lives with his family in England.
Praise for Peter F. Hamilton
“An interstellar suspense thriller . . . sweeping in scope and emotional range.”
–San Antonio Express-News
“Bristles with the energy of golden age SF, but the style and characterizations are polished and modern.”
“Richly satisfying . . . wonderfully imagined.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“You’re in for quite a ride.”
–The Santa Fe New Mexican
“Should be high on everyone’s reading list . . . You won’t be able to put it down.”
–Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio
“An imaginative and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened . . . a book of epic proportions not unlike Frank Herbert’s Dune or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.”
“Recommended . . . A large cast of characters, each with his own story, brings depth and variety to this far-future saga.”
“Complex and engaging.”