Bestselling science fiction master Peter F. Hamilton delivers the first of a two-book saga set in his popular Commonwealth universe. Distinguished by deft plotting, a teeming cast of characters, dazzling scientific speculation, and imagination that brings the truly alien to life, The Abyss Beyond Dreams reveals Hamilton as a storyteller of astonishing ingenuity and power.
The year is 3326. Nigel Sheldon, one of the founders of the Commonwealth, receives a visit from the Raiel—self-appointed guardians of the Void, the enigmatic construct at the core of the galaxy that threatens the existence of all that lives. The Raiel convince Nigel to participate in a desperate scheme to infiltrate the Void.
Once inside, Nigel discovers that humans are not the only life-forms to have been sucked into the Void, where the laws of physics are subtly different and mental powers indistinguishable from magic are commonplace. The humans trapped there are afflicted by an alien species of biological mimics—the Fallers—that are intelligent but merciless killers.
Yet these same aliens may hold the key to destroying the threat of the Void forever—if Nigel can uncover their secrets. As the Fallers’ relentless attacks continue, and the fragile human society splinters into civil war, Nigel must uncover the secrets of the Fallers—before he is killed by the very people he has come to save.
Praise for The Abyss Beyond Dreams
“The work of an author at the top of his game.”—Science Fiction and Fantasy World
“Incredibly robust and exciting and rousing, sharing flavors of Jack Vance, John Wright, China Miéville, Orson Scott Card, and A. E. van Vogt . . . Hamilton’s deployment of lots of grand super-science is utterly deft and convincing.”—Locus
“Solidy engrossing fare . . . The characters, always Hamilton’s strength, remain as distinctive as ever.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Everything one wants in sf—great characters, mind bending stuff, adventure, politics, romance, revolution . . . just superb.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“Hamilton does a particular kind of planetary politics and space opera very well, and this is a perfect example of it. . . . [The Abyss Beyond Dreams is] a satisfying and well-oiled story, with potential for more epic adventure to come.”—Booklist
In this opener to a two-book series, Hamilton delivers a gripping, inventive chapter in his Commonwealth saga. In the year 3326 (just over 200 years before the events of The Dreaming Void), Commonwealth co-founder Nigel Sheldon, a major presence with a minor role in previous books, travels into the enigmatic, galaxy-consuming universe-within-a-universe known as the Void. He inadvertently lands on the planet Bienvenido, where an unambiguously Marxist revolution is on the verge of erupting. Bienvenido is a vigorously rendered world of limited technology, ruled by an entrenched and corrupt aristocracy. Its human inhabitants use telepathy and telekinesis as easily as words, and they live in constant fear of the Fallers, another species trapped within the Void. While discovering how both humans and Fallers came to be within the Void, Nigel manipulates Slvasta, the passionate young idealist leading the revolution, to gain the power necessary to destroy it. Hamilton deftly manages the huge cast while gradually unveiling revelations; his mastery of his intricately constructed Commonwealth universe is mesmerizing.
The abyss beyond...
I always find Hamiltons work eminently enjoyable and interesting. An hard science fiction fan, his work is often somewhat fantastical to me and lacking in solid sources. So what ? He spins a great yarn and I thank him.
A surprising disappointment
I’ve been reading through all of this author’s works this year, including all of the Commonwealth series. His works are usually enthralling, with complex plotting and sprawling arrays of characters. Here, it seemed a bit off the mark. It’s hard to believe, but it seemed too hurried, with less character development and plot development, which led to unconvincing characters and a hard-to-accept story. While I have found his books literally hard to put down, that was not the case with this one. I didn’t really care about the characters, nor did I find their motivations convincing. And with a story that was set in a revolutionary, essentially pre-industrial environment, Hamilton’s usual skill in depicting complex physics and technology were not around to at least distract from the skimpy story. A disappointing blip.
Great addition to the series.