The Reality Dysfunction is a modern classic of science fiction, an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale.
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.
First published in 1996, this behemoth opening to the Night's Dawn trilogy takes humankind across the galaxy on a quest for profit that becomes a desperate battle for survival. Space scavenger Joshua Calvert begins shipping wood from the primitive planet Lalonde to the pastoral patrician planet Kulu despite a revolt among the prisoners who serve as Lalonde's forced labor. A greater threat lurks within Lalonde's intensely claustrophobic jungle: an energy virus that turns people into zombies and that even 27th-century biotechnology can't cure. Hamilton succinctly uses strong visual imagery to bring each culture and civilization to life. Only this relative economy of language allows so many plots, subplots and characters to be squeezed into over 900 pages. Elements of space opera, Straubesque horror and adrenaline-laced action make this a demanding, rewarding read.
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If you like Byzantine, epic space opera — look no further
This is the book that got me into Peter F Hamilton (I recommend all his series). Most of his books are set in the interstellar "Commonwealth" but the setting for this series is simultaneously more conventional (spaceships rather than interstellar trains) and strange (undead?!). It's a huge, sprawling story with a huge caste of characters and a pretty intriguing premise. Highly recommended.
i strongly recommend that you DO NOT read the descriptions of the second or third book. too much is revealed. reading this book without knowing what is going on is absolutely the way to go. space opera at its finest.
A Bio-Mechanical Affair
This book is full of tech, less compelling physics and characters who need significant development. The pace is relatively consistent if somewhat slow, the world-building reasonably interesting. Many scenes are very dark and full of intrigue and sex ....but in my view the book simply doesn't deliver enough victory to make the darker elements worth the pain. For the genre this book is average. While I tend to finish trilogies I think book two will wait...possibly forever.