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  1. #1

    Peter F. Hamilton... worth it?

    The local borders has every single peter f hamilton book, signed. apparently he came while i was gone otherwise i woulda stopped in

    anyway, is he good? what kind of sci fi is he? im thinkin bout picking up some of his books

  2. #2
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I personally enjoy his work, and Hamilton is quite popular around here, but you might want to check the threads below for other folks opinions.

    The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
    Dreaming Void or Pandora's Star
    Any sites with a good summary of Pandora's Star (prep to read Judas Unchained)
    Peter F Hamilton - Cmwlth Saga
    Peter F. Hamilton...where to start?
    Feb '06 SF BOTM: PANDORA'S STAR by Peter F. Hamilton


    Not specifically a thread only about Hamilton, but since he is a leading figure in the "New Space Opera" he gets mentioned quite a bit here:
    Best Space Opera and here: Large-scale space operas

  3. #3
    He is easily in my top five sci-fi authors. Actually, he's #2 behind Dan Simmons.

  4. #4
    space opera? im sold

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    He is easily in my top five sci-fi authors. Actually, he's #2 behind Dan Simmons.
    For me he is co-rank 1 with D. Weber

  6. #6
    I can see in the dark horribleman's Avatar
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    I'd like to offer a conflicting opinion, without wanting to offend his (many) fans.

    I tried on a couple of occasions to get into him, and I came away with these impressions (my opinions obviously

    1) His characterisation is pretty weak.

    2) He goes on about irrelevant stuff for ages.

    3) He has high concept stuff ignoring the micro effects that it would have.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by horribleman View Post
    I'd like to offer a conflicting opinion, without wanting to offend his (many) fans.

    I tried on a couple of occasions to get into him, and I came away with these impressions (my opinions obviously

    1) His characterisation is pretty weak.

    2) He goes on about irrelevant stuff for ages.

    3) He has high concept stuff ignoring the micro effects that it would have.
    And I would argue that the irrelevant stuff isn't all that irrelevant. He writes big books, sometimes it takes awhile for something to become relevant.

    As for characterization, sure he may not be Stephen Donaldson but he isn't that bad, at least not so much that it stands out as below average.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    For me he is co-rank 1 with D. Weber
    well then maybe I will have to get around to reading D. Weber

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by horribleman View Post
    I'd like to offer a conflicting opinion, without wanting to offend his (many) fans.

    I tried on a couple of occasions to get into him, and I came away with these impressions (my opinions obviously

    1) His characterisation is pretty weak.

    2) He goes on about irrelevant stuff for ages.

    3) He has high concept stuff ignoring the micro effects that it would have.
    All of the above are actually very good points. The characters in Night's Dawn are the best - Joshua, Quinn, Ione, the villagers, the Saldana officers, Al, many of the possessed - all are very distinctive - only Louise and Dariat kind of annoyed me.

    Greg Mandel is a stock character though it is nice to see him at 50 too and having trouble with younger opponents

    In the Commonwealth series, Paula Myo, the Cat, Adam Elvin, and MountainLightMountain, the SI and Ozzie to some extent are the interesting characters and they get limited face time - while many of the more visible characters are less memorable

    Regarding 2 - that is the thing about epics - Dumas did it, Tolstoy did it, GRRM does it, Weber does it, Hamilton does it - I doubt there is any epic book of any kind that does not suffer from 2

    Regarding 3 - again true - but that is the thing about space opera - again it's a matter of a taste more than a fault - space opera deals with the big picture by and large, saving or destroying planets, galaxies, the Universe....

  10. #10
    I can see in the dark horribleman's Avatar
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    Your arguments are valid of course, I just found his style not to my taste.


  11. #11
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    For my money The Reality Dysfunction is the most essential space opera novel since Dune, with the possible exception of Hyperion. Hamilton tells massive stories that are compellingly page-turning, and is equally adept at near-future mysteries and techno-thrillers (though he has acknowledged Richard Morgan's mastery in this area) and far-future epic space tales. A lot of people get annoyed at his insistence that humans will remain humans (even when their brains have been removed and slotted into cybernetic killing machines) and not turn into beings from Planet Weird. He's also criticised for not taking on the issue of the Singularity, although in his latest work he does brush against it a bit.

    His weaknesses are having rather too many unnecessary sex scenes (not so much in Night's Dawn but definitely in Commonwealth, Misspent Youth and his latest series, The Void Trilogy) and the occasional tendency to drop characters abruptly once they've fulfilled their story purposes.

    Still, he's a damn good writer who makes the pages fly past and he has tons of good ideas often combined into fascinating worlds. His books are high-concept blockbusters and work very well indeed. The Temporal Void is actually my most-eagerly-anticipated novel of 2008 after Dance with Dragons.

  12. #12
    hmm i didn't mind the sex scenes so much really.

    The thing that bugged me the most in reality dysfunction was the peudo religious stuff that happened with Quin.
    I won't go into detail because i don't want to spoil it for new readers but those parts bugged me.

    Otherwise it's certainly worth reading. After night's dawn i ordered pandora's star right away and all the books i've read by hamilton have cost me quite some hours of sleep.. "just one more page"


    now to find more writers like this...

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=mirage2101;466440


    now to find more writers like this...[/QUOTE]

    Try IM Banks Culture books and Neal Asher Polity ones Also Gary Gibson Stealing Light is an excellent large scale space opera series 1st volume

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    Try IM Banks Culture books and Neal Asher Polity ones Also Gary Gibson Stealing Light is an excellent large scale space opera series 1st volume
    i've actually got gridlinked on the to read pile now, under the difference engine.

    i'll put stealing light on my ever growing "have to buy sometime" list..
    somehow that list only ever gets longer..

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