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July 14th, 2010, 12:19 PM #1
The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton
The Galaxy is in a state of turmoil. Millions of members of the Living Dream movement are preparing to plunge into the enigmatic Void at the heart of the Milky Way, believing it will deliver them to paradise. Others fear it will destroy the Galaxy altogether. The Ocisen Empire has allied with humanity's most remorseless foe to avert this fate, forcing the Commonwealth to unleash its most powerful weapon in response. But this very eventuality appears to have been prepared for by factions within the Commonwealth eager for the Living Dream to succeed...
Within the Void, Edeard has mastered his formidable new powers and sets out to deliver peace and justice to the world of Querencia. But for every problem he solves, more and more appear, and it may be that the Void's greatest gift is also its most horrific curse.
The Evolutionary Void is the conclusion to The Void Trilogy and also wraps up almost all the remaining plot threads from the earlier Commonwealth Saga. It is a generally satisfying finale that answers all the major questions remaining from the previous four books in both series whilst delivering Hamilton's trademark, widescreen space opera spectacle married to some solid, hard science and some interesting themes on growth, evolution (biological and sociological) and change, and the risk of ennui.
Structurally, the book is similar to the previous two, with alternating sequences set in the Commonwealth and in the city of Makkathran in the Void. The Makkathran sections are downplayed this time around, as Edeard's story really climaxed at the end of The Temporal Void. Evolutionary explores the ramifications of his discoveries at the end of the previous volume and adopt an almost Groundhog Day-style aspect, as Edeard's apparently godlike powers are now revealed to be anything but, and all the power in the world does not help if you cannot wield it responsibly.
In the Commonwealth, a large cast (although fairly modest compared to some of Hamilton's previous work) of well-drawn characters works to resolve the threat to the Commonwealth. Along the way they suffer some serious reverses. One brilliant sequence harkens back to Pandora's Star and is extremely impressive in how Hamilton sets up and executes it. Hamilton's ability to deliver good space battle has also not faltered.
The book's finale is epic, impressive and exceedingly clever (although a "Hang on, you didn't work this out ages ago?" line was possibly a little too meta for comfort). As far as his major series goes, this may be Hamilton's best-executed conclusion to date, although it does share some similarities to both The Naked God and Judas Unchained, including some elements that I know people disliked about both. The ending is also a little too neat. Pretty much everything is wrapped up with a nice bow at the end, and, sure enough, the biggest unanswered question will apparently form the basis of a new trilogy which Hamilton will start releasing in about three years.
The Evolutionary Void (****½) has some minor issues but is overall a solid conclusion to the series (both the trilogy and the larger five-volume Commonwealth story). It will be published in the UK on 10 September 2010 and in the USA on 24 August.
July 16th, 2010, 04:25 PM #2
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- Jul 2009
The English edition is published in Sweden on Sept 1st I think. I bought the last one in a SF bookshop in Goteborg 2-3 weeks before the UK release date.
Possible to mail order if really desperate.
August 19th, 2010, 09:07 AM #3
August 19th, 2010, 11:30 AM #4
August 19th, 2010, 11:31 AM #5
August 19th, 2010, 12:33 PM #6
I'm working my way through all of Hamilton's stuff right now. Looks like there's a lot of buzz around this novel.
August 19th, 2010, 04:27 PM #7
Ordered it today - looking forward to it
December 28th, 2010, 10:01 PM #8
Currently plowing through Hamilton's Evolutionary Void right now. I'm loving it. There are so many incredibly cool concepts he has come up with: the "Void" itself, the "ultradrives", "gaiamotes", terrific characters: both "Dreamers", the now historical Paula Myo, Ozzie, Oscar, the various AI's, Tromblum, he just goes on and on with invention. At first, in The Dreaming Void, I was somewhat put off by the "fantasy" interludes revealed by the "Dreamers", but I have to admit, "Edeard" and his entire world has grown on me.
I was kind of hoping Justine would reach Edeard's world before he dies. I know we've been informed by the "Skylords" that all the humans are gone within the Void. Still I was hoping to see Edeard's reaction to his life(s) being revealed to the entire Commonwealth culture, and what he would think about the super advanced galactic culture. I know things could still change,(still a couple 100 pages left) the Void being so elastically "Temporal" after all, but it looks like Edeard will never encounter Justine.
Gore Burnelli and the Delivery Man are two more outstanding Hamilton characters. I hope he continues with some of these characters in the Commonwealth culture in future galactic eyepoppers like this incredible "Void" series.
Last edited by NeonKnight; January 8th, 2011 at 11:24 AM.
December 29th, 2010, 02:20 AM #9
December 29th, 2010, 05:28 AM #10
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NeonKnight - I'll be interested to see what you think as regards your spoiler once you've finished it
December 29th, 2010, 06:47 AM #11
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- Aug 2010
yeah, I finished it recently and it's my favourite of his.
January 2nd, 2011, 11:41 AM #12
Well now. Talk about a payoff!
This is why I read SF, this type of jaw-dropping imagi-neering just can't be matched by even Hollywood. Peter F. Hamilton is just fantastic.
Well kater, I'm quite sure I wasn't the only one who was hoping forSpoiler:
a meeting between Justine and Edeard.
But to receive what Hamilton actually gave us, getting most of the main hero players on the same stage with Edeard, including their individual reactions, was an absolutely brilliant idea by Hamilton. So many delicious payoffs:
- What a beautiful move having Edeard dream Inigo. This revelation was thrilling and the fact that he immediately recognized his brother was just wonderful.Also revealing that Edeard never shared his dreams with anyone else just makes Edeard's character even more impressive.
Oh how I enjoyed hearing Edeard's wonder at the outer galaxy. Just exactly what I had hoped for, midway through the book. The Temporal aspect of the Void expertly applied.
- Forgot to mention another favored character(s)/type before. How frigging cool was Mr. Bovey? All of hims/hers? And yet another brilliant move by Hamilton using one of hims as Araminta 2. Bravo! Exploring more "multiple" characters would be loads of fun. (But also confusing.)
- Sweet reveal with the entire city of Makkathran being a Raiel ship! The High Angel ship was one of my favorite Hamilton inventions throughout the series, but I never expected that. Once again- Bravo Mr. Hamilton.
- The Cat was another favored Hamilton character, man what a sexy devious villain! Poor Cheriton's last scenes with her were another deft move by the author and a grindingly distracting factor for our heroes.
- So sweet that Hamilton is giving us payoff after payoff, stretching back to the Prime and Starflyer eras of Pandora's Star. Tiger Pansy! Sweet Lady!
- I loved Illanthe's incarnation as the menacing dark sphere of energy. Such a deviously evil action for her to destroy the sweetly, innocently awesomeness that was a Skylord.
- Even Troblum gets a nice moment in the sun. Using the Dark Fortress technology to imprison ANA and the Sol system was yet another brilliantly written and imagined scenario for the Accelerators to use. I enjoyed that it was Neskia who ultimately had to release the codes.
- Nice that Edeard will get to experience the outer galaxy with his original corruptible first love Salrana and his lost grandson Burlal. More sweet moves by Hamilton here.
- I was kind of hoping that Marius was going to get away. He almost did.
- No doubt Hamilton has left his universe wide open for subsequent tales. The Prime still lurk behind their barrier. Ultradrives make even other galaxies within reach. Perhaps even Gore and The Void remain in play. Paula Myo is certainly ready for more.
When I finished I wanted to go right back to The Dreaming Void and start all over again. Or maybe even to Pandora's Star. I've only read through each book once, and I'm sure I missed a few things. Hamilton is now solidly on the very top shelf of all SF writers, IMHO.
Oh and pox, sure seemed like there is plenty of similarity between Hamilton's Void and our discussion of the singularity over in the Science/ Fact thread. Especially the Void's insatiable appetite for energy.
But perhaps going "post-physical" would be the preferred outcome for you and I.
January 8th, 2011, 08:43 AM #13
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Sounds really good! I'm putting this one on my TBR list. Thanks for the tip.
January 8th, 2011, 02:02 PM #14
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- Aug 2010
It pretty much pushed the reset on me for him as an author. I'm excited about his next release now whatever that may be.
Oh and pox, sure seemed like there is plenty of similarity between Hamilton's Void and our discussion of the singularity over in the Science/ Fact thread. Especially the Void's insatiable appetite for energy.Spoiler:similarities perhaps in the sense that it's an unexplained computational event with its own built in simulated reality, but the scale is different in that the Omega point postulated for the big crunch version of the end of the universe is well beyond the galactic scale in Evolutionary void, and essentially has no 'outside'
I'm not convinced (replaying) that Illanthe manifested as quite as hard a problem as she might after ALL that build up. I mean, I had very little investment in the skylords emotionally. She hardly cut a swathe through the characters. Don't get me wrong, I prefer a clean sheet good-guy easy win, it suits my reader style, but I got the impression she'd do a bit more emotional damage to me than she did.
unless it does, which brings me back always to my own personal faith convictions on these matters.
Last edited by pox; January 8th, 2011 at 02:22 PM.
January 8th, 2011, 04:32 PM #15
His next book is Great North Road, set on a new planet via a wormhole from Newcastle (I think). When I asked if it would another 1,000 pager, he smiled From his last blog it sounds like it could very well be - a day per chapter and he's at something like 60,000 words after 5 days He also said that if you thought MLM was bad wait until you see the aliens (Xanth, Zanth, something like that) in this book. I, for one, can't wait for it's 2012 release...
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