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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by krisbslick View Post
    I agree, Hamilton is one of the best at Epic Space Operas. I actually got hooked with Pandora's Star and have since moved on to read Judas, the Void trilogy, and the Night's Dawn saga. I plan on reading all his novels one day.

    I think that Night's Dawn is slightly better than the Commonwealth Saga, but if you'd ask me on a different day I might tell you the opposite. I never really wanted either to end.
    Hello again all,

    So I have just finished the commonwealth saga ! Again just great, such a great story. As you said, I prefered a bit more (but by a very little margin) the night's dawn trilogy but still, it was again a great ride

    Now what ? I think I will continue with the Void trilogy, any comments on it before I buy it ? compare to night's dawn and commonwealth saga ? Or maybe should I try something else from Hamilton ? Cheers

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    Now what ? I think I will continue with the Void trilogy, any comments on it before I buy it ? compare to night's dawn and commonwealth saga ? Or maybe should I try something else from Hamilton ? Cheers
    Yes, definitely go for the void trilogy, if you have the time. I think I waited a total of 5 years for the releases of all 3 of these books in the US (in paperback) and it was well worth the wait! Hamilton is the best! And it's best if you read them all back to back, as I found out the hard way. I got Dreaming Void, read it, and then had to wait forever for Temporal Void to come out, and the same for Evolutionary.

    It's really too close to tell, but I'd say the void trilogy was as good, if not better, than the commonwealth saga. But still, I'd say Night's Dawn is at the top. I never want his novels to end!

    Also, if you don't have the time to devote to a trilogy, I thought Fallen Dragon was very, very good as well.
    Last edited by krisbslick; May 23rd, 2012 at 12:43 PM.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by krisbslick View Post
    Yes, definitely go for the void trilogy, if you have the time. I think I waited a total of 5 years for the releases of all 3 of these books in the US (in paperback) and it was well worth the wait! Hamilton is the best! And it's best if you read them all back to back, as I found out the hard way. I got Dreaming Void, read it, and then had to wait forever for Temporal Void to come out, and the same for Evolutionary.

    It's really too close to tell, but I'd say the void trilogy was as good, if not better, than the commonwealth saga. But still, I'd say Night's Dawn is at the top. I never want his novels to end!

    Also, if you don't have the time to devote to a trilogy, I thought Fallen Dragon was very, very good as well.
    It was funny ! I was in waterstone 15 min ago, having the dreaming void (hamilton), Pushing ice (Reynolds), consider phlebas (Banks) (all advised books here) in my hands and I did not know what to go for...I just browse the forum quickly on my phone with no hope for an answer to my question of this afternoon about the Void trilogy ..and here we are, you answered So you made my choice ! Bought the dreaming void And it makes sense as it is linked to the common wealth saga (I did not know) that I just finished.

    For Night's dawn and the common wealth saga, I prefered the main idea of the commonwealth saga (the barrier of dyson alpha etc etc), I prefered the end of the book also (I found it short for night's dawn)...But I thought the commonwealth saga (pandora's star and judas unchained) were a bit messy sometimes, jumping from situations/characters to situations/character a bit quickly, difficult to follow on some parts...Also all the trip of Ozzie on the silfen path with the gas halo was quite tough to vizualize, to imagine....And I got a bit less attached to the characters in general. The margin between the 2 is really nothing and maybe it is just a question of mood of the day finally In any case, These are 2 great great work of SF...Congrats to Hamilton

    Thanks for the advice on Fallen dragon, after the void trilogy, that will be my next read...And the greg Mandel series ? is it worth it ?
    Last edited by Dakota; May 23rd, 2012 at 01:37 PM.

  4. #64
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    I actually haven't finished the Night's Dawn by Hamilton yet, I'm on the last two books, and then I got on a serious fantasy kick, and haven't gone back to his books for a good year. I will say they were outstanding, and I hope to finish it soon. I also read Fallen Dragon and loved it. Still have to read his Commonwealth saga, have book 1 but it's untouched at the moment.

    For recommendations, I suggest Scott Westerfeld's Succession series. Book 1 is The Risen Empire, book 2 is The Killing of Worlds. Fantastic stuff, with interesting space combat, nanotechnologies, world intelligence that becomes self-aware, I really loved it. I wish he'd go back to that universe, but he's been writing YA stuff lately.

  5. #65
    Intrigued diletante Nicolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    And the greg Mandel series ? is it worth it ?
    Not Space Opera at all, if I remember correctly (I read the first one, Mindstar Rising, quite a while ago), more like a cyberpunkish near future noir story, as far as I remember. Networks everywhere, talking guns, this kind of stuff. I don't know about the other two.

    The latest I've read that really made me think of Hamilton was Leviathan Wakes, by James Corey. Plenty of suspense (I got hooked in about 3 chapters), jaw dropping moments, regular individuals getting swept into the maelstrom of a looming interplanetary Armageddon, constant tension etc, etc... absolutely brilliant.

  6. #66
    Intrigued diletante Nicolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfen View Post
    For recommendations, I suggest Scott Westerfeld's Succession series.
    Been meaning to pick that up for a while, thanks for reminding me, I'll bump it up my list of "to read soon" books.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post

    The latest I've read that really made me think of Hamilton was Leviathan Wakes, by James Corey. Plenty of suspense (I got hooked in about 3 chapters), jaw dropping moments, regular individuals getting swept into the maelstrom of a looming interplanetary Armageddon, constant tension etc, etc... absolutely brilliant.
    I was hesitating to buy this one as well but lots of critics are saying that it is far from Hamilton books...But as you advise it, I will give it a go certainly thanks !

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    It was funny ! I was in waterstone 15 min ago, having the dreaming void (hamilton), Pushing ice (Reynolds), consider phlebas (Banks) (all advised books here) in my hands and I did not know what to go for...I just browse the forum quickly on my phone with no hope for an answer to my question of this afternoon about the Void trilogy ..and here we are, you answered So you made my choice ! Bought the dreaming void And it makes sense as it is linked to the common wealth saga (I did not know) that I just finished.

    Thanks for the advice on Fallen dragon, after the void trilogy, that will be my next read...And the greg Mandel series ? is it worth it ?
    Glad I could help! I haven't read the Greg Mandel series. (probably the only one i haven't jumped on) I think it's a detective style series and I usually stick try to stick to space operas, but it should be good (since we are talking about Hamilton here)... looking forward to his Great North Road.. he's be tooting his own horn on that one (on his blog) for a while now

    and damn! I should have mentioned to you that the void trilogy is a continuation of the commonwealth saga (even if some centuries have gone by since then)
    Last edited by krisbslick; May 23rd, 2012 at 06:58 PM.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    I was hesitating to buy this one as well but lots of critics are saying that it is far from Hamilton books...But as you advise it, I will give it a go certainly thanks !
    Dakota - Seriously... you NEED to get Leviathan Wakes. Put it on top of your list after your done with Hamilton. I highly recommend it. Needless to say, I did not get too much sleep those few days it took me to read it. Also, Caliban's war (the second book in the series) comes out in a month or so!

    Scott Westerfield's Succession was pretty good as well. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt it attacked the whole Space Opera genre in a totally different way, which was very refreshing. I got both books in one binding for pretty cheap online, as well.

    Also, another series that I think is underrated is Walter Jon Williams' Dread Empire's Fall Series.
    Last edited by krisbslick; May 23rd, 2012 at 06:55 PM.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by krisbslick View Post
    Dakota - Seriously... you NEED to get Leviathan Wakes. Put it on top of your list after your done with Hamilton. I highly recommend it. Needless to say, I did not get too much sleep those few days it took me to read it. Also, Caliban's war (the second book in the series) comes out in a month or so!

    Scott Westerfield's Succession was pretty good as well. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt it attacked the whole Space Opera genre in a totally different way, which was very refreshing. I got both books in one binding for pretty cheap online, as well.

    Also, another series that I think is underrated is Walter Jon Williams' Dread Empire's Fall Series.
    Ok ok Leviathan wakes will be the following book so

    thank you very much for all these advices !

    Started to read the dreaming void yesterday evening and looked already attracting...Quite a lot of references to the comonwealth saga in 30 pages

  11. #71
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    I just want to go on record as saying Leviathan Wakes didn't seem similar to Hamilton at all to me. I've only read half of Pandora's Star (didn't really appeal to me, someday I'm sure I'll go back to it, maybe I should have started with Nights Dawn trilogy), so I don't have much to compare it with, but from what I've read Hamilton's stuff has a very different feel. I loved Leviathan Wakes, and would definitely recommend it in it's own right though (the second book in this series comes out next month, I can't wait).

    Also, since posting in this thread I've read a number of Alastair Reynolds books. His books are good but not great. There are some really mind blowing ideas that pop up, and those are a lot of fun, but there is some weak writing to get through in places too. A lot of people go crazy for Chasm City, but I thought it was just good, not exceptional.

    Iain M Banks is my guy. He's by far the most talented writer of the group, and every book I've read of his thus far has been a winner. I started with Consider Phlebas and really enjoyed it, but it is different in subject matter and style than his others. Although they are basically stand-alone books I recommend reading them in the order they were written.

  12. #72
    I can personally understand why it is difficult to get into Pandora's star (as I explained, lots of characters/situations and Hamilton jumps from one to another easily, which does not help the reader to focus on the story..also he has some complicated concepts in the commonwealth trilogy that are really hard to imagine/to vizualise..Silfen path, Far away...I think it is not an easy read but it worth the pain definitly..you can still read Hamilton without understanding 100% of his concepts as well, there is still enough action I think).

    I definitly advice people to start by night's dawn which is much less confusing and easier to read (still it is Hamilton so it is quite "Rich"). The fact that I read Night's dawn trilogy helped me a lot to stay into pandora's star and I did not regret it. It is Epic as Night's dawn can be epic.

    As I said, I started to Read the Void trilogy yesterday and it seems that you need to read the commonwealth saga if you want to enter in this new trilogy easily.

    But definitly I will buy Leviathan wakes as it seems that you are advising it strongly guys !

    About Banks, it is very strange as people have really mixed feeling about him on this forum (I was reading a subject on him yesterday on this forum)...But I will certainly try it soon also to make my own idea about this author.

  13. #73
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post

    About Banks, it is very strange as people have really mixed feeling about him on this forum (I was reading a subject on him yesterday on this forum)...But I will certainly try it soon also to make my own idea about this author.
    That's about the way of it with Banks. There are very divergent opinions. I think maybe the only consistent opinion about him is that his prose is excellent. There are even very divergent opinions within the ranks of those who adore him about which books are better than others. Some say Use of Weapons is his best and they dislike Consider Phlebas, some say the opposite. I think it mostly speaks to him doing very different things both compared to other writers, and even to himself book to book. I think he writes what interests him. It's possible my favorite thus far has been Excession, but there are plenty who rank that in the middle of the pack and lower.

    As you say, read him and form your own opinion, in the end that's the only one that matters.

    And because I am a big fan (and naturally want other people to be fans), I have to suggest that you don't just read one book by him. If after two, he's not for you, then so be it, but just one book won't give anyone the best idea of what sort of writer he is or what sort of books the Culture series are. His first two are Consider Phlebas, and Player of Games. After reading those two you will have a pretty good idea of what Banks is up to.

  14. #74
    Intrigued diletante Nicolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    I just want to go on record as saying Leviathan Wakes didn't seem similar to Hamilton at all to me.
    Apologies for the confusion.
    By linking Leviathan Wakes to Hamilton, I meant that even if Hamilton and Corey have very different styles (Hamilton loves infodumps and descriptions, for example, whereas Corey minimizes them and has the reader discover the world more or less alongside the characters), I think there are a few similarities that can be noticed, especially with the Night's Dawn Trilogy:
    -Both stories start small scale, with characters pretty much stuck in their little corner of the universe without any real opportunities for their situations to evolve, I'm thinking J. Calvert stuck in his scavenging job or the colonists on Lalonde. Similarly, both main characters of LW start the story pretty much in dead end jobs.
    -Both stories slowly expand their narratives in an incremental way: the more you read, the bigger the scope of the story, the higher the stakes become, the stronger the tension.
    -Without giving too much away, both stories are about the discovery of an alien artifact or object and the ramifications and consequences that those discoveries have on a HUGE scale.
    -The "infected" people of LW can be seen as an echo of the possessed of Night's Dawn. Both are almost unstoppable with conventional firepower, for example.

    I didn't mean to say that the books are copycats. They are not. However, I found a sort of resonance between them. Reading the Wow! moments of LW, I immediately thought about Hamilton. Not Reynolds or Banks or Vinge or Baxter. Hamilton.

    Regards,
    Nick

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    I can personally understand why it is difficult to get into Pandora's star (as I explained, lots of characters/situations and Hamilton jumps from one to another easily, which does not help the reader to focus on the story..also he has some complicated concepts in the commonwealth trilogy that are really hard to imagine/to vizualise..Silfen path, Far away...I think it is not an easy read but it worth the pain definitly..you can still read Hamilton without understanding 100% of his concepts as well, there is still enough action I think).

    I definitly advice people to start by night's dawn which is much less confusing and easier to read (still it is Hamilton so it is quite "Rich"). The fact that I read Night's dawn trilogy helped me a lot to stay into pandora's star and I did not regret it. It is Epic as Night's dawn can be epic.

    As I said, I started to Read the Void trilogy yesterday and it seems that you need to read the commonwealth saga if you want to enter in this new trilogy easily.

    But definitly I will buy Leviathan wakes as it seems that you are advising it strongly guys !





    About Banks, it is very strange as people have really mixed feeling about him on this forum (I was reading a subject on him yesterday on this forum)...But I will certainly try it soon also to make my own idea about this author.
    I haven't yet read Leviathan Wakes but it's on my TBR pile and I'm looking forward to it. I can understand why so many people are put off by Hamilton. I think it comes down to a matter of taste. If you like the action and plot to take off from the word go and discover the universe as you're pulled along then Hamilton won't be your guy.
    Hamilton likes to set up his universe in rich detail; he's very good at it and he comes at you from multiple story-threads often leaving the reader at a cliff-hanger moment then segwaying into a completely different story thread. All these threads seem unrelated at first and half the fun of his stories is seeing how they gradually wind together into powerful story lines. His stories tend to start off slow and build into a furious finish. Some people like that (I do) and some people want their action right away. There's no right or wrong to it, just a matter of taste.
    I actually started reading Hamilton with Pandora's Star and felt half-lost until I read the chapter that introduced the evolution of the motile aliens. Everything seemed to click for me at that point and I was hooked and have been devouring Hamilton's books ever since.

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