The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn Series #1)

The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn Series #1)

by Peter F. Hamilton

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

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.

THE REALITY DYSFUNCTION is a modern classic of science fiction, an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316021807
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 10/08/2008
Series: Night's Dawn Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 1120
Sales rank: 238,254
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland, England in 1960. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small press publications. His first novel was Mindstar Rising, published in 1993, and he has been steadily productive since then. Peter lives near Rutland Water with his wife and two children.

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The Reality Dysfunction: Part 1 & 2 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
RichardB More than 1 year ago
. To say Peter F Hamilton is brilliant just doesn't do him justice! Up until now I thought that Asimov's Foundation series or Herbert's Dune trilogy were the finest science fiction epics ever written. Boy, was I wrong! Night's Dawn trilogy stands head and shoulders above any other work in this genre. If you're reading this, trying to decide whether or not this series is for you, just stop right now and buy it. You will be amazed. I do suggest you also buy the Confederation Handbook because you will need help keeping track of the enormous number of characters, dozens of planets, habitats and spaceships. The only complaint I have is that these books should never have been produced in paperback. 1,200 and 1,300 page paperback books will probably not hold up after two or three readings. And trust me, you will want to read these books over and over again.
Sazerac7 More than 1 year ago
This is the absolute best space opera ever. I can't put in to words just much I enjoyed the whole trilogy. Lots of "trilogies" come about because the first book really sells very well and the publisher sees the opportunity to make a lot more money. In this instance, the author uses over 3500 pages to tell the most fantastic, galaxy spanning epic of all time! Too many characters to count, dozens and dozens of planets, habitat and space stations, and multiple plot lines that are all woven together to create one amazing work. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every chapter. This is a winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author takes his time telling the story and developing the characters. I look at the size of the book and wonder how much of it is unnecessary, but at the end there is little I would cut. I have read two full series, back to back and enjoyed them.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read an awful lot of science fiction over the years, and recently returned to the genre after a lengthy absence. In doing so, I made a concerted effort to upgrade my reading list and familiarize myself with the new generation of sci-fi writers. My recent experience has been a real revelation. Whereas in the past, most of the science fiction I consumed was very easy to read and understand (Asimov as an example), some of the works I¿ve sampled in the last year or two have quite literally been over my head.I read Dune (multiple times) many years ago. I proceeded on to the Dune sequels, but after two or three they became so philosophically dense that I lost interest. I recently read Herbert¿s widely acknowledged masterpiece The Dosadi Experiment and again was forced to admit that I was incapable of appreciating it fully. Ditto for much of Philip Dick¿s writing. In an effort to read all joint Hugo/Nebula Award winners, I ran into a few other such works. Some of the new generation of sci-fi writers have published undeniably outstanding novels that I simply couldn¿t enjoy fully. Charles Stross, Neal Stephenson and Ian McDonald come immediately to mind. These cats are just too intelligent for me to relate to (and I have a post graduate degree!).Others, such as Joe Scalzi, David Brin and Joe Haldeman crank out easily understood and entertaining work (in the mode of Asimov), but without all the heavy lifting some of the previously cited authors require. All of this to say, that in Peter Hamilton¿s The Reality Dysfunction I discovered what I felt was a very happy medium: Vastly entertaining, but with just the level of challenge and difficulty that I could master without detracting from my enjoyment of the reading experience. There are some pretty heavy concepts in this novel, yet I never felt that I was lost or over my head. Outstanding example of ¿hard¿ science fiction.One of my science fiction pet peeves are hackneyed alien life forms. Multi armed/legged creatures, insect or other animal like beings, as if alien life forms have to fit into human constructs. Larry Niven¿s Ringworld is a perfect example (giant cats and Pierson¿s Puppets). While this novel has some of that, it also has some very intriguing alien life forms which do not fit neatly into our preconceived notions of how an alien may look or behave. It also includes sentient habitats and spaceships, a concept I first encountered in Charles Stross¿s Saturn¿s Children.At over 1,000 pages, and only the first of three books in a series, this is an undertaking that requires a significant time commitment. There are also a dizzying number of plot threads which could be hard to keep straight. Not the kind of book that you read for a while, put aside and take up again a few weeks later. However, if you¿re up to the challenge, I don¿t think you¿ll be disappointed. On to book two.
crop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dense and thorough epic sci- fi, with a bit of hell mixed in. Setting-building at it's best.
AndyWol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a whim whilst travelling in New Zealand. Up to that point, and since, I have not read a book that builds up such a detailed universe of cultures, characters and technology as this one. Yes it does take a while to get into, but once it gets going; the story and pace are fantastic. The story threads both amaze and annoy at once, as you get into one plot line just to be pulled out and dropped into another (character group, planet, story); but this just makes you realise how drawn into the book you are.It is a mammoth first part of a mammoth trilogy; but worth it - even if it did make me miss a large amount of fantastic scenery, as I read in the car whilst my mates drove around New Zealand (I had to do something other than look out the window - the radio out in the sticks in NZ is dire).
AnnieMod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One civilization disappeared leaving only debris and more questions than can be answered. Another one evolved on a planet that should not be able to support intelligent life and yet, it does. Humanity had conquered the stars (based on race, religion and whatever else you can think of - Hamilton does not try to sell the story of the future where all nations and people work and live together).A weapon that can destroy worlds gets lost (in a way).Habitats and star ships are alive and can connect to the part of humanity that would accept them and everyone else in their minds. New colonies get created every day and people find their new lives and homes. The few villains needed for a story of this scope are introduces early in the story and evolve through it. The good guys are all accounted for... although they skirt the law and rules occasionally - but then they would not be believable.And this is just the beginning of the book - and the book is a beginning of a trilogy. Tens of plots and subplots that weave and collapse into each other; a long list of characters which interact and change and make sex and fight. A lot of technical details that can bore anyone that reads just for the action but do not care for the SF side of the story. And the big bad thing that noone can explain but that need to be explained if the universe is supposed to continue its existence (with the current residents still being there). The book start slow but then it lays the foundations pretty well - and that allows the whole story to hold together. And even when two people meet unexpectedly, the explanation is there - yes, it is needed for getting the story going but it is not there just for that purpose. And when the book finishes, you know that you had read the beginning of the story - there are a lot of questions that need answers, a lot of pieces that do not match any available slots and a lot of people that just do not seem to be what they seem to beNow I need to go and read the next two volumes because I really want to know what happens next.
BobNolin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed two of Hamilton's recent books (Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained), so I've been planning to read his "Night's Dawn Trilogy" for a while, due to the many positive reviews here. Problem was, it was released as six books back in the Nineties, and they were out of print. Last fall, Orbit republished the series as a trilogy of massive 1300-page doorstops. I dove in eagerly, hoping for a good, long story. Two months and nearly 4000 pages later, I'm finally done. My main impression? Good, but much too long. There's at least a whole third that should have been left out; the entire Neutronium Alchemist thread has nothing to do with the rest of the story. So, right there, the trilogy could have easily lost 1000 pages or so and been a stronger tale for it. As for the remaining 3000-page story, here are my thoughts. (This review treats all three books as one long story. It can't be read any other way.)The reading of this thing took so long, and I invested so much time in it, it was almost like a small relationship: at first, NDT seemed like a good, meaty space opera, and captured my interest. Hamilton is an excellent writer, with some faults, but he's good enough to make you overlook them. The book began as a standard sf novel, taking pains to sound authoritative and scientifically accurate. But then it suddenly veered off into Stephen King territory, which totally threw me. I had bought all three volumes, was hundreds of pages in, and suddenly I'm reading a story about possession, ghosts, and human sacrifice, along with FTL travel and galactic empires. I opted to see it through, despite some grave (no pun intended) misgivings. I wanted to see how Hamilton managed to explain, in a scientific way, how the "beyond" (purgatory, to you and me) worked. So I kept going.This is one of British writer Hamilton's first books, and it's very British. Planets have names like Norfolk, towns are named Durringham, people have names like Kingsley Prior. I can only imagine that, in his early work, Hamilton didn't imagine he'd have readers outside the Realm. (His later books aren't so provincial.) It's part of Hamilton's Point, I think, that despite 600 hundred years of scientific progress, mankind is still employing the same economic--and cultural--model. The events in the book make people question that their way of life by the end, and that's the Point. Problem is, it isn't until you reach page 3500 or so that you realize he's deliberately painted a picture of a future that still has people saying "jolly good!" and "fab." At first, I thought he was just being lazy or imaginative. But there is a Point. You've just got to hang in there to see that. So suspend your critical thinking when you read about "arcologies" (domed cities on Earth built in response to climatic and ecological disaster), a planet where it may as well be the Green and Pleasant Land of the 1800's, and everyone talks as though they were from the early 21st century.Our main hero is Joshua Calvert, a Han Solo-type of guy who's hard not to like. I would like to see the story rewritten as Joshua's story. This would've made it much stronger as a story, for one thing. As it is, the story is told from so many points of view, it's impossible to keep them all straight. There's literally a cast of hundreds here. Many of these people are not very likable, either, nor worth spending time with. This story (and its Point) would benefit from a good, strong moral main character, and while Joshua does evolve and grow during the course of the novel, he's off-camera too much, and we don't really get inside his head enough. His "conversion", therefore, is a bit unconvincing. He starts out as young guy (early 20's) exploring space ruins to make a buck. His goal is to finance the refitting of his dead father's starship, the (what else?) 'Lady Macbeth'. He makes a big strike, the Lady Mac is quickly up and running, and suddenly, without training or experience, Joshua is the hottest pilot in th
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long sentences with excessive serial adjectives. Constant illiteration makes it a tedious read.
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mgotts More than 1 year ago
Always love his stuff. And you get you money's worth, because it's about four books in one. Yes it's complex; yes it has multiple major characters; yes he likes to kill off lots of his supporting characters (even major characters). It's space opera that spans the galaxy, introduces convincingly-thought through alien cultures, fascinating projections of technology merging with biology, and even wonderful projections of man-made biological creatures (voidhawks & the living habitats), etc. Some people seem to be hung up on the afterworld/religion aspect, but again, I think Hamilton does a decent job projecting the inevitable split and schism of religious vs non-religious culture that would happen in a universe with hundreds of populated planets. Hamilton's stuff, and the Reality Dysfunction as a good example, are great escapes into another world. How he keeps all the many, many characters, plots, and subplots organized is impressive. Just a tip: buy this in Nook format so you can easily select character names and look them up. Hamilton will introduce a character, jump you through several other subplots and characters occurring elsewhere in the universe, and then return you to that initial character a hundred pages later. I'd look them up with the Nook "find" function to refresh my memory. Definitely an asset with any Peter F. Hamilton novel. Enjoy the ride. Hamilton's stuff is for entertainment, not racing through to the end.
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