Peter F. Hamilton

Updated January 26, 2006

I was introduced to Peter F. Hamilton by the Science Fiction Book Club. Which is to say that one of his books was the selection of the month and I forgot to decline the selection of the month. Well, as it turns out, this particular selection of the month was a good one. I really enjoyed the book, and decided to keep the next Peter F. Hamilton SFBC Selection of the Month, as well. Now that I have a little more experience with his writing, I can say that he does an incredible job of writing from multiple sides of a conflict in a way that has me routing for almost everybody. I can't wait to read another of his books.

Books I've Read by Peter F. Hamilton

Fallen Dragon (Hardcover edition)
Fallen DragonBy the twenty-fifth century, the brilliant notion of a star-trading civilization linking Earth to its interstellar colonies has petered out--the victim of stock market manipulation and cost-benefit analysis. Trade has been replaced by a busines-friendly policy of "asset realization" . . . which some might call piracy.

Corporate starships of the Zantui-Braun 3rd Fleet deploy to colonies, disgorging hordes of invulnerable soldiers called Skins. Enforcing their dictates with both orbital weapons and civilian hostages, the Skins loot whole planets, leaving only poverty, misery, and an industrial infrastructure--so that a few years later, Z-B can harvest again.

But on the bucolic world of Thallspring, Z-B's plans are about to go badly awry, all because of:

Sgt. Lawrence Newton: In his teens, Lawrence abandoned a life of privelege and love to pursue a dream of seeing the stars. twenty years of violence as a Skin have destroyed all his hopes and desires, except for one . . .

Denise Ebourne: An energetic, dedicated young scoolteacher with a penchant for spinning fables of wondrous lost worlds, Denise is also a guerrilla resistance leader whose tactics would put Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, or even George Washington to shame. But then, they were only human . . .

Simon Roderick: Z-B's Director of Internal Security serves management with a transcendent dedication that nobody, perhaps not even he himself, can hope to understand . . .

Now, Lawrence just wants to buy his way out of Z-B by stealing a treasure he believes is stashed in a backwater province on Thallspring. Yet his "score" is also the one thing that Denise will protect at all costs, and that Roderick must possess at any price.

And even as the players' machinations unfold, none of them suspect that their private war will explode into unimaginable quests for personal grace . . . or galactic domination. (book description)

The Commonwealth Saga

  1. (I haven't read this book, yet) Misspent Youth (Paperback edition) or (Hardcover edition)
    Misspent Youth

    It is forty years into the future and, following decades of research and trillions of euros spent on genetics, Europe is finally in a position to rejuvenate a human being. The first subject chosen for the treatment is Jeff Baker, the father of the datasphere (which replaced the Internet) and philantropist extraordinaire. After eighteen months in a German medical facility, the seventy-eight-year-old patient returns home looking like a healthy twenty-year-old.

    Misspent Youth follows the effect his reappearance has on his family and friends - his young ex-model wife Sue, his teenage son Tim, and his long-term pals, themselves all pensioners, who are starting to resent what Jeff has become. (book description from the official Peter F. Hamilton website.)

  2. Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    Pandora's StarThe year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some four hundred light-years in diameter, contains more than six hundred worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over one thousand light-years away, a star . . . vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.

    Opposed to the mission are the Guardians of Selfhood, a cult that believes the human race is being manipulated by an alien entity they call the Starflyer. Bradley Johansson, leader of the Guardians, warns of sabotage, fearing the Starflyer means to use the starship's mission for its own ends.

    Pursued by a Commonwealth special agent convinced the Guardians are crazy but dangerous, Johansson flees. But the danger is not averted. Aboard the Second Chance, Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated. Soon enough, he will have other worries. A thousand light-years away, something truly incredible is waiting: a deadly discovery whose unleashing will threaten to destroy the Commonwealth . . . and humanity itself.

    Could it be that Johansson was right? (book description)
  3. (I haven't read this book, yet) Judas Unchained (Hardcover edition)
    Judas Unchained

    After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth. Now, thanks to Chief Investigator Paula Myo, the Commonwealth's political elite finally acknowledge the Starflyer's existence, and put together an unlikely partnership to track down this enegmatic and terrifying alien before it can cause any more damage.

    The invasion from Dyson Alpha continues with dozens of Commonwealth worlds falling to the enemy. The Commonwealth navy fights back with what it believes to be war-winning superweapons, only to find that the alien fleet has been given equally powerful weapons. How the aliens got them and why the weapons are so similar is the question which haunts Admiral Kime. Could it be that the Commonwealth's top-secret defence project has been compromised by the Starflyer's agents, or is the truth even worse?

    For Mark Vernon, mechanic and general repairman extraordinaire, it appears he's landed on his feet when he finds the perfect job on the most secure world in the Commonwealth. He and his family will never be in danger again now he's helping to build the starships that will evacuate the ultra-rich should the war be lost. Until one day when Nigel Sheldon arrives to ask him a small favour. You don't say no to the man who created the Commonwealth. But the problem with small favours is the way they tend to grow . . .

    With the war going badly and the Starflyer's treachery threatening the very heart of the Commonwealth, only the alien's destruction can turn the tide. As Paula Myo finally begins to close in on her prey the operation is sabotaged from within. If the nemesis is ever to be beaten Paula will have to work out which of her colleagues is plotting to betray the entire human race. (book description from the official Peter F. Hamilton website.)

The Confederation Universe

Greg Mandel

  1. (I haven't read this book, yet) Mindstar Rising (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    Mindstar RisingGreg Mandel, late of the Mindstar Battalion, has been many things in his life. Commando. Freedom fighter. Assassin. Now he's a freelance operative with a very special edge: telepathy.

    In the high-tech, hard-edged world of computer crime, zero-gravity smuggling, and artificial intelligence, Greg Mandel is the man to call when things get rough. But when an elusive saboteur plagues a powerful organization known as Event Horizon, Mandel must cut his way through a maze of corporate intrigue and startling new scientific discoveries.

    And nothing less than the future is at stake. (book description)
  2. (I haven't read this book, yet) A Quantum Murder (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    A Quantum MurderPeter F. Hamilton returns to the future world of Mindstar Rising with an engrossing new adventure of Greg Mandel, a freelance operative whose telepathic abilities give him a crucial edge in the high-tech world of the twenty-first century.

    Professor Edward Kitchener, a double Nobel laureate researching quantum cosmology for the powerful Event Horizon conglomerate, has been savagely murdered. But was he the victim of industrial espionage, personal revenge, or a crime of passion by one of his handpicked team of live-wire students?

    Event Horizon needs to know, and fast, so Greg Mandel, PSI-boosted veteran of the infamous Mindstar Battalion, must embark on an urgent investigation that ultimately leads him to an astounding confrontation with a past, which, according to the dead man's theories, might never have happened. (book description)
  3. (I haven't read this book, yet) The Nano Flower (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    The Nano FlowerPeter F. Hamilton is one the rising stars of science fiction in the nineties. His epic space adventure, The Reality Dysfunction, was a major international bestseller, while his near future thrillers, Mindstar Rising and A Quantum Murder, introduced an intriguing new hero in the character of Greg Mandel, a freelance operative whose telepathic abilities give him a crucial edge in the high tech world of the twenty-first century. Now Mandel returns in a spectacular new adventure that blows open the possibilities of the next century.

    Julia Evans: billionairess, owner of Event Horizon, for fifteen years the undisputed power behind the world's economic renaissance. And in trouble.

    With her computer-genius husband missing and rival companies suddenly claiming to have acquired a technology impossibly superior to anything on Earth, Julia has no time to notice an anonymously delivered flower. But this flower has genes millions of years in advance of terrestrial DNA.

    Is it a cryptic alien message or a poignant farewell from her husband? Only Greg Mandel can discover its origin, but he is not alone in his desperate search. A vicious mercenary killer, a jade merchant, and a high-priced courtesan all have a part to play.

    It was never going to be easy, but as Greg and Julia discover, simply being first in the race isn't nearly good enough as the Nano Flower starts to bloom . . . . (book description)
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