Peter F. Hamilton
|Peter F. Hamilton|
Peter F. Hamilton at a book fair in Paris, France, in March 2009
2 March 1960 |
|Genre||Science fiction, Space opera|
Peter F. Hamilton (born 2 March 1960) is a British author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide.
Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland, England on 2 March 1960. He didn't attend university. He said in an interview, "I did science at school up to age eighteen, I stopped doing English, English literature, writing at sixteen, I just wasn't interested in those days."
After he started writing in 1987 he sold his first short story to Fear Magazine in 1988. His first novel, Mindstar Rising, was published in 1993, followed by A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower. After this he wrote a massive space opera, called The Night's Dawn Trilogy. As of 2008 he still lives in Rutland, near Rutland Water, with his wife Kate, daughter Sophie, and son Felix.
||This section possibly contains original research. (January 2015)|
Peter F. Hamilton generally uses a clean, prosaic style. His space opera is characterised by the way it switches between several characters—often there are three or more main characters, whose paths begin separated but eventually cross. Common themes in his books are sexually precocious teenagers, politics, religion, and armed conflict.
Critically, Hamilton is often grouped with Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, and other writers of new space opera in the United Kingdom. However, a fundamental difference is that while Reynolds and Baxter try hard to keep their books essentially grounded in solid science, Hamilton uses an abundance of fantasy-themed analogues (gaiafield, skylords, unisphere, etc.), which are extrapolated with solid astronomy and physics background, including many elements from classic horror writing.
Greg Mandel trilogy (1993–1995)
- Mindstar Rising (1993), ISBN 0-330-32376-8
- A Quantum Murder (1994), ISBN 0-330-33045-4
- The Nano Flower (1995), ISBN 0-330-33044-6
Hamilton first came to prominence in the mid-1990s with three novels featuring the psychic detective Greg Mandel. Set in a near-future Britain which has been run into the ground by global warming and an authoritarian left-wing government, the books describe a society beginning to rebuild itself through the production of advanced technology. The books are a blend of lively scientific, political and social speculation mixed with elements of detective story.
Confederation universe (1996-2000)
- The Reality Dysfunction (1996, published in two volumes in the US: Emergence and Expansion), ISBN 0-330-34032-8
- The Neutronium Alchemist (1997, published in two volumes in the US: Consolidation and Conflict), ISBN 0-330-35143-5
- The Naked God (1999, published in two volumes in paperback in the US: Flight and Faith; the US hardback was one volume), ISBN 0-330-35145-1
- A Second Chance at Eden (1998, collection of short stories set in the Confederation universe), ISBN 0-330-35182-6
- The Confederation Handbook (2000, a guide in non-fiction style to the universe of the Night's Dawn trilogy), ISBN 0-330-39614-5
After the Greg Mandel novels, Hamilton wrote a space opera in three volumes, known collectively as The Night's Dawn Trilogy. The three books are each well over a thousand pages long and are not standalone novels, totalling 1.2 million words. The trilogy is set in a universe with a wealth of worlds and artificial orbiting colonies. The plot is centred on the souls of the dead coming back from a hellish "beyond" to possess the living, and the latter fighting back. It was followed by a companion to the series, The Confederation Handbook, an informational book containing data about the universe of the Night's Dawn trilogy. Hamilton re-set several earlier short stories in the Confederation timeline, published as the collection A Second Chance at Eden, including the newly written title novella.
Commonwealth universe (2002–present)
- Commonwealth Saga
- Misspent Youth (2002), ISBN 0-330-48022-7
- Pandora's Star (2004), ISBN 0-330-49331-0
- Judas Unchained (2005), ISBN 0-330-49353-1
Misspent Youth is much shorter than either the Night's Dawn novels or Fallen Dragon, and again depicts a near-future version of Britain (but different from that in the Greg Mandel trilogy). It combines a rejuvenation theme with a growing preoccupation with the phenomenon of European integration from the Eurosceptic point of view. This was his least well received book critically, perhaps because it was Hamilton's first attempt at an in-depth character study or perhaps because much of the book was taken up with descriptions of sex which did not allow many of the characters (the women in particular) to be developed. In addition, most of the protagonists had severe character flaws which added a more uncomfortable tone to the novel than much of his other work. The author Graham Joyce has a cameo part in the book. Misspent Youth is placed in the same universe as the Commonwealth Saga, though it is not integral to the storyline of those novels. Much of the technology used in those novels (rejuvenation and low-cost/high-capacity memory storage) is established within this book.
The Commonwealth Saga is published in two-halves, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Set approximately 300 years later in the same universe as Misspent Youth, it explores the social effects of the almost complete elimination of the experience of death following widespread use of the rejuvenation technique described in Misspent Youth. In somewhat similar style to Night's Dawn, Hamilton also outlines, in detail, a universe with a small number of distinct alien species interacting essentially peacefully and who suddenly become faced with an increasingly ominous external threat.
- Void Trilogy
- The Dreaming Void (2007), ISBN 978-1-4050-8880-0
- The Temporal Void (2008), ISBN 978-1-4050-8883-1
- The Evolutionary Void (2010), ISBN 978-0-345-49657-7
Set in the same universe as the Commonwealth Saga, the Void Trilogy is set 1200 years after the end of Judas Unchained. The release date for the first book, The Dreaming Void, was 3 August 2007. A time line that links the Commonwealth Saga with the Void Trilogy, filling in the 1200-year gap, has been written by Hamilton.
- The Chronicle of the Fallers
- The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014)
- The Night Without Stars (TBA)
Hamilton announced in 2011 that he is developing a new trilogy. He later cut this down to two books titled The Chronicle of the Fallers. It is a return to his Commonwealth Universe, set in the time before the Void Trilogy, and tells the story of Nigel Sheldon and what happened when he broke into the Void. The first book was published in 2014. Preliminary titles for the two books are The Abyss Beyond Dreams and The Night Without Stars. On the 19th of March, both the cover art and release date for The Abyss Beyond Dreams was unveiled. The book was published on 21 October 2014.
The Book of Realms (2014-present)
The first book in his new children's fantasy series. Taggie and Jemima are summer holidaying on their dad's farm. They know just what to expect - a tumbledown cottage, sunshine and strawberry-picking. But then Jemima sees a white squirrel wearing glasses . . . And things become even more extraordinary when their dad is captured and whisked away to a faerie world.
His full-length novel, Fallen Dragon, is in many ways a condensation of the ideas and styles (and even characters) of the Night's Dawn trilogy, if rather darker in tone. The stand-alone book describes a bleak corporatist society dominated by five mega-corporations which wield almost unlimited power. It describes the troubled military campaign by one of these companies to "realise assets" from a minor colony, through the eyes of a veteran mercenary. One of the more interesting aspects of the book was its unconventional description of a spacefaring society which had not been able to develop an affordable method of interstellar travel, and where mankind does not easily adjust to zero gravity/free-fall conditions.
Set in 2143, the Great North Road is a futuristic murder-mystery.
- "Sonnie's Edge" (1991, published in New Moon, Issue 1, September 1991)
- "De-De and the Beanstalk" (1992, published in New Moon, Issue 2, January 1992)
- "Falling Stones" (1992)
- "Spare Capacity" (1993)
- "Adam's Gene" (1993)
- "Starlight Dreamer" (1994)
- "Eat Re-ecebread" with Graham Joyce (1994, published in Interzone)
- "The White Stuff" with Graham Joyce (1997)
- Watching Trees Grow (2000, novella originally published as a limited signed edition by PS Publishing; later anthologised in Futures; then published in a mass market paperback edition), ISBN 0-575-07305-5. Also published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- The Suspect Genome (1993, novella featuring Mandel published in Interzone)
- "Softlight Sins" (Unknown)
- "Footvote" (2005) (available in Manhattan in Reverse)
- "The Forever Kitten" (2005) (published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- "Blessed by an Angel" (2007) (published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- "Return of the Mutant Worms" (2011, published in Solaris Rising)
- "If at First..." (2011 short story broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- "The Demon Trap" (2011) (first published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- "Manhattan in Reverse" (2011) (first published in Manhattan in Reverse)
- Interview by ConFuse 96 (http://www.lysator.liu.se/lsff/mb-nr33/Peter_F_Hamilton.html)
- Peter F Hamilton's May blog post (http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk/index.php?page=blog-025---may-2011)
- Interview by Alaster Phillip 15.Oct.2012(http://www.geekchocolate.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=271%3Apeter-f-hamilton-novelist-creator-of-the-commonwealth&limitstart=2)
- Peter F Hamilton's FaceBook post on 21 June 2012 (https://www.facebook.com/PeterFHamilton/posts/324913197594275)
- Peter F. Hamilton & Pan Macmillan. A 20-Year Partnership 2013.10.23. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgMmTqlmrYw&list=UUszZAFLHA3QWuf0ox_dJGBQ&index=1&feature=plpp_video)
- Peter F. Hamilton's post of 30 January 2013 (http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk)
- Risingshadow (http://www.risingshadow.net/library?action=series&series_id=5937)
- The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F Hamilton cover art (http://upcoming4.me/news/book-news/the-abyss-beyond-dreams-by-peter-f-hamilton-cover-art)
- BN.com: The Great North Road (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-north-road-peter-f-hamilton/1109890773?ean=9780345526670)
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- The Official Peter F. Hamilton Website
- The Unisphere | A Peter F. Hamilton Fan Site
- Peter F. Hamilton at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database