The Evolutionary Void
Cover artist Steve Stone, UK hardcover edition
|Author||Peter F. Hamilton|
|Cover artist||Steve Stone|
|Series||The Void Trilogy|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Pan Macmillan (UK), Del Rey (US)|
|24 August 2010 (US), 10 September (UK)|
Published in English
|24 August 2010|
|Media type||Print – Hardcover, Tall Paper Back, Paper Back|
|Pages||726 (Tall Paper Back)|
|ISBN||978-1-4050-8895-4 (Tall Paper Back)|
|Preceded by||The Temporal Void|
The Evolutionary Void is the third novel in The Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton, and was released on 24 August 2010; however, a first batch of paperback versions were shipped from amazon.de on 13 August 2010. The current pre-edit word count confirmed by the author is 216,000. The events in the book follow on from those in The Temporal Void.
Exposed as the Second Dreamer, Araminta has become the target of a galaxy-wide search by government agent Paula Myo and the psychopath known as the Cat, along with others equally determined to prevent, or facilitate, the pilgrimage of the Living Dream cult into the heart of the Void. An indestructible microuniverse, the Void may contain paradise, as the cultists believe, but it is also a deadly threat. For the miraculous reality that exists inside its boundaries demands energy, energy drawn from everything outside those boundaries: from planets, stars, galaxies... from everything that lives, for the Pilgrimage will trigger a super-massive expansion of the Void.
Meanwhile, the parallel story of Edeard, the Waterwalker, as told through a series of dreams communicated to the gaiafield via Inigo, the First Dreamer, continues to unfold. But the inspirational tale of this idealistic young man takes a darker and more troubling turn as he finds himself faced with powerful new enemies, and temptations more powerful still, to reach fulfilment in the end.
Named a Silfen Friend like her ancestress Mellanie, Araminta chooses to face her unwanted responsibilities, with no guarantee of success or survival. She takes on the role of Second Dreamer to lead the first wave of Living Dream, 24 million people, into the Void, leaving everyone confused and lost by her actions. However, in actuality, she is playing a double game. Using her original body to lead the Living Dream as a diversion, she borrows one of her fiance's (Mr. Bovey) bodies to set out to destroy the Void. She is able to connect with a Skylord and travel the Silfen Paths.
With time running out, a repentant Inigo decides to release Edeard's final dream: a dream whose message is scarcely less dangerous than the pilgrimage promises to be, where perfection is achieved, so that nothing else is left to strive for and the human race in the Void has started to devolve. He goes to the Spike to meet Ozzie and stays there to meet with Araminta, who is using one of her fiance's bodies, and Oscar.
Third Dreamer Gore has a plan to reason with the Heart, the core of the Void. He secures the help of Delivery Man and travels to the Anomine homeworld to retrieve the mechanism that allowed them to go post-physical. He is able to connect with Justine, his daughter, who is currently in the Void, by way of Dreams.
The monomaniacal Ilanthe, leader of the breakaway Accelerator Faction, seeks dominion in the Void. It is not Fusion with the Void to attain post-physical status that she wants, but to have control over everything. She has the ship, the most powerful starship ever built. Using Dark Fortress technology, she sets up a barrier around the Sol system which leaves ANA and the deterrence fleet trapped inside. It is this technology which she has equipped the ships travelling to the Void with, the ability to create a forcefield which the warrior Raiel cannot penetrate.
The Void was created by the Firstlife—the first beings to have existed in the galaxy—to reach the state of post-physical and fulfilment. It is where Makkathran is situated in. The people in the Void have psychic abilities such as "farsight" and the "third hand". The Void requires a tremendous amount of energy to sustain itself and the abilities it offers, which it acquires by expanding, consuming planets and star systems and converting them into energy.
The Anomine is a race of alien beings who have reached post-physical status. They spread to many star systems in their prime. During this age, they discovered the Prime aliens and the threat they pose. They borrowed two DFspheres from the Raiel to generate the barriers around Dyson Alpha and Beta, the two star systems the Prime aliens inhabit, and confine them there (see Commonwealth Saga). At the events of the Void trilogy, most of the Anomine already went post-physical, while some still live on their homeworld, living a life without the use of technology.
The human race has spread to many star systems which are named the Greater Commonwealth. There are Inner Worlds, where most—if not all—of the citizens are "Higher humans"—humans who utilise biononics. Biononics enable the human body to essentially live forever as they rejuvenate the human body on a constant basis. Almost every human has a memory cell insert which records every piece of information stored in the owner's brain. In the event of bodyloss (death), this data can be downloaded into a clone of the original human, effectively eliminating death. Using so called secure stores, this data can even be stored in a second facility. If the memory cell is lost re-life is still possible, although without an uninterrupted continuity (a "restore" from a memory cell usually enables a clone to know how he died). ANA:Governance forms the government of Earth. ANA (Advanced Neural Activity Network) is a super computer/sentient intelligence/edifice embodied on and around Earth. Humans are able to download their consciousness into ANA, where they gain vastly expanded mentalities. Farther away from Earth are the External Worlds, which are somewhat less technologically advanced. The Living Dream Faction live like how the world is in Makkathran (inside the void). Their clothing follows Makkathran style and fashion. The goal of Living Dream is to travel to and live in the Void. The Development of the gaiafield, the so-called uniform neural entanglement effect, by Ozzie, allowed Inigo to broadcast his Dreams to everyone connected to the gaiafield. By connecting to Edeard, he is able to see aspects of Edeard's life as it is in Makkathran and gifts them to everyone. According to Ozzie, the gaiafield was meant to be used only for people to express their emotions for others to see; its use has been perverted by Inigo.
- Review from Walker of Worlds
- Audio review and discussion of The Evolutionary Void at The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast