Peter F. Hamilton

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Peter F. Hamilton
Peter F Hamilton 20090315 Salon du livre 1.jpg
Peter F. Hamilton at a book fair in Paris, France, in March 2009
Born (1960-03-02) 2 March 1960 (age 55)
Rutland, England
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Period 1987–present
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."[1]

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.

Writing style[edit]

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.

Hamilton is often grouped with Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, and other writers of Space Opera in the United Kingdom.


Greg Mandel trilogy (1993–1995)[edit]

  1. Mindstar Rising (1993), ISBN 0-330-32376-8
  2. A Quantum Murder (1994), ISBN 0-330-33045-4
  3. 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)[edit]

  1. The Reality Dysfunction (1996, published in two volumes in the US: Emergence and Expansion), ISBN 0-330-34032-8
  2. The Neutronium Alchemist (1997, published in two volumes in the US: Consolidation and Conflict), ISBN 0-330-35143-5
  3. 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

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 centered 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)[edit]

Commonwealth Saga
  1. Misspent Youth (2002), ISBN 0-330-48022-7
  2. Pandora's Star (2004), ISBN 0-330-49331-0
  3. 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.[citation needed] 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
Main article: Void Trilogy
  1. The Dreaming Void (2007), ISBN 978-1-4050-8880-0
  2. The Temporal Void (2008), ISBN 978-1-4050-8883-1
  3. 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.[2]

The second book in the trilogy, The Temporal Void, was published in 2008. The third book in the trilogy, The Evolutionary Void, was published in August 2010.

The Chronicle of the Fallers
  1. The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014)
  2. The Night Without Stars (TBA)

Hamilton announced in 2011 that he is developing a new trilogy.[3] He later cut this down to two books[4] 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. On 19 March, both the cover art and release date for the first book, The Abyss Beyond Dreams was unveiled. The book was published on 21 October 2014.[5][6][7] Preliminary title for the second book is The Night Without Stars.[8][9]

The Book of Realms (2014–present)[edit]

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.

Standalone novels[edit]

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 has developed interstellar travel but only at vast expense, putting it out of the reach of many people and a one-way trip for most of the rest.

Set in 2143, the Great North Road is a futuristic murder-mystery.[10]

Short fiction[edit]


  1. ^ "Peter F. Hamilton". 
  2. ^ "Timeline". 
  3. ^ "Blog 025 - May 2011". 
  4. ^ "GeekChocolate - TV - Film - Books - Comics - Theatre". GeekChocolate. 
  5. ^ "The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F Hamilton cover art". 
  6. ^ "FYI.... PRESS RELEASE – 21st JUNE... - Peter F. Hamilton - Facebook". 
  7. ^ Peter F. Hamilton & Pan Macmillan. YouTube. 23 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Home". 
  9. ^ "Chronicle of the Fallers". Risingshadow. 
  10. ^ Thirdyen (21 January 2013). "Great North Road". Barnes & Noble. 
  11. ^ Peter F. Hamilton. "Manhattan In Reverse". Goodreads. 

External links[edit]