The Dreaming Void
|Author||Peter F. Hamilton|
|Cover artist||Jim Burns|
|Series||The Void Trilogy|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|8 March 2007|
|Media type||Print, E-book|
|Pages||656 pp (Hardcover) |
|Preceded by||The Commonwealth Saga|
|Followed by||The Temporal Void|
At the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, an object called the Void resembles a massive black hole. The Void is not a natural system. Inside there is a strange universe where the laws of physics are very different from those we know. It is slowly consuming the other stars of the galactic core—one day it will have devoured the entire galaxy.
In AD 3320, a human, Inigo, has started to dream of a wonderful existence inside the Void. He shares his dreams through the Gaiafield developing a following of believers which by AD 3456 exceed over 5 billion followers. The Living Dream movement, as they are now so called, wish to make a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life they have been shown. Other star-faring species fear their migration will cause the Void to expand again thus devouring the galaxy. They are prepared to stop the pilgrimage fleet no matter what the cost.
The Dreaming Void is broken into two distinct sections. The first follows Edeard a young boy who lives inside the Void on a planet called Querencia, the subject of Inigo's dreams.
Edeard, an orphan and apprentice, lives in Ashwell, a town in Rulan province. A gifted psychic, Edeard is trained by Master Akeem in crafting and modding. Initially a loner, Edeard comes to prominence in his village after designing an alternative pump mechanism for the local well. Unfortunately Edeard's luck changes for the worse after Ashwell is raided by bandits. Forced to flee, Edeard joins the local caravan and travels to Makkathran the capital of Querencia. In Makkathran, Edeard joins the constables and after a brutal couple of months in training, Edeard graduates. Upon graduating Edeard is promoted to the commander of his Squad. Edeard makes little progress battling the rigid and backward judicial system of Makkathran; His first real break is when his squad overcomes a trap set by the local gang. Edeard walks on water chasing Arminel the leader of the gang. A testament to his growing psychic abilities, Edeard's stunt earns him the title of Waterwalker, and he becomes an instant star in Makkathran.
The second section of The Dreaming Void is back in the Commonwealth. Inigo, the first dreamer, and founder of Living Dream, has disappeared leaving the 5 billion strong Living Dream movement in a state of flux. When Ethan, succeeding Inigo as the head of the movement, proclaims that the Living Dream will embark on a pilgrimage into the Void, the Commonwealth is thrown into a state of political chaos. Fearing that the human migration might cause the Void to expand (and in the process destroy whole systems or even the whole Galaxy) other space faring races such as the Raiel and Ocisen Empire are deeply concerned, with the latter threatening military action. This has left the Commonwealth government deeply divided, with the two largest factions in disagreement, the Accelerators faction/party supporting the pilgrimage and the Conservative faction opposing. As both parties are unable to solve the situation politically they have resolved to take matters into their own hands, with each party sending agents to further its interests.
Aaron, a sleeper cell agent, is tasked with finding Inigo. He kidnaps and manipulates Corrie-Lyn, a former lover of Inigo and interrogates her for information. He also travels to Kuhmo (Inigo's home world) to get further information and robs Inigo's secure storage (a bank for memory). He eventually tracks Inigo to Hanko, a desolate and barren world. However, before Aaron can extract Inigo, Accelerator agents destroy Aaron's starship leaving him marooned on Hanko. Meanwhile, Accelerator agents make a deal with Ethan, agreeing to give the Living Dream movement Ultra Drives to power their ships. However Accelerator plans are halted when the Delivery Man, a Conservative party agent, destroys valuable FTL Drive tech. Troblum, an Accelerator physicist also defects, further halting the Accelerators plans.
- Inigo, the First Dreamer and founder of Living Dream
- Catherine Stewart (The Cat), Convict, former Navy Trooper, founder of Knights Guardian movement on Far Away, working for the Accelerator faction
- Paula Myo, Chief Investigator for the Commonwealth
- Gore Burnelli, Head of the Burnelli Grand Family and ANA:Governance and leader of the Conservative faction within ANA.
- Justine Burnelli, Earth socialite and a Commonwealth Senator and daughter of Gore
- Kazimir Burnelli, Grand Admiral of Commonwealth Navy and son of Justine
- Ilanthe, leader of the Accelerator Faction
- The High Angel, a sentient alien starship
- Edeard, the main subject of Inigo's dreams and known as the Waterwalker
- Marius, an agent of the Accelerator faction within ANA
- The Delivery Man, an agent of the Conservative faction
- "Aaron", an agent of the Conservative faction, searching for Inigo
- Araminta, a young divorcee on the planet Viotia
- Troblum, physicist and collector of artifacts from the "Starflyer War", initially working for Accelerator faction
- Oscar Monroe, former Navy officer and hero of the "Starflyer War", recruited to assist Paula Myo.
- Ozzie Isaacs, creator of the wormhole technology and gaiafield technology, among others. Mentioned, but not yet met in the first 2 books.
The Commonwealth uses a number of advanced technologies. In the early days of the Commonwealth, humans used static and permanently opened wormholes to travel from planet to planet. However, after the events of the Starflyer War (The Commonwealth Saga) CST corporation's monopoly on space travel was ended. With the advent of wormholes that could wrap around ships, the Commonwealth saw a shift from wormholes to spaceships.
Another development in the Commonwealth is the Gaiafield. Developed by genius billionaire, Starflyer war hero, co-owner of CST and alternative lifecycle guru Ozzie Issac in AD 3000. The Gaiafield is based on Silfen technology; when Ozzie was named a friend of the Silfen during the Starfyler war, he was given a pendant. In later years Ozzie broke open the pendant and discovered Quantum fields; replicating the quantum properties; he thus created the Gaiafield. The Gaiafield effectively allows individuals to feel the emotions of others. Ozzie developed the Gaiafield with the hope that it would end conflict and division within the Commonwealth and encourage tolerance between sentient life in the Galaxy.
In AD 2833, the ANA was deployed. Effectively a virtual universe that people could download their consciousness into. Individuals retained their memories and thus their individuality, within the ANA. They also had their own virtual universe in which they could create and modify as they saw fit. The ANA eventually became the government of Earth and the Commonwealth, housing factions such as the Conservatives, the Accelerators, the Darwinists, the Moderates and the Separatists. With over 50 million people by AD 3400. The ANA is a semi post physical entity - not a machine, the ANA consists of the molecular matter in the Quantum fields around earth.
Alternative lifestyles amidst the Commonwealth allow for endless combinations of technology Enrichments. The Advancer movement provides DNA modifications, of which 80% of the Humans in the Commonwealth have, either through choice or by birth. These 'Enrichments' provide in-vision iconography, communication, and passive environment scanning routines. Further uses of Bionomics grant Enrichments for combat weaponry, shielding, physical enhancements and emotional and physiological dampening. The Higher movement, a social / economical / political ideology as well as a technology tree moving inexorably toward a 2nd life in ANA, used Bionomics to keep their physical bodies in their healthy mid-20's until the time they 'Move Inward'; a personal journey to the outer worlds or to the ANA universe.
Characters from the Commonwealth Saga
The Dreaming Void makes both references and features characters from the Commonwealth Saga.
Paula Myo is now the chief of ANA security. In the Dreaming Void she is tasked with tracking Aaron and the Second Dreamer. After the events of the Starflyer War, Paula removed her rigid and unyielding hardwired genetic anomalies by Huxley Haven that made her obsessive and insensitive to criminals. In the years between the two books, Paula fought an appeal to keep Gene Yaohui (Oscar Monroe) in suspension. She also tracked down the deadly assassin and leader of the Knight Guardians, Cat "Catherine" Steward, resulting in Stewards 5000-year suspension. Late in life, Paula has taken a liking to music, listening to a vast diversity of music including Pink Floyd, Rachmaninoff and Deeley KTC. She also has a starship called the Alexis Denken, named after her lover from the Hive briefly mentioned in the Commonwealth Saga.
Cat "Catherine" Steward is another character making an appearance. She took control of the Guardians of Selfhood after the Starflyer war, changing and rebranding them as the Knights Guardian. They eventually took control of Far Away and claimed independence. Far Away became a model for new planets in the generations after the Starflyer war. Cat was caught by Paula Myo after brutally killing Tiger Pansy, who in the years following the Starflyer war resided on Far Away with the Raiel Quatux.
Gore Burnelli, helped create the ANA and is rumoured to be the leader of the Conservative faction; although he denies it, claiming he only has affiliations with the Conservatives. Justine, Gore's daughter, resides in the ANA. In the events of the Dreaming Void she leaves the ANA and acts as its physical ambassador.
After 1,100 years Oscar Monroe was relifed. With no friends and family left, he had to start fresh. He initially sought recruitment from the Navy, however they had no desire for his services. He ended up as a starship pilot living on the External World of Orakum and lives with three life partners; Jesaral, Anja and Dushiku. Paula Myo recruits Monroe in order to find the Second Dreamer.
Many other characters are referenced. Both Crispin Goldreich and Tonie Gall migrated into the ANA. After circumnavigating the galaxy Wilson and Anna Kime also joined the ANA. Mellanie is mentioned as having married Orion; and is an ancestor of Araminta. The Halgarths dynasty maintain Iaioud, an external world.
- The official Peter F. Hamilton website: www.peterfhamilton.co.uk
- The official publishers information page at PanMacmillan.com
- Review of The Dreaming Void at SFFWorld.com