The Reality Dysfunction is the first volume in the Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter Hamilton.
In the far future, humanity has divided along a single major line. The Edenists are genetically engineered space-dwellers with telepathic affinity to their biotechnological homes and ships. Adamists are effectively the Luddites of the future, willing to pioneer new worlds much as their ancestors did hundreds of years previously. The two clash on a primitive world called Lalonde, involving a huge cast of characters including a beautiful teenage girl who has inherited a vast technological empire; a freebooting adventurer in search of alien treasure; a renegade Edenist criminal; an alien race which observes human behavior; an ineffectual priest shocked by the world he has come to settle . . . and many, many more.
I've always had a weakness for books that has more resemblance too bricks than normal books - and Dysfunction full qualifies as a brick of a book at 1200+ pages - oh, yes and its only the first book in a trilogy (the name of the trilogy is Night's Dawn Trilogy).
Anyway - back to the book at hand: In some ways Dysfunction is a space soap opera of the old kind - star ships pressured to the limit, lots of lasers and other space age weapons and real heroes what acts on instinct and (nearly) always does the right thing. But it's also an idea book written as they did it in the golden age - Hamliton has lots of interesting ideas and he uses them to the limit. Dysfunction manages to keep a fast pace, all the way through with out slowing down - and I have no fears as to Hamilton's ability to keep up the pace for two more books.
What I like the best about this books is that Hamilton not only add alot of his own ideas, but he also uses a lot of old SF idea's in Dysfunction - idea's that has been a part of every SF-fans basic dreams about the future for a long time. And the good thing is that he does it extremely intelligently and seamlessly. It just all fits together!
(please note that this books is released in two seperat volumes in the USA)
Written on Saturday 1st January 2000 by TC.
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