Peter F. Hamilton

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Peter F. Hamilton

Postby Keith » Sat May 29, 2010 10:04 am

(First in a series of posts on SF authors I like.)

Peter F. Hamilton is a British science fiction author whose books are mostly a mixture of space opera and espionage, with relatively high attention to scientific detail (usually with a lot of fictional ideas/technologies, but portrayed consistently) and worldbuilding (no bumpy-forehead aliens here, and an increasing focus on future human societies). I find his books to be a good compromise between empty-headed stuff-blowing-up space opera and more cerebral hard science fiction that can sometimes be a bit dry. (Two authors who toe this line a bit close to the hard sci-fi end of the spectrum are Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds, who I'll do separate threads for.) He's also an author who, unlike some, has clearly improved with increased popularity in his later books - in particular, he used to re-use the same character concepts a lot, but has created a lot more multi-dimensional characters lately.

His works include:

-The Greg Mandel books, three detective/espionage technothrillers about a psychic detective in a near-future Britain.
-The Night's Dawn trilogy, a space opera series about the dead possessing people in a futuristic setting and the resulting conflict (it's better than it sounds, honest, though its ending isn't that great - the first book, which is more horror-focused, is arguably the best part).
-Fallen Dragon, a standalone novel about a soldier working for a megacorporation. This novel is particularly interesting for its concept that interstellar travel and colonization might not be economically viable (megacorporations basically have to engage in piracy to turn a profit).
-The Confederation duology, space opera about a conflict between humanity and a none-too-pleasant alien race who were imprisoned in their own star system until humanity disturbed it. Again, better than it sounds: the society of the Confederation is very interesting, e.g. they don't use spaceships, just wormhole gateways (like Stargate), so people travel between planets by train. A sequel series, the Void trilogy, is now being produced.

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