Book Review: The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton

Book one of the Night's Dawn Trilogy

The Nights Dawn Trilogy brings a new universe for Hamilton to write in with a large human confederation. Humanity is split into Adamists, who are enhanced by nanotechnology and computer implants, and Edenists, who use gene-engineering and affinity to communicate telepathically.

While an Edenist habitat research centre investigates what caused a race to destroy itself, on a new colony world (Lalonde) a psychopath is possessed by a human who has been stuck in limbo since he died and then uses pain and terror to possess others. The possessed can channel energy and quickly take over the whole planet, and start travelling to other planets via traders. Their energy makes electronic equipment fail, but the Edenist bitek isn't affected by them. The possessed want to transfer the world into another dimension, the red cloud they use to cover the view of the stars shows the Reality Dysfunction that helped destroy the old race.

The book is a bit too long (and the hardback extremely heavy), with splits between four different story lines, but flicking between them each chapter in the first part of the book is annoying until they start to converge and the style settles down a bit.

Title: The Reality Dysfunction
Author: Peter F Hamilton
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0330340328
Published Date: 1996
Pages: 955
Website: Peter F Hamilton

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Review by Paul Silver, 1998