Isn’t it time someone made a movie out of one of British science fiction author Peter F. Hamilton’s books? Or perhaps a TV series, considering what doorstop novels they all are . . .

Each time we here at the Sci-Fi Movie Page hear about the entertainment industry sinking millions of dollars into some bland literary property (a movie based on Terry Brook’s Sword of Shannara!) or a milked-to-death franchise (StarGate Universe!) we just shake our heads. And we wonder why no-one has yet made a movie, or better still, a television mini-series out of one of Peter F. Hamilton’s epic space opera books.

Peter F. who? Just Britain’s biggest-selling science fiction author: with the publication of his tenth novel in 2004 he had sold over two million copies worldwide. Hamilton made a splash in 1996 with the publication of The Reality Dysfunction. Clocking in at a whopping 1 120 pages it was just the first part of a trilogy consisting similar doorstoppers of a novel called The Night’s Dawn Trilogy. (Initially the first book in the trilogy was published in two separate volumes because it was so thick!)

But The Night’s Dawn was a big (and we mean BIG) epic space opera, a real page-turner about a distant future in which humankind is spread across the galaxy and in which for some reason the dead have come back to possess the living. Of course fighting the dead presents a problem because sooner or later we all die, so what’s the point then?

Night’s Dawn was followed by some more hefty space operas in the Iain M. Banks vein (except – dare we say it? – Hamilton is actually better, especially when it comes to some of Banks’ latest efforts). Hamilton’s latest book is The Temporal Void, book two of a trilogy named the Void trilogy. (The first book in the series was The Dreaming Void, published in 2007.)

"Is Hamilton better than Iain M. Banks? We certainly think so . . ."

The Void trilogy is in itself a loose sequel of sorts to the so-called Commonwealth Saga which (surprisingly) consists only of two novels, namely Pandora’s Chain and Judas Unchained. The Temporal Void is once again set in the far distant future of 3580 AD. Humanity has spread across over a thousand star systems and a powerful navy protects it from hostile species. Humanity has even overcome death.

But at the centre of the galaxy is the so-called Void, a strange artificial universe created by aliens billions of years ago, shrouded by an event horizon more deadly than any natural black hole. In order to function, the Void is however gradually consuming the mass of the galaxy and no-one can seem to stop it . . .

If you are a newbie, then don’t be intimidated by the sheer size of any of the novels in question and kick off with The Reality Dysfunction series of books. You won’t regret it: it’s an epic adventure with literally a cast of hundreds, and perfect undemanding holiday reading. If you have been following Hamilton’s books, then how does Temporal Void weigh up? It definitely won’t disappoint Hamilton fans that have been following his literary output for a while now. It may be slow to get started, but if you stick it out the book becomes the compulsive page-turner readers have come to expect from Hamilton.

Interestingly enough, the backbone of the novel is the interspersed dream sequences involving the youth Edeard who lives in a city inside the Void. It may be straight fantasy, but Hamilton illustrates how easily he has mastered this genre too. Does that mean that Hamilton will turn to Fantasy after completing the Void series? Let’s hope not. Science fiction needs a talented, populist writer like Hamilton. And besides, we like him just where he is, churning out thick space operas we lug along on holidays . . .


The Temporal Void (Hardcover)
by Peter F. Hamilton (Author)

Hardcover: 736 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (March 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0345496558
ISBN-13: 978-0345496553




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