Saturday, August 27, 2005
Science Fiction Book Review: The Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence
Every once in a while I love to sink my teeth into something epic - metaphorically speaking of course. Although I did bite Margaret Atwood’s "Bodily Harm" and toss it across the room one day - but that is another tale and I have never bitten another book since. Of course I have never read another Margaret Atwood book since either - shudder . . .
Anyway, this book by Peter F. Hamilton, was exactly what I was looking for in a huge, huge, huge epic galactic science fiction novel - beginning. And yes, it is only part 1 or 6. In the UK these books were first released in three volumes only but for US and Canadian consumption (we must have shorter attention spans, or this was done to squeeze extra coins from our pockets) it was released in 6 parts.
So on to the review of Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence. What I will say right off is after a couple hundred pages you know you are in for something huge (as if you couldn’t already guess from part one being almost 600 pages) and the world as set up by Peter is quite interesting. The main actions take place either on the planet Lalonde or up in the vastness of space. And of course an extinct highly-advanced race, the Laymil, have left a vast mystery behind - the mystery of their sudden demise long, long ago . . .
Peter does a great job of linking the many threads in the story together and by the end of the first volume you literally know that the fan has been liberally splattered with dung. And you have to keep in mind that this is only part one of six, and actually only the first half of what was originally one book so you are kind of stuck in limbo, but wanting to find out more.
Not a really hard read in terms of ideas or plot, but well executed and looking promising at this stage of the game. Not having read the entire series - yet - I can’t speak for all six volumes as a whole, but so far I am going to continue to read. If you are up for a lot of pages and a galactic epic, this is a good place to start.
Oh, and it’s not a Star Trek ripoff either. And nothing at all like an Atwood novel - absolutely nothing.