I wouldn't try another audiobook. The audio did not resume where I left off so I would hear the same portion over again. I still don't know what the plot or story line is supposed to be.
No, I like science fiction and fantasy. This particular book seemed to be written in the past and the future. Some of the future aspects were interesting and other aspects seemed to pick up OLD earth science.
Given a well written book, he would be fine to listen to.
I will be more selective when choosing a long book by listening to a recap first.
Enjoy the adventure
As “The Dreaming Void” ends, a voice rang out, “Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program”. I certainly did. The book follows two storylines; one includes cool futuristic tech and the other includes fantasy genre magical powers. Both have several action filled moments that tempt listeners to stay up late or sneak listens during the day. The two stories are interesting and linked.
A slow start and the large number of characters were my only negatives.
It was difficult to pick my favorite technology, but finally settled on “multiples”. In the distant future, people can purchase multiple selves and is based on the thought “If only there were more of me, I could get more done”. Each self is connected by a common mind and thus know what the other selves are doing. If I had that technology, I could be in 3 places at one time, and if I could afford more me’s, I could be in 9 places at once. I could get into a lot of trouble.
Only rarely does one come across a novel with such simultaneous scope and imagination to realize the true potential of a science fiction universe. Hamilton has done just that in the Void Trilogy. Since beginning this series I have come to understand that it is a continuation of another series, the commonwealth saga. Having begun the Void Trilogy unaware, I can safely say that one can start at either point and still understand. This trilogy follows many characters that are, at first, almost entirely separate from one another so there will be initial confusion due to the style but it abates partway through the first book.
The Void Trilogy strikes me as an incredible compendium of transhumanist possibilities. Hamilton imagines so many different ways for people to transcend their natural station. There are the usual trademarks; bodies populated by nanomachines that lend near magic abilities for strength, utility, medical assistance, etc.; bodies that have been guided by artificial genetic evolution to exemplify the human ideal; minds spliced with computers. But Hamilton has taken some of these to fascinating extremes while coming up with very original ideas in other ways (which is to say, I haven't encountered them anywhere else yet).
The people who have chosen to invest their minds in computers have varying stages of integration from linking up with a vast internet within their own bodies to shedding their physical form and living in a virtual reality with others of their kind where their intellect is vastly inflated by some immense quantum supercomputer that is described as existing in a field around a planet (if I was paying attention). And Hamilton even throws in other species that have completely transcended physical existence altogether for good measure. My personal favorite imagining of his is that of the "multiples", which are many bodies invested with the same personality! While cloning and mind-swapping are scifi hallmarks I have never seen someone put them together in quite this manner before. It certainly had some interesting social implications.
All that alone would make this book well worth the read/listen but Hamilton's true genius is in his ability to take all of those disparate evolutionary pathways and fit them into a single, cohesive universe. I wouldn't have thought it possible that such a wide range of human archetypes with their wildly differing abilities and natures could coexist but Hamilton really does fit them together in a way that feels genuinely believable. It is a truly remarkable achievement.
In fact, Hamilton does such a wonderful job of setting up this diversity of transhumanist factions that I found myself wondering at all the paths he noticeably left out. There is an almost shocking lack of wholly artificial bodies. There are also no people living in non-human bodies, which one would expect to be an inevitable faction with the sort of biomedical technology available. And that is what this book does, it makes you wonder about the future of technology and the impact it will have on people's lives both practically and philosophically the way all great scifi does.
Among the dazzling breadth of ideas and inspiration floating around in this intellectual playground there is also an epic tale unraveling within the even more epic universe. There are something like 8 different characters that the reader will follow. Each of these have their own story and their own environment. At the start, there seems very little tying them together but as events unfold it becomes more and more clear that they are all entangled in the same web of conspiracy and politics that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe. In fact, Hamilton's universe is so vast that it actually has another universe inside it that is consuming the larger universe... Yeah, it gets pretty nuts but in a good way ;)
All of that said, I haven't even given away any real spoilers. This is an epic in the truest sense. The characters are unique and heavily developed. The story is gripping, mysterious, and masterfully woven together. The backdrop is the likes of which I've never seen before. If you haven't picked this one up, I can't recommend it enough. Enjoy! :D
Oh, and the narrator does not get in the way except when he simulates yelling while trying not to actually yell. In those instances the character voices become very warped, especially the female voices. He distinguishes well enough under normal conditions though and his voice is easy to listen to.
This is my introduction to Mr. Hamilton, and I couldn't be happier with the book and his writing. He accomplishes a fine balance between exposition and pace, exposing the information needed to understand the world of the story but not getting lost in endless detail. You won't understand everything within the world the first time it is discussed, but don't worry, your understanding will build each time it is discussed. Just let yourself become part of the story, and you'll understand everything in time.
The narrator has an excellent voice and does accents very well, but doesn't have a broad range of voices to differentiate characters. Since Mr. Hamilton doesn't waste time with "he said," "she said," after every comment, many times I found myself unsure who was speaking. A wider range of voices would have helped.
I highly recommend The Dreaming Void, and I am now downloading book 2.
I like how it's two books in one and figuring out how the fantasy story relates to the "outside" SciFi story.
The characters are interesting and likable. Enough good and bad things happen to them that they are believable and engaging.
The author must be from Britain and it's amusing to see the number of (probably unintentional) quaint references when these characters in the far future do something that's common there but not elsewhere. Their many cups of tea being only the most obvious.
The variations on "one body, one consciousness" are very clever and really make the reader think. Well done!
I only review my more favorites here.
It gets better with each audible chapter. It helped to go online to see a list of all the characters to get them straight but wow - Aarons drive, Corrie-Lyn's attitude, Oscar and Paula’s meeting, Araminta is importantly cool and wild. I am sold on this author and this story arc. Can’t wait for more and to understand more about Edeard. As good as any Al Reynolds book - and that is a compliment from me.
Improve decriptions of the world/universe.
Not rely on quick laugh but develop character better
Ronda Del Boccio, Award Winning Author
The audio performance was fine. I thought this would be a good book, but I just could not bring myself to finish it.
No it hasn't.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I first thought that Peter Hamilton built vast, complicated, and incredibly detailed, universes for his stories, and then introduced you to multiple main characters in those universes... But I have come to realize that's not exactly accurate. Peter Hamilton's style, and "Gift", is introducing you to several complex and disparate personalities at the start of a new series, in such a way that you grow to feel you "know" them. As you follow the character's lives, you come to know about each one's small part of the universe through them. As the story progresses, the small parts of the universe begin to merge as the characters lives begin to intersect, and you steadily build up a larger, and more detailed, image of the universe as a whole.
The Universe Hamilton builds feels as if it has real depth because you've seen all of the wildly different aspects of it through the characters... from slums, to backward worlds, to the mansions and "Toys" and Hobbies of the Mega-Rich, to alien cultures that in no way think as humans do, to downloaded personalities that live even more extravagant lives in the machine world (shaping the lives of others in the new universe they've created there) even while shaping events in the physical world... and on and on and on...
The old saw about an author "weaving a story" is so overused that it's often nothing more than a cliche... But Hamilton really does "weave his stories". You can't help seeing the entire story being built up this way as each individual thread crosses another.
I've seen it said that Hamilton's books "start off a little slow" (inevitably followed by, "but the action begins to build and then doesn't slack off!") , but when you already expect to learn about several new characters at the start of each series, it no longer seems "Slow to start". You realize that the action builds because you learn more about the lives of each character, become interested in those lives, and begin to care what happens to each one (You'll always have a favorite you like to follow more than others, as well as one you don't like following). Can action be "intense" if you don't care about those being affected by it?
The technology you see being used is described to the point where you easily see it in your mind's eye, but not so descriptive as to be tedious. The wildly impossible seems possible, or even common-place. Clothing laced with an energy field that seems to leave wisps of energy curling behind, like wisps of smoke, as a character walks... You can SEE that type of thing in your mind. The universe is so detailed that you even realize you know the current clothing style being worn in parts of it (I don't even know the current styles most of the time in real life ;)
...I have come to just assume that each of Hamilton's books that I buy will suck me in and lead me through his latest universe, constantly causing my imagination to work overtime, and often doing so for well over 20 hours per book! That's what I call "always getting my money's worth"!