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A Second Chance at Eden (Confederation Universe)

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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  3,500 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Acclaimed bestseller Peter Hamilton has taken the science fiction world by storm with his stunning, grand-scale epic: The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God. Now, with a collection of richly detailed original stories and short novels never before published in the U.S., Peter Hamilton spans more than five centuries in the future history of bite ...more
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Published November 1st 2000 by Aspect (first published October 1st 1998)
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Andy Goldman I would not read this first. It doesn't add anything essential to the understanding of the Night's Dawn trilogy. I think it is more interesting to…moreI would not read this first. It doesn't add anything essential to the understanding of the Night's Dawn trilogy. I think it is more interesting to read this after the trilogy to get some additional insights.(less)
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Community Reviews

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William
Apr 25, 2015 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, teens through adult. Highest praise.
Peter's Finest Work
This collection of one novella and six short stories is truly extraordinary, wonderful and marvellous.

1. Sonnie's Edge - a short tale - clever, visceral, courageous, and tragic.
2. A Second Chance at Eden - novella - an achingly beautiful vision of who we might be, a return to the garden, full of life and joy and humanity and magic, presented and stitched together through a murder mystery. A triumph. A joy. Beautiful.
3. New Days Old Times - a rending of the fabric of good peop
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Claudia
Another amazing piece of Hamilton's infinite imagination. Or better said 7 amazing pieces - 3 of them are directly related to the Night's Dawn series (through events or characters), the others are just set in the same universe.

Candy Buds was the seed from which emerged Night's Dawn, as Hamilton tells:

"During the early nineties I wrote several short stories centered around the affinity technology. They didn’t belong to any particular hard and fast version of future history, I was just intereste
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Matt Schiariti
Nov 15, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read and loved the Night's Dawn Trilogy (as well as Fallen Dragon and the Mandell trilogy) it was only natural that I wanted to read Hamilton's collection of short story 'prequels' set in the confederation universe; the same universe that sets the backdrop for the NDT.

A handful of short stories that spans about 500 or so years of history leading up to the Night's Dawn Trilogy, this book paints and interesting picture of the years leading up to the sci fi epic. We get to see the growing pa
...more
Robert
Aug 29, 2008 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, short-fiction
This collection of stories, one of which is a novel by 1960-1970s standards, is set in the universe of the bizarrely popular Night's Dawn Trilogy. All of the stories here are better than any of or all of the volumes in that trilogy. The novel is a murder-mystery, something that Hamilton does well. One of the stories features the crew of the Lady MacBeth,, familiar to all Night's Dawn readers. Other stories have disparate settings and themes and that is what makes this book much better than most ...more
Todd Campbell
Nov 08, 2014 Todd Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Six stories and a novella set in the Night's Dawn Trilogy universe. These stories prove that while Hamilton is a master of the 1200 page epics he can also write beautifully crafted short fiction. Recommended reading after finishing the Night's Dawn Trilogy.
Crusader
Jan 28, 2017 Crusader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2017-read
A captivating collection of short stories and novellas from the Confederation Universe. Very interesting to see how the concept of affinity and the impact on the culture changes and evolves over time. Hamilton plays expertly with science fiction tropes and twist and turns them in interesting, unusual ways without ever losing the human experience at its core.
Joakim Ruud
I first read this one when I was 20, and it doesn't hold up at all. Hamilton the literary cheat is firing on all cylinders here, inventing circumstances and actions and motivations all because they are necessary for the narrative, and never because they make a lick of sense to the characters involved.

There was one short story here that was more interesting than the rest, a kind of psychosexual drama on an isolated island that seemed poised to be a cool little treatise on the nature of personal
...more
Eve
Feb 23, 2009 Eve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A series of short stories set in the same universe as Hamilton's fabulous Reality Dysfunction story. Fills in some of the gaps in the background of this series. Enjoyable stories, some quite poignant, but definitely lacking the punch of the Reality Dysfunction tale. Space opera, to be sure, but Hamilton envisions not only changes in science but changes in people, biological and psychological, as they adapt to their new worlds. This is what makes him such as interesting author.
Mind Bridge
Jan 05, 2013 Mind Bridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of short stories aimed at providing the social and technological background of the The Night's Dawn trilogy. The stories stand well by themselves, although they are at different levels, thus I will provide my ratings for each one separately:

Sonnie's Edge: 3/5
An introductory story that indirectly describes the initial steps in the development of the bio technologies core to this fictional universe. As in most other stories, Sonnie's Edge applies the current human mentality and soci
...more
Lauren Donoho
This collection is a little uneven, and in keeping with that, it highlights all my most and least favorite things about Hamilton's writing - the sexism is a little more visible, the techno-exposition is a little more random, the world-building is a little more startling. All the stories in Second Chance at Eden are set in the same world as the Night's Dawn trilogy (Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist, Naked God), across a wide swathe of the future timeline.

The title novella is actually my
...more
Robert C.
Oct 20, 2012 Robert C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
So, I've had these massive doorstep sized books: the The Night's Dawn Trilogy sat in a box in the attic for the longest time and I really enjoyed Fallen Dragon, and I'm ahead on my quota of books read for the year, and so I thought to myself that I have enough bandwidth to work my way through this epic and not fall behind on my overall books read count. But then I realise that there are 2 companion volumes, this being one and The Confederation Handbook being the other.

I looked it up on the inter
...more
Andreas
Mar 27, 2011 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The trilogy itself consists of:

* The Reality Dysfunction
* The Neutronium Alchemist
* The Naked God

There are also two ancillary volumes:

* A Second Chance at Eden – short story collection
* The Confederation Handbook – reference volume

In the USA, each volume of the trilogy was published in two parts, as evidenced by the thumbnails.

The Night’s Dawn trilogy is a huge story spanning over 4000 pages, in truth one massive multi-volume novel. It tells of a great evil that befalls the otherwise mostly
...more
Andrew Couzens
Sep 01, 2015 Andrew Couzens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This being the first Confederation book – and, more to the point, the first Peter F. Hamilton book – that I have read, I went into it completely unable to see the significance of particular events, or the references to later stories. I do intend to read The Night's Dawn trilogy at some point in the near future, and it will be interesting to see how these short stories affect my reading experience of that trilogy. One of the things I really like in short stories of this kind is the ability of an ...more
Les
Oct 07, 2016 Les rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly superb collection of shorter works from an equally superb author. This is one of those books which took me a long time to getting round to reading. It's been literally sitting on my bookshelf alongside my other Peter F Hamilton volumes for a couple of years. Each story adds a little extra to the awesome spectacle that is the Night's Dawn trilogy, whether it's to further explain a particular facet of the Confederation universe, or to give background to a certain plot element. I was forced ...more
Jim DeMaiolo
Sep 14, 2016 Jim DeMaiolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about Peter F. Hamilton except that his stories are always entertaining and keep me turning pages.
Peter
Good short stories on their own, but better as background.: This is a series of short stories providing some background to the universe as it exists in the Night's Dawn Trilogy.

As with any collection, some are better than others, but for me those that cover the evolution of Affinity (a form of gene engineered group telepathy), and Bitek (Biological constructs) are particularly welcome.

To be honest, I would have preffered that the final part of the Dawn's night series had been published first, bu

...more
Maddalena
Feb 06, 2016 Maddalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This second "taste" of Peter F. Hamilton's short works was even more intriguing than the first, and since it introduces many of the elements of his massive novels - in particular the Night's Dawn trilogy - it encouraged me even more to take the jump or, as some of my fellow bloggers defined it, to overcome author intimidation.

A Second Chance at Eden is a collection of short stories, but the one that truly fascinated me is the one from which the book draws its title: once more I encountered a mur
...more
Clayton
Mar 28, 2011 Clayton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read the book primarily to compliment the reading of the Night's Dawn series. I have only read the Reality Dysfunction so far and wanted to see if I could fill in any backstory by reading this.

The stories in the book that I think matter are and would be perhaps useful reading for someone prior to jumping into the Reality Dysfunction:
- A Second Chance at Eden (backstory on the start of the Edenist culture)
- Escape Route (backstory of Josh's dad and his ship from the Reality Dysfunction)
- Candy
...more
Tejsweeta
May 18, 2015 Tejsweeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked it overall.

Its a collection of some short stories and a novella. Sci-fi stuff set in the next couple of centuries, mostly centering around a basic idea of an 'affinity bond' between two life forms.

The general sci fi stuff is there, colonizing new places, lot of bio tech, space travel etc, but what I really enjoyed was the way the stories were written. Loved the twist at the end of most of them, and liked the way the story would develop. What I didn't care for much was the very artificial
...more
Dan Stoner
Nov 04, 2012 Dan Stoner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Night's Dawn universe is so rich that Hamilton likely has an unlimited number of possible stories he can set there. This collection of stories is laid out chronologically with some of them taking place at key historic moments that eventually led to the complex universe where the novels are set. It was nice to meet important historic characters such as Wing-Tsit Chong and Marcus Calvert. I also enjoyed that some of the stories targeted the pivotal periods and cultural upheavals over developme ...more
Dave
Dec 29, 2013 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love short stories and this is a great collection. Set in the same universe as the Night's Dawn trilogy but before the start of that epic, these stories fill in the gaps between now and then.

Hamilton is an excellent genre writer, prone to writing fantastically complex space opera. When confined to the short story format most writers like to stick to a single point of view. But somehow Hamilton manages to evoke the feeling of a novel, with multiple points of view, into even some of his shortes
...more
Mike
Jul 02, 2016 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read an Peter F. Hamilton before so this was my first experience of his work and unfortunately it wasn't a good one. I don't know if this was because it is a collection of shorter works (relatively speaking) or that I "read" it as an audiobook. Certainly the person reading it wasn't the best, he seemed far too rushed and it was difficult working out which character was which. I was also disappointed because this type of science fiction is normally one I like.

May be I'll give him anoth
...more
Bryan
A set of short stories that flesh out the Confederation Universe. There are some weak stories in the middle ("Candy Buds", "Deathday", "New Days Old Times"), but the book is very much rescued by the superb title story, along with "The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa" and "Escape Route". I do think the Confederation well has probably run dry though after this collection (and indeed Hamilton has not revisited it in the 13 years since this book was published).
Tamahome
I've missed The Ham. The title short story is pretty good. I'm actually reading with the iphone app. It's a little confusing when characters talk to each other psychic-ly through 'affinity'. I have a feeling when the book was scanned in, some of the formatting was lost.

EDIT:
'Escape Route' is a pretty good space ship story, but I'm not sure I like how the captain escapes at the end.
Douglas
Apr 08, 2014 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never really been a fan of short story collections, as I am usually left with a feeling that the story isn't quite done. However, having read Hamilton's other books, it was interesting to get a different perspective on the Confederation Universe, especially "Second Chance At Eden". That lends itself to a 1000+ page novel in typical Hamilton tradition.
Janne Järvinen
Apr 22, 2013 Janne Järvinen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I read this collection to get a feel for Hamilton. It's a mixed bag. Most of the world ideas and plot devices are awesome, but some of the characters are a bit too nasty for my taste. It's a shame, really. I want to like this more, but can't help but feel disappointed, partly because it's so close to being really good.
Chip
Apr 13, 2010 Chip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good set of Hamilton 'universe' short stories. I would recommend to anyone who has read other Peter Hamilton books. Many provide some glimpses into technology and character's that appear in other books. I especially enjoyed the beginnings of the Edenists, as described in the story 'Jupiter 2090: A Second Chance at Eden".
Sheri
Oct 30, 2014 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamilton has written about this fictional future in some of his other works. This volume consists of 6 stories that provide some prequel/sequel info about the settings & characters in those other works. Yet each of these stories is also quite a nice "stand-alone."
Frank
Usually Peter F. Hamilton scores at least a 4 star... I had a really good time reading the novella, but I felt that the other short stories where to short :() ..... Peter is at his best when he at least can put in a 400 -500 pages .....
James Mason
Mar 30, 2016 James Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first short stories I've read by Hamilton and they just reinforced him as my favorite fiction author. He strikes the perfect balance between science, plot, characters, and setting for me. Space opera is my jam and Hamilton is my bread and butter.
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Peter F. Hamilton is a British science fiction author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide, making him Britain's biggest-selling science fiction author.
More about Peter F. Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Confederation Universe (5 books)
  • The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1)
  • The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn, #2)
  • The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)
  • The Confederation Handbook

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