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Manhattan in Reverse

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,117 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
A collection of short stories. It takes us on a journey from a murder mystery in an alternative Oxford in the 1800s to a story featuring Paula Mayo, Deputy Director of the Intersolar Commonwealth's Serious Crimes Directorate.
Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by MacMillan Hardback Omes
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I am a massive fan of Hamilton's work, and this was the last of his book I hadn't read - I'm now at 100%, huzzah!

My favourite series was the Night's Dawn trilogy - epic space opera meets demonic possession (including living spaceships and Al Capone) - it's awesome! That series is sort of early-era Hamilton, and he released his first short-story collection (A Second Chance at Eden) dipping into that world, or written around that time (with similar inspirations).

This is the second short story coll
May 19, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, short-fiction
The best material Hamilton has written has all been less than 400p long and some of the very best less than 100p. This volume continues to show this "quality is inversely proportional to length" phenomenon in his writing to be true, with a couple of his best ever tales showing up here.

It's unfortunate for me that both of my favourites in this volume were stories I had come across elsewhere. One is the kind of SF-detective genre mash-up that is both Hamilton's most uniquely distinctive writing tr
Apr 27, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
This book is a collection of 7 short stories by Peter F. Hamilton, with three of the stories taking place in the same universe as the Commonwealth Saga and Void Trilogy books, the rest being stand alone in some fashion.

In a slight change, I’m going to review each of the stories as I go (even though at this point I’m nearly finished with the whole book), and base my rating on an average.

“Watching Trees Grow” – The first story deals with a murder mystery set in an alternate history where Rome ne
Kat  Hooper
I’ve been meaning to read Peter F. Hamilton for years. I own a few of his books, but I haven’t read them yet. If you’re familiar with Hamilton, I’ll bet you know why. His books are HUGE, and most of them are part of a series. Every time I look at them on my shelf, they scream “MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT,” so there they stay. Thus, I was pleased to come across Manhattan in Reverse, a slim and inviting collection of seven stories by Peter F. Hamilton:

“Watching Trees Grow” — This novella was originally
Oct 20, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
I've been a Peter F Hamilton fan for a long time, in fact the reason I read sci-fi nowadays is because of Pandora's Star. The last collection of short stories by Peter F Hamilton was A Second Chance at Eden released way back in the late 90's, but it was a collection of Confederation exclusive stories based on his Night's Dawn universe. On hearing about this new collection I was rather excited, hoping to see all of the stories that he's written since then. Aside from one glaring omission this is ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2016
This is a collection of short fiction. It's a relatively small collection, only seven pieces in total, most of them were relatively short and then there were three somewhat longer novellas. I've wanted to try reading Peter F. Hamilton for awhile, since he's a very popular and well regarded SF author. However I've always been a bit put off by the length of his novels, I just wasn't ready to commit to reading a trilogy where each individual book is around 1000 pages long! Therefore I thought this ...more
Todd Campbell
Jul 07, 2015 Todd Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of short stories that shows again that Hamilton is just as accomplished in the shorter form as the epic, long form. Recommended.
This collection and I got along fine for the first 80%. I picked it up because it seemed like an easier way to try Hamilton without commiting to one of his doorstops. This was a mistake, since most of the collection is tie-ins to his cifi universes, and without that knowledge they're pretty limp. I did like "Watching Trees Grow," the one about the alt universe Roman semi-immortal who uses progressive technology to solve a troubling murder over the course of several centuries. Cool, if obvious, m ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Tamahome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera
This short story collection is available on audio (not anymore??) and ebook, but doesn't seem to be in US stores in print yet (came and gone I think).

I read the title story (40 pages?), which features Paula Myo from the Commonwealth universe. (She is genetically engineered to fight crime. I'm a sucker for chicks that kick ass.) Kind of a Western mystery on another planet. Not the most thrilling in the world, but a pretty good story. The title actually has a more special meaning than I expected.
Karen Mardahl
Dec 24, 2013 Karen Mardahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked "Manhattan in Reverse". It's all thanks to the first story, "Watching Trees Grow". I had the book recommended to me, noticed it was short stories, and really did not investigate it much more. I just started reading it. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained immediately by a story that opens in 1832, but slowly mentions things that did not exist in 1832. Cars? I remember thinking about looking that up on Wikipedia, I was so taken by the natural way it was mentioned. ...more
Dec 24, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before we get started properly, just take a look at that page count.

No, that’s not a misprint.

Peter’s latest book is about a third to a quarter of the size of his usual blockbusting tome. This is Peter’s second short story collection, the first being A Second Chance At Eden in 1998.

As Peter says in his Introduction, ‘I’m not the most prolific of short story writers’, and this does show here, but the good news is that what we lose in length we gain in a little more variety.

There are seven stori
Jun 19, 2013 Freya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first foray into Peter F. Hamilton's books and part of my attempted wanderings into science fiction. I enjoyed reading this and I think the stories featuring Paula Myo are my favourite, however they were all interesting. Some of the stories focus on where the technological advancements lead mankind and elements of humanity which either stubbornly persist or disappear as humans evolve their ways of thinking with time and each advance, some being totally in favour of constant progress a ...more
Rewan Tremethick
Nov 06, 2014 Rewan Tremethick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first foray into the writing of Peter F. Hamilton, and following this experience I can definitely say I'll be reading more of him in the future.

My favourite story by far is the first one in the book, 'Watching Trees Grow', which follows a murder solved over the course of several centuries as more evidence comes to light.

I love the thematic undertones present in all the stories of what makes us human, and the idea that our obsession with technology is driving us to leave parts of ours
Jul 23, 2012 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
PeterF.Hamilton is not an author known for writing small stories. Most of his novels are big enough to make young maidens blush and old women cackle inappropriately. In fact, what are the dimensions of an average Hamilton book, Eddie?

50 feet high, 30 feet long, 20 feet deep, and other measurements as well

Thanks, Eddie. Here are some interesting facts, interesting-fact fans. In 2009 PeterF.Hamilton's writing made up 10% of the books I read but almost 30% of the pages. For every ten books I read that year, one of them was written by Hamilton, but for every ten pages I
For an author with a reputation for writing very long novels it is maybe appropriate that the two longest stories in this short story collection were the best in it. Watching Trees Grow (which I'd read before many years ago) packs a lot of world-building into 80-odd pages and has an interesting premise (a murder investigation taking centuries with the investigator using newly invented technologies to go back to look at the case), although the characterisation was a bit flat and some aspects of t ...more
Manhattan in Reverse is the original story by Peter Hamilton that ends and names his upcoming collection - I read all the other stories from the collection as they were published across the years and most are awesome - and I liked it quite a lot.

Another Paula Myo outing, this time set more as a puzzle on a world in a rush development after the end of the war in Judas Unchained; not her typical case, but despite her war heroics, Paula Myo finds herself quite unpopular after prosecuting successful
Jan 27, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories by Peter F. Hamilton. I especially enjoyed the last two as they were Paula Myo stories. She is one of my favorite Commonwealth characters. I recommend this book to all Peter F. Hamilton fans.
Oct 17, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short story collection contains mostly previously published material, among others the stellar “Watching Trees Grow“, which it was a pleasure to re-read. There are three more standalones, one of which is a very short vignette. The last three stories are set in the Confederation Universe, with the two longer ones featuring investigator extraordinaire Paula Myo. (The third is Blessed by an Angel.) Myo is a very interesting character and could easily be the protagonist of a novel two of her ow ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the first thing I've read of Hamilton's so I don't know if the ideas in this collection are typical of his work, but it was a nice variety. Certainly compelling enough to allow me to tune out obnoxious conversations on the bus. I have inferred from other reviews that Paula Myo is a character from other novels, and I look forward to spending more time with her.
I am never sure how much I find a library e-book loan compelling vs. feeling pressured to finish a book in 21 days (which is very
Sep 03, 2014 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was a very enjoyable collection of science fiction. In terms of how 'hard' the science was (I gather this is a big thing in sci-fi these days, the 'hardness'...) I think it rates pretty well; there was a decent amount of description of the science behind many of the processes. In terms of characters and plots it was very good to excellent.

I have always found it very difficult to review short story collections because I feel as though one should be reviewing the stories each on its own merit
Simon Ford
Apr 13, 2015 Simon Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant little book.
well little by Hamiltons normal output.
I just loved all the tales far more than Second Chance at Eden.

WATCHING TREES GROW, utterly brilliant, the Roman Empire still around and well advanced in this alternate reality, a good detective, murder mystery that takes two centuries to solve. Would love to see a full novel set in this universe.

FOOTVOTE, ok I guess, a brave new world awaits those that are willing to abandon the old ways, a father kidnapping his kids to a plane
M.G. Mason
Jul 04, 2015 M.G. Mason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've waited a long time to read anything by one of the new masters of sci-fi and of British sci-fi. I purchased this collection of short stories several years ago; around the same time, I also purchased The Reality Dysfunction which I hope to read soon. This will be a review of Hamilton's working style as much as it will be a review of the stories.

The problem I often have with short stories, especially in the sci-fi genre, is often that they are not long enough and try to cram too much informati
Mar 19, 2012 Chip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Bought this on heavy sale in e-form from Amazon. Worth the $3 or so I paid, but that's it. Have read and enjoyed some of Hamilton's longer works, but this collection was disappointing - the (few) stories were at best average. Comparable to Bujold's Protozoa, which I also just read - and that was a collection of her very first (some unpublished) short fiction.
Jan 03, 2016 Lucie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave it as a christmas present but ended up reading it myself as well :D. A collection of (not so) short sci-fi stories, each practically so full of ideas and inventions that it could easily stand alone as a book. When it comes to illustrating all the implications of "what if" deriving from our history or all the consequences of a new invention in the future, Hamilton is truly the best. Personally, I liked the stories "Watching Trees Grow" (What if most people had longer life spans and you cou ...more
Johan Haneveld
Pretty good collection of SF-stories. I haven't yet read his longer works (I have one in my book case to read later this year). I did like the first story, because of it's long term vision, and a nice detective plot. I also quite liked the last story of the collection ('Manhattan in reverse'), that is a good story in the old tradition of SF, with strange biology (Always fun), and some interesting plot reversals in the end, with something to say about our society as well. The stories in between w ...more
Steven Grimm
Mar 22, 2015 Steven Grimm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, kindle
Kind of a mixed bag. The two Paula Myo stories are the most entertaining of the bunch; most of the rest were good enough to keep me reading but didn't have the kinds of strong endings that this kind of story format really needs, and lacked the strong world-building that I love about Hamilton's longer work.
Oct 25, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I'd read any of his other books, its definitely not a stand alone read. Having said that, it was my very first foray into sci-fi, and its given me confidence to read more of it.
Steve Wasling
Mar 28, 2014 Steve Wasling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent short story collection from Mr Hamilton, including several that take place between Judas Unchained and the Void Trilogy. These reinforce the idea that I prefer the world(s) of the first two commonwealth books to the far future portrayed in the trilogy.

My favourite, however, has to be Watching Trees Grow, which concerns a murder case being investigated by someone who is effectively immortal. This take takes place in alternate reality over a rather long period of time. The world in this
James Cox
Aug 28, 2015 James Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories that I really enjoyed. Each one had an interest plot and good characters.
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Goodreads Librari...: Merge 3 book pages 1 19 Oct 18, 2011 04:31AM  
  • Zima Blue and Other Stories
  • The Departure (Owner Trilogy, #1)
  • Final Days
  • The New Space Opera 2: All-new stories of science fiction adventure
  • Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction
  • The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity's Fire, #2)
  • The Causal Angel (Jean le Flambeur, #3)
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.
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“The penalty for a long life is increasing resistance to change.” 2 likes
“[sic] his reaction was a sign of civilization. Nobody reaches for a gun anymore, just for his lawyer.” 0 likes
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