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The Reality Dysfunction 1: Emergence (Night's Dawn #1, Part 1 of 2)

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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  4,573 ratings  ·  89 reviews
In the far future, humanity has divided into two diametrically opposed groups. The Edenists are genetically engineered space-dwellers with telepathic affinity for their biotechnological homes and ships. The Adamists, effectively the Luddites of the future, are willing to pioneer new worlds, much as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. The two groups, peopled by fasci ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Aspect
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Servius  Heiner
I actually rate this book as a 3 stars. I am a big fan of Hamilton’s. But I must admit that starting his books can be tedious. They read like a technical manual to start off with. Lots of 7000 kilometers this, and red dwarf that… This book was no different. It was like reading a Carl Sagan Cosmos transcript. (Which is cool and all but I would rather watch it on discovery). I didn’t even know what the plot was until about 130 pages into the book.
After all the explaining and details were finall
...more
Zachary Jernigan
One of a few annotations from my MFA program, circa 2009-2010, that I'm including here on Goodreads because I recently stumbled upon them. Note: I may not agree with some of these opinions anymore...

Having read my fair share of Golden-Age space opera and science fiction in general, I was quite surprised and disappointed with The Reality Dysfunction, a decade-old space opera with a solid reputation. I had rather high hopes, as Peter Hamilton is one of the most lauded authors writing in the “New S
...more
Bryan
Feb 15, 2011 Bryan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
"Mr. Hamilton, a comma is not a semicolon nor an em-dash."

(pullquote from the review below, serving as a title for this review)

An awful book that I dreaded more and more as I read it all those years ago.

How bad was this experience? I read it in 1997, and subsequently never read any other Peter F. Hamilton until December 2010. (Coincidentally, the recent story I read was in the anthology entitled The Good Stuff edited by Gardner Dozois.)

I hated the Reality Dysfunction, laboring through it simply
...more
Michael
The first Peter F Hamilton book I listened to was Fallen Dragon. A very good introduction to his way of storytelling.
I loved his Commonwealth Saga. To this day Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained are still my favourite space operas, the exploration of new and interesting ideas on an epic scale through the eyes of multiple protagonists, unputdownable.
The first part of the The Reality Dysfunction, Emergence, has finally become available as an audiobook. It reminds me a lot of the Commonwealth Saga.
...more
Bill
I knew going into this that this was not as much a three book series (each book was actually split into two for North American release), but more of a 3000 page story.
I also knew from some reviews that the first 130 pages were a major slogfest, and that once you were able to make it through there, it was clear sailing as far as the story went. That is very true, and I'm so glad that many people wrote that, otherwise there is no way I would have made it past 20 pages.

So, I did make it to about pa
...more
Zac
This is typical PFH with a cast of thousands approach, but we definitely focus on a central few - most notably (view spoiler) Josh Calvert. It's obviously only half of a book really, but it was certainly enjoyable. A strange mix of hyper technological hard sci-fi foiled with a couple of very non-technological planets - the frontier colonial Lalonde and the pastoral Norfolk.

I was a little surprised, but not particularly bothered by, the abundanc
...more
Paul Darcy
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
...more
Reinhold
Die Review zu Peter F. Hamilton's Armageddon-Zyklus stellt den Rezensenten vor einige Probleme. Nicht nur der Umfang von ca. 5800 Seiten, sondern auch die über 200 handelnden Personen der Story sprengen jeden üblichen Rahmen innerhalb der SF. Der Versuch, jeden Band einzeln zu rezensieren, wird durch den Umstand einer durchgehende Story zunichte gemacht. Deshalb darf und kann nur die gesamte Geschichte betrachtet werden, unabhängig von den inhaltlichen und stilistischen Höhen und Tiefen der einz ...more
Michael
I wonder if any of my friends have read this? Am soliciting opinions. I do like it and I'm almost finished with the fourth out of six - 500 to 600 page volumns that make up this story arc. The genre is a bit of a mash-up, with hard core Science-Fiction a core element, however, woven into that are other genre components including Alternate Realities, Horror, Fantasy, CyberPunk, Sentient Environments, Military, and so on.

This is the first time in a very long time where I have had to say to my sel
...more
Konstantinos
Not the easiest thing I've read. Hamilton is introducing people, planets, starships and technology almost every other page and sometimes he takes quite a bit to go back to them. There were several occasions where I was trying to remember what a name referred to. On the other hand, the story so far is compelling and he's build quite a remarkable world to set it in. I've already started on the second part ... Expansion which promises to pick up the pace.
StarMan
This is book 1 of a series that's available as 3 hardbacks, or split into 6 paperbacks.

Basic plot with no real spoilers (trust me, it would take pages to even begin to explain enough to give a real spoiler):

Something terrible is happening on the recently-established planet of Lalonde. Pure evil has found a stronghold in reality, and human Confederation is completely unprepared for how to deal with it.

Everyone has their own agenda: starship pilots, revenge-seekers, politicians, priests, monarchie
...more
Manuel
Ich habe es schon oft betont und auch jetzt findet es wieder Erwähnung: Seitdem ich zur Jahrtausendwende den Hyperion/Endymion Zyklus von Dan Simmons las, bin ich ein glühender Fan des "Space Opera" Formats - wenn auch meist nur um festzustellen, das bisher keine gelesene Reihe jenem Zyklus auch nur annähernd das Wasser reichen kann, wenn es um Ideenreichtum,Worldbuilding, Plot, Charaktere, Mystik und Atmosphäre und was auch immer geht. Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space Zyklus hielt zumindest a ...more
John Boettcher
I had no idea what to think going into this series. I went into Barnes and Noble and asked one of the workers to find me something "epic" to read. That was the only criteria I gave him. So he took me over and pointed me in Peter F. Hamilton's direction and I was off to the races. I have no idea how long it took me to read this book, or the next two that come after it, but it wasn't long enough even though all three book comprise about 3,000 pages in all, at least the American Mass Paperback vers ...more
Brie
Boring. That pretty much sums up this book for me. I just could not get into it. I sort of liked one character, but as I read further I didn't care about him anymore. And that means I didn't care about any character in this book. That would naturally make it hard to keep reading, so its no surprise that I read about 150 pages, and then skipped through the rest of the book. I wanted to find out (view spoiler) ...more
Jude
I have recently retread this book, simply because I kept comparing other science fiction to it. I think I enjoyed it more second time round than I did the first time. Peter Hamilton has constructed a universe that hangs together, that you an believe in, even if every detail may not be entirely scientifically plausible. The book is well written, he explains his concepts well and has constructed a universe that makes sense. There is a wide range of characters that Hamilton has brought convincingly ...more
Lee
I'm about halfway through this massive novel and it has ceased to become engaging; I'm resisting the urge to simply jump to the end. Ordinarily I enjoy lengthy novels, but this one is clearly in need of serious trimming: after about 200 pages, it becomes clear that the vast majority of the prose is superfluous dressing on a plot which doesn't make much sense to start with. The setting is presented well enough: the universe is vast, the technology is creative, and the characters are believable, i ...more
Samir
I started off annoyed at the author for two reasons. 1) He seems to go out of his way to add more characters, more details, and more... everything, just to frustrate me. 2) His target audience is apparently the 15-year-old male who thinks that yes, of course the future consists of nothing but nubile young women who can't WAIT to have no-strings relations with everyone they meet.

So yes, I was annoyed... but once I got over that, I started to notice that this book actually introduces several cool
...more
Ron
[I've read the entire series but this will be my only review.]

I would not recommended this book for younger readers due to disturbing levels of violence and horror imagery. But, if you're an adult fan of horror and science fiction this book is probably your "cup of meat."

On a newly settled colony world a weird accident opens a rift between our dimension and one in which bodiless dead souls wander, hungering for the sensory stimulation denied them. They tempt the living into becoming hosts with p
...more
Candy Wood
Aug 25, 2011 Candy Wood added it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
It's probably most accurate to say I enjoyed parts of this book more than others. When a bookseller recommended it to me, I couldn't resist a starship named the Lady Macbeth and a plot that was clearly going to involve utopian or dystopian views as well as questions about religion (with opposing factions called Edenists and Adamists). However, I'm not inclined to rush out and find Part 2, though I admit to some curiosity about how it all turns out. It takes most of Part 1 to bring the different ...more
Jesse
Jan 15, 2011 Jesse rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick Pohl
This is a very interesting start to this sci-fi series. Its a very intelligently thought out future world, and the future "what if"'s in the book are probably my favorite thing about it. The plot is intriguing, though this is the first book of many so it hasn't exactly gotten to the point yet. By the end of this book I can't decided if this is turning into a kind of Sci-fi horror story (at times there are some pretty brutal scenes and a plot element not unlike certain horror stories) or if it wi ...more
Dave
Good new-fashioned space opera stuff. It's got freaky tech, massive space ships, twisty heroes and turny plots. The book started a bit slow and it was only as I was one third way through (it's one tousand plus pages) that I realised it's part one of three. What is is with sci-fi and series. Puts the opera back in space-opera that's for sure.



But it's the bad-guys who are the star of the show. I won't go into it too much because like you I think spoilers suck-ass. Take it from me though the bad-gu
...more
Mike
Sep 05, 2010 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: SciFi combat, hard science fans
Recommended to Mike by: aggie_mike2003@yahoo.com
Shelves: scifi
Reread, finally found the sequel (actually part 2 of 6) and needed to refresh my memory. Hamilton writes so many characters and so much detail that it is hard to pick up the storyline after any length of time away.
(First post) Don't you just love the feeling when a book reaches out and grabs you...you can't put it down and you don't want to finish it too quickly. That is this book. Some really interesting scifi ideas such as biological engineering in many areas, how planet colonization might re
...more
Brian Burt
This is an incredibly vivid, well-imagined universe, and the science is compelling. My only complaints would be that: A) it is relentlessly dark, with a consistently dismal view of humanity; and B) it was hard to discern who the protagonist(s) really are. The characters are believable, and realistically flawed, but it was hard to figure out who we're cheering for as this story unfolds.
Stefanie
Mar 09, 2008 Stefanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of early Piers Anthony science fiction
Recommended to Stefanie by: Eric
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fergus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew
There are some good ideas in this, but the execution is a bit clumsy. Most of the characters are cliches and the psychological analysis of the characters is a bit juvenile. This is also a real snuff-fest. There's a lot gruesome death. In some ways, I can get over this; the author is relating very violent events. But, sometimes when an author chooses to kill 95% of the people the reader meets its seems more of a case of using the cheap tactic of bloodlust to keep the reader involved, and really, ...more
Karin
The Reality Disfunction, parts 1 and 2, are really one book, so it is hard to give a meaningful review on half a book. There are a lot of threads started and not all of them woven together. The main ones start to weave together, but there is no telling where the rest of the book goes.

To give you an idea of the threads (spoiler free), we have:

-A star-killing technology that never got used
-An energy being that likes to watch
-A sentient spaceship and its psychically bonded captain
-A extra-lucky Han
...more
Dave
I've read this whole trilogy twice before. With all the other volumes it comes out to over 3000 pages to get lost in. Let's see, for 12 year old girls there is a telepathic, sentient huge space-going... pony. For young boys there is the best Star Captain in the universe. Space Battles, Space Vampires. There is a colonize the planet part. A search for a doomsday device. Evil Cults, Galactic Empires and god knows what all. For all there are some nice naughty bits. It could be a huge genre-
mixing
...more
Iuliana Manea
Well, this book does have extensive passages with really technical descriptions, but the story is great! Peter F. Hamilton mixes more timelines and character stories, but does bring them together at a point, and this is what I expected.
I love the societies he describes - Adamists and Edenists - I like a lot the mixture of religion in SF & Fantasy books. Definitely I will keep on reading. More books from this series ahead :)
Joshua
This is space opera on an epic scale, with dozens of characters, hundreds of planets, universe-spanning plots, and settings that range from wooden huts and muddy villages to sentient starships and newborn suns. It's also the first part of a two-volume book that is itself the first book of a series. There's no question that there's a lot going on here (too much to even begin to detail the plot), but Hamilton handles it all with an ease reminiscent of E. E. "Doc" Smith. The best way to describe it ...more
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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.
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Other Books in the Series

Night's Dawn (3 books)
  • The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1)
  • The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn, #2)
  • The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)
Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1) The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1) Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga, #2) The Dreaming Void (Void, #1) The Evolutionary Void (Void, #3)

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