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Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy

I'm just back from a short and enjoyable break in Brixham, Devon, ready to crack on with finishing Bardo, part 3 or Transformation.

I didn't entirely slack while I was away – I finished off the middle chapter of Bardo, which is the longest one so far at just over 3,800 words. On first draft, I'm calling it the gobbledegook chapter. I managed to restrain myself and only used the word 'quantum' once. 'Universe', 'Substrate' and 'Consciousness' were a little overused, unfortunately. It's going to take a bit of trimming and clarification in the second draft, but I'll see what spontaneously emerges elsewhere first.

I'd previously discussed my realisation that the story of Transformation had evolved beyond the events of my seminal novel, The Stream, so that for reasons entirely organic to the story itself it had developed some unplanned resonances with Bob Shaw's terrific Palace of Eternity.

While I was writing this middle chapter of Bardo, I realised that there is also an argument that there are resonances with Peter F. Hamilton's epic Night's Dawn trilogy – The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God.

I think there's a much weaker link here. Yes, the concept of what happens after death is a theme, although unlike Night's Dawn, it's not the primary story. It's more of a background that justifies some of the narrative. Having thought of the link, the more I considered it, the less convincing it became. The nature of the 'afterlife' is entirely different between the novels and plays a different role.

It's a bit like saying that because there's a spaceship in my novel, it's the same as Star Wars. Yeah, I know, that's a crap analogy, but hope it vaguely illustrates the point.

I remember reading the Night's Dawn trilogy (the first books I'd read by Hamilton) on a holiday to Barbados. The humungous paperbacks (over 1,200 pages each, with the covers as above) took up a lot of space in my suitcase, and all fell apart in the heat. The adhesive in the spines seemed to dry out and crack, and the pages fell out as I read them, but it didn't stop me finishing and enjoying them to an extent. They were massively ambitious in scope, but personally felt it was slightly over-ambitious in the telling, with the sheer volume of characters, not all of which were that interesting, swamping the story a little. But maybe that's just me.

I've enjoyed many of Peter F. Hamilton's other works much more, especially the Greg Mandel books and the Commonwealth-based novels. Always brimming with great ideas and some fascinating characters,

As an aside, I also planned out in much more detail what's going to happen in Apocrypha, part 2 of Transformation while I was away. I'll be back with some more information on that in a separate post once I've finished Bardo.

Right, enough procrastination, on with the last chapter. Or maybe watch some cricket. Decisions...

[Update] Managed to write while watching cricket. We lost :( But half chapter written :)

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