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Peter F Hamilton interview in the Guardian today September 24, 2008

Posted by taryn in space opera.
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Check out Master of his universe, an interview by the Guardian on Peter F Hamilton (you can also listen to the podcast). Choice quote:

“Um, to somebody who has never ever read it [science fiction] before I would suggest I’m not your best first choice,” he says disarmingly. Then he relents slightly. “If you’ve enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, you should love my stuff,” he says. And if you like whodunnits, he can recommend the Greg Mandel sci-fi/detective series that made his name.

As do I. I recently really loved The Dreaming Void and this is a pretty good summary:

The void in question is at the heart of the Commonwealth, our universe in the 34th century. Alien races have been discovered, but life is still mostly a story of human struggle. Humans are stratified into highers, who have abandoned their bodies altogether to pursue an enlightened, mostly bodyless existence, and others who have thwarted ageing with genetic manipulation. But the biggest conflict has been created by the void at the centre of the universe. Based on the dreams of a messianic figure, a new religion has sprung up theorising that paradise can be found in this void. A pilgrimage is launched, but other human and alien factions take the more rational view that journeying into the void will trigger a “devourment phase”, in which the void will swallow the entire universe.

Love this quote:

“The hyperdrive is a black box with a button on that you press and it takes you where you want to go. Do not open the box and try to describe the circuitry inside. That’s the basic rule in science fiction.”

There is an interesting comment on religion in sci fi

“The whole point of science fiction is that you explore the effect of ideas on a society,” says Hamilton.

Marianne de Pierres – Dark Space January 9, 2008

Posted by taryn in best books ever, space opera.
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This is a fabulous book by a great author – Marianne de Pierres. If you like any of the Parrish Plessis novels you will enjoy this one. It’s very different from the Parrish Plessis world, but like those novels rich in its details, its culture and technology.

This is a riverting space opera with an italian edge. Capisce! Politics, action, masses of strange aliens and a good dose of sci-fi theory make it a fast-paced and intelligent read.

Amazon’s synopsis is not bad:

“While drifting in space, lost, due to navigational failure, a mineral scout discovers God. When word gets out, academics from the studiums across Orion scramble to gain the Entity’s favour. However, not all the sentients of Orion hold this ‘god’ in awe – some, like the philosophers of Scolar and the Transhuman’s of Extropy are deeply suspicious. Onto the grand stage of inter-planetary academic politics, intellectual conceit and dubious theology walks Baronessa Mira Fedor. Her planet has been torn apart by the invasion of a race of giant tardigrades. Only the Orion League of Sentient Species can lend aid, but OLOSS are preoccupied with communicating with god. Mira, together with the larrikin, misogynist Jo-Jo Rasterovich, is left to her own resources to find help. In doing so she unmasks a galaxy-size intrigue. But will she live long enough to tell anyone…? ”

She’s done an interesting trailer for Dark Space. But, it doesn’t really give any teasers for the book’s plot at all…

She also has a very cool website, great illustrated design.