cover image The Abyss Beyond Dreams

The Abyss Beyond Dreams

Peter F. Hamilton . Del Rey, $30 (640p) ISBN 978-0-345-54719-4

In this opener to a two-book series, Hamilton delivers a gripping, inventive chapter in his Commonwealth saga. In the year 3326 (just over 200 years before the events of The Dreaming Void), Commonwealth co-founder Nigel Sheldon, a major presence with a minor role in previous books, travels into the enigmatic, galaxy-consuming universe-within-a-universe known as the Void. He inadvertently lands on the planet Bienvenido, where an unambiguously Marxist revolution is on the verge of erupting. Bienvenido is a vigorously rendered world of limited technology, ruled by an entrenched and corrupt aristocracy. Its human inhabitants use telepathy and telekinesis as easily as words, and they live in constant fear of the Fallers, another species trapped within the Void. While discovering how both humans and Fallers came to be within the Void, Nigel manipulates Slvasta, the passionate young idealist leading the revolution, to gain the power necessary to destroy it. Hamilton deftly manages the huge cast while gradually unveiling revelations; his mastery of his intricately constructed Commonwealth universe is mesmerizing. (Oct.)