Good Reading : March 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING MARCH 2015 48 SCI-FI / FANTASY WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG The Chronicle of the Fallers 1: The Abyss Beyond Dreams Peter F Hamilton Peter F Hamilton returns to his Commonwealth Universe, at a time before the events of his earlier ‘Void’ trilogy. There are multiple story threads here, one of which introduces the monstrous aliens known as the Fallers in an almost horror-genre sequence whose resolution is not revealed until quite some (nailbiting) time later. The other key threads centre on Nigel Sheldon, the co-inventor of wormhole technology, who enters the inimical mini-universe known as the Void. He lands on the planet Bienvenido in an attempt to deal with events therein that threaten the existence of life everywhere. Bienvenido is populated by humans from stranded starships who are waging a seemingly never-ending war, defending against constant attack from the Fallers, who drop from the sky in the for m of eggs that absorb sentient life. This brings in the other key thread following Slvasta, a young soldier, who progresses from being a ‘grunt’ fighting on the front line against the Fallers to becoming a key player in planetary affairs after the corrupt government is overthrown. This is truly engrossing and thrilling hi-tech space opera; even better, it’s part of a duology, which will conclude in the upcoming The Night Without Stars. I cannot wait to see where Hamilton takes this story, especially as it has to dovetail into the aforementioned earlier trilogy. ★★★ Macmillan $32.99 Reviewed by Brooke Walker The Peripheral William Gibson This could be referred to as William Gibson’s ‘back to the future’ moment, in ter ms of the placing of the stories in this novel. The tale commences in a not too distant future, close enough to our own time that it allows the author to ease us into it gently via some semi-familiar memes, such as a small American town, returned and damaged war vets suffer ing PTSD and radical religious groups. Wal-Mart, however, has morphed into Hefty-Mart, 3D printing is commonplace for most items, and online game-playing is done not only for fun but also for income generation. In parallel there is another future, this time several decades further away. An apocalypse has wiped out most of the population, but the available technology may as well be equivalent to magic when compared to that of the first future. The two futures, however, are connected; when one of the protagonists from the first future witnesses a murder while test-flying a drone simulation in what she thought was a game, all hell breaks loose. It wasn’t a simulation – it was a real murder in the second future. This novel is a slow boil of a read, but as you get deeper into these dystopian timelines and your mind starts to sort out the complexities of slang, character, technology and place, you find that the pace increases until you are utterly immersed in Gibson’s world. ★★★ Viking $29.99 Reviewed by Brooke Walker The Chronicle of the Fallers 1: The Abyss Beyond Dreams Peter F Hamilton PPUniverse, at a time before the events of his earlier ‘Void’ trilogy. There are The Peripheral William Gibson TTto the future’ moment, in terms of the placing of the stories in this novel. The tale commences in a not too distant future, About William Gibson Born in 1948, American Canadian novelist William Gibson is credited with coining the term ‘cyberspace’, which appeared in his 1982 short story ‘Burning Chrome’. He also predicted the rise of reality television.