The Evolutionary Void (Void Trilogy Series #3)

The Evolutionary Void (Void Trilogy Series #3)

by Peter F. Hamilton

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345496584
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Void Trilogy Series , #3
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 192,891
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous novels, including The Temporal Void, The Dreaming Void, Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, Fallen Dragon, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God). He lives with his family in England.

Read an Excerpt

ONE

The starship had no name; it didn't have a serial number or even a marque. Only one of its kind had ever been built. As no more would ever be required, no designation was needed; it was simply the ship.

It streaked through the substructure of spacetime at fifty-nine light-years an hour, the fastest anything built by humans had ever traveled. Navigation at that awesome velocity was by quantum interstice similarity interpretation, which determined the relative location of mass in the real universe beyond. This alleviated the use of crude hysradar or any other sensor that might possibly be detected. The extremely sophisticated ultradrive that powered it might have reached even greater speeds if a considerable fraction of its phenomenal energy hadn't been used for fluctuation suppression. That meant there was no telltale distortion amid the quantum fields to betray its position to other starships that might wish to hunt it.

As well as its formidable stealth ability, the ship was big, a fat ovoid over six hundred meters long and two hundred meters across at the center. But its real advantage came from its armaments; there were weapons on board that could knock out a half a dozen Commonwealth Navy Capital-class ships while barely stirring out of standby mode. The weapons had been verified only once: the ship had flown over ten thousand light-years from the Greater Commonwealth to test them so as to avoid detection. For millennia to come, primitive alien civilizations in that section of the galaxy would worship as gods the colorful nebulae expanding across the interstellar wastes.

Even now, sitting in the ship's clean hemispherical cabin with the flight path imagery playing quietly in her exovision, Neskia remembered with a little shiver of excitement and apprehension the stars splitting asunder. It had been one thing to run the clandestine fabrication station for the Accelerator Faction, dispatching ships and equipment to various agents and representatives. That was easy, cold machinery functioning with a precision she could take pride in. But seeing the weapons active was slightly different. She'd felt a level of perturbation she hadn't known in over two centuries, ever since she became Higher and began her inward migration. Not that she questioned her belief in the Accelerators; it was just the sheer potency of the weapons that struck her at some primitive level that could never be fully exorcised from the human psyche. She was awed by the power of what she alone commanded.

Other elements of her animal past had been erased quietly and effectively: first with biononics and acceptance of Higher cultural philosophy, culminating in her embrace of Accelerator Faction tenets, then by committing to a subtle rejection of her existing body form, as if to emphasize her new beliefs. Her skin now was a shimmering metallic gray, the epidermal cells imbued with a contemporary semiorganic fiber that established itself in perfect symbiosis. The face that had caused many a man to turn in admiration when she was younger now wore a more efficient, flatter profile, with big saucer eyes biononically modified to look across a multitude of spectra. Her neck also had been stretched, its increased flexibility allowing her head much greater maneuverability. Underneath the gently shimmering skin her muscles had been strengthened to a level that would allow her to keep up with a terrestrial panther on its kill run, and that was before biononic augmentation kicked in.

However, it was her mind that had undergone the greatest evolution. She'd stopped short of bioneural profiling simply because she didn't need any genetic reinforcement to her beliefs. "Worship" was a crude term for thought processes, but she was certainly devoted to her cause. She had dedicated herself completely to the Accelerators at a fully emotional level. The old human concerns and biological imperatives simply didn't affect her anymore; her intellect was involved solely with the faction and its goal. For the past fifty years their projects and plans had been all that triggered her satisfaction and suffering. Her integration was total; she was the epitome of Accelerator values. That was why she'd been chosen to fly the ship by the faction leader, Ilanthe, on this mission. That, and that alone, made her content.

The ship began to slow as it approached the coordinate Neskia had supplied to the smartcore. Speed ebbed away until it hung inertly in transdimensional suspension while her navigation display showed the Sol system twenty-three light-years away. The distance was comfortable. They were outside the comprehensive sensor mesh surrounding humanity's birthworld, yet she could be there in less than thirty minutes.

Neskia ordered the smartcore to run a passive scan. Other than interstellar dust and the odd frozen comet, there was no detectable mass within three light-years. Certainly there were no ships. However, the scan picked up a tiny specific anomaly, which caused her to smile in tight satisfaction. All around the ship ultradrives were holding themselves in transdimensional suspension, undetectable except for that one deliberate signal. You had to know what to search for to find it, and nobody would be looking for anything out here, let alone ultradrives. The ship confirmed there were eight thousand of the machines holding position as they awaited instructions. Neskia established a communication link to them and ran a swift function check. The Swarm was ready.

She settled down to wait for Ilanthe's next call.



The ExoProtectorate Council meeting ended, and Kazimir canceled the link to the perceptual conference room. He was alone in his office atop Pentagon II, with nowhere to go. The deterrence fleet had to be launched; there was no question of that now. Nothing else could deal with the approaching Ocisen Empire armada without an unacceptable loss of life on both sides. And if news that the Ocisens were backed up by Prime warships leaked out . . . Which it would. Ilanthe would see to that.

No choice.

He straightened the recalcitrant silver braid collar on his dress uniform one last time as he walked over to the sweeping window and looked down on the lush parkland of Babuyan Atoll. A gentle radiance was shining down on it, emitted from the crystal dome curving overhead. Even so, he could still see Icalanise's misty crescent through the ersatz dawn. The sight was one he'd seen countless times during his tenure. He'd always taken it for granted; now he wondered if he'd ever see it again. For a true military man the thought wasn't unusual; in fact, it was quite a proud pedigree.

His u-shadow opened a link to Paula. "We're deploying the deterrence fleet against the Ocisens," he told her.

"Oh, dear. I take it the last capture mission didn't work, then."

"No. The Prime ship exploded when we took it out of hyperspace."

"Damn. Suicide isn't part of the Prime's psychological makeup."

"You know that and I know that. ANA:Governance knows that, too, of course, but as always it needs proof, not circumstantial evidence."

"Are you going with the fleet?"

Kazimir couldn't help but smile at the question. If only you knew. "Yes. I'm going with the fleet."

"Good luck. I want you to try and turn this against her. They'll be out there watching. Any chance you can detect them first?"

"We'll certainly try." He squinted at the industrial stations circling around High Angel, a slim sparkling silver bracelet against the starfield. "I heard about Ellezelin."

"Yeah. Digby didn't have any options. ANA is sending a forensic team. If they can work out what Chatfield was carrying, we might be able to haul the Accelerators into court before you reach the Ocisens."

"I don't think so. But I have some news for you."

"Yes?"

"The Lindau has left the Hanko system."

"Where is it heading?"

"That's the interesting thing. As far as I can make out, they're flying to the Spike."

"The Spike? Are you sure?"

"That's a projection of their current course. It's held steady for seven hours now."

"But that . . . No."

"Why not?" Kazimir asked, obscurely amused by the investigator's reaction.

"I simply don't believe that Ozzie would intervene in the Commonwealth again, not like this. And he'd certainly never employ someone like Aaron."

"Okay, I'll grant you that one. But there are other humans in the Spike."

"Yes, there are. Care to name one?"

Kazimir gave up. "So what's Ozzie's connection?"

"I can't think."

"The Lindau isn't flying as fast as it's capable of. It probably got damaged on Hanko. You could easily get to the Spike ahead of them or even intercept."

"Tempting, but I'm not going to risk it. I've wasted far too much time on my personal obsession already. I can't risk another wild-goose chase at this point."

"All right. Well, I'm going to be occupied for the next few days. If it's a real emergency, you can contact me."

"Thank you. My priority now has got to be securing the Second Dreamer."

"Good luck with that."

"And you, Kazimir. Godspeed."

"Thank you." He remained by the window for several seconds after he'd closed the link to Paula, then activated his biononic field interface function, which meshed with the navy's T-sphere. He teleported to the wormhole terminus orbiting outside the gigantic alien arkship and through that emerged into the Kerensk terminus. One more teleport jump, and he was inside Hevelius Island, one of Earth's T-sphere stations, floating seventy kilometers above the South Pacific.

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"The author's mastery of the art of the 'big story' earns him a place among the leading authors of dynastic sf." —-Library Journal

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The Evolutionary Void 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 159 reviews.
PaulLizer More than 1 year ago
This series spans three novels and takes you on a wonderful journy through the universe that Hamilton created. I really enjoyed this series. Space opera and drama at its finest. Even after 1200+ pages across the three books Hamilton ties up all loose ends and finishes the trilogy in a satisfying manner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pays homage to the great novelists of the past but stays original.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Having become known as the Second Dreamer, Araminta fears everyone hunts her for their own purpose. She believes some want her dead and others want to use her; both for the same reason; her ability to provide a path into the timeless Void where many believe Eden exists while other think pandemic destruction will occur. Ilanthe of the Accelerator Faction and the Living Dream cult want to control the gateway, which is Araminta so they can enter the Void. Others like Government Agent Myo search for Araminta fearing what she might unleash as the Void demands incredible energy from outside to feed it. Meanwhile Edeard the Waterwalker has fooled with time judiciously (in his mind that is) for his people, but his dreams that connect to the First Dreamer Inigo turn darker as he grieves loss caused by his maneuvers. Inigo via Edeard and Araminta via herself must make choices that will determine much of what is to come inside and outside the Void. This is an extremely complex and somewhat convoluted science fiction thriller as the intensity and tautness mount towards a showdown that could alter the universe. With an underlying concept that even when the monumental universe is at stake, the fully developed key cast members bring personal agendas and plenty of baggage whether they are heroic or malevolent. Although, one must read the previous two books in the Void trilogy (see The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void) to dive into the Void finale entry, fans of the saga will relish the entertaining ending. Harriet Klausner
Guide2 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Good conclusion to the series. The first part (3/4) of the book was very entertaining will all the storyline converging finally, but the ending was a bit underwhelming.
closedmouth on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Basically like all his books! Grips you by the throat for 99% of its length and then kinda peters out at the end, with half the character arcs ending up essentially unresolved. And it sucks me in every time. The lead-up to the anti-climax is always worth the disappointment.
topps on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Closes off this trilogy nicely. Explains well why the city acts the way that it does.
PortiaLong on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I seem to be hitting a run of reading books that are 3rd in a series before reading the others. Initially I was disconcerted by all of the "new" ideas thrown about in the beginning chapters. Soon enough, though, I was caught up enough in the story to overcome my initial objection. Definitely interested in reading the earlier works in the series.
ChrisRiesbeck on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This third and final entry in the Void trilogy resolves as many of the plot threads as I could remember, but really has no other point that I can see. This is hardcore old-fashioned space opera (smashing planets, exploding galaxies) mixed with Clarke's Third Law ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.") The few human characters in earlier books (Araminta, Edeard) are reduced to comic book superheros by now. There's not a lot a reader can do with magic running the show except watch. Things just happen because they can. Paragraphs and paragraphs whiz by with sizzling energy beams and magic confluences and whatever. The Michael Bay approach to science fiction. Yawn. I quite liked the Edeard sections of the first book, grew concerned at how things developed in the 2nd, and the best I can say about the third is that things didn't get substantially worse.
gregandlarry on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Epic conclusion to an epic story.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Yes, if you've read the other books in this series, you will want to read this. (That would be, five, four, or two books depending on how you want to split them.) Yes, the Void series, if you haven't started it yet, is worth the time as a whole.Hamilton delivers in fusing, thematically and plotwise, the worlds inside and outside the Void. All secrets from the earlier books (except, perhaps, the Cat's exact origins) are revealed including some mysteries brought up in this book.Araminta continues her struggle with the Living Dream movement as its putative prophet. The demoralizing vision of Inigio's last dream is revealed. Gore and Delivery Man seek alien technology. Ozzie shows up with his weird girlfriend. Aaron's personality continues to deteriorate until we get a wonderful combat sequence told from the point of view of his emergency automatic personality. The rest of the characters continue their spying, sabotaging, fighting, law enforcing ways. New crises emerge. The fate of the galaxy is still at stake. And we get to meet a very old, very cunning survivor of our time.Most importantly a prime theme of this series - should sentient species evolve by chance or deliberation (and, if so, by what sort of technology) and the spillover effects on those who don't approve of the chosen evolutionary methods or goals -- continues. And not just with the struggle of human factions but the Anomine, an alien race that faced a similar quandary.But, at the end, the Void doesn't completely satisfy.Hamilton, in other series, is a talented writer of exciting, technologically interesting, detailed combat sequences. Here, though, the many space combat sequences, with their talk of force fields and quantumbusters, really aren't very interesting, seem too much like a modern updating of E.E "Doc" Smith's blasters and force fields.Hamilton has often had a supernatural or fantasy flavor to his work - the returned dead from the Night's Dawn trilogy or the dragon in Fallen Dragon. However, this series, with its religion based on dream revelation, Eduard's world of wish fulfillment, and a plot that features several versions of heaven and transcendence, isn't helped by its vague concluding descriptions of the Void and the purpose of its Heart - and the moral and psychological qualities necessary to talk to it.Finally, this is a universe in which some of material of drama is inherently missing. Specifically, death has lost a lot of its sting through computer uploads, the resets possible in Eduard's world, and re-lifing. Hamilton's ending seems too pat, too devoid of any real tragedy or cost paid - particularly when Eduard is allowed to do something, to exploit a feature of the Void, we have been told is a reason to reject that alien menace.
markg80 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
After the dreary and dull part 2 of this trilogy, I was hesitant to read this book. But I shouldn't have been, the dull parts of part 2 (the too numerous dreams of Inigo) were less present in this book. Add some high-tech SF stuff (blowing up moons etc) and some laughter (the Lady, haha), and this book is the best of the trilogy. The only drawback (for me), was that I've read the previous part in May 2009. So after (almost) 2 years I kinda forgot about all the characters and plots. It took me a while before I recognized all the stuff I've forgotten about.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Ive enjoyed the entire Void series. The problem with these things is that they often start with promise but fail to deliver a decent ending. Cough.. matrix cough cough. This 3rd entry in the series does exactly what it's designed to do, give us a solid satisfying ending. This is not a standalone and you will need toread the first 2 entries before this one, but if you stick with it you'll be rewarded handsomely.
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mgotts More than 1 year ago
Great fun, like all of Hamilton's stuff. The only downside is that I don't want it to be over. The massive length of his books emphasize the journey over the destination. He weaves an extraordinary number of characters, times, locations, technologies and ideas into his work. I've learned to slow down while reading his stuff and try to picture in detail what is going on. No rush. You need patience, but are rewarded for giving it. It may take hundreds of pages to finally be introduced to all (most) of the major characters. I'm only a modest fan of fantasy, but the dreams from the void turned out to be some of my favorite parts of the series. I'd love to see Hamilton's work turned into a movie series, though I doubt any budget short of that for Lord of the Rings could do it justice.
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