Peter F. Hamilton's new novel, Night Without Stars, is out now! The sequel to Abyss Beyond Dreams, it is a 'thrilling, multi-viewpoint ride' (Guardian) that 'roars relentlessly along in utterly mesmerizing style, with edge-of-the-seat plotting, thrilling action, and knife-edge tension' (Kirkus). We asked Peter five questions about the book to get you excited . . .
1. What is your short ‘elevator pitch’ for Night Without Stars?
A nineteen fifties society in the far future, under attack by cannibal aliens.
2. Night Without Stars is a far-future novel, set some time after The Abyss Beyond Dreams. However, the society is somewhat comparable to the mid-20th century. Did you have any specific reasons for this?
I wanted to kill the whole nostalgia-for-the-rosy-past lie that so many politicians peddle these days. I enjoyed showing how limited and unfair that era actually was for the majority.
3. Your latest novel is again set in your Commonwealth universe. But how does the Chronicle of the Fallers duology fit into this? Do you think it stands alone, or is it part of a greater whole?
The Duology certainly can be read on its own. However . . . you would probably get more out of it by reading the other Commonwealth books first.
4. You are so well known for your epic Space Opera novels, so how different was it approaching a series set primarily on one planet?
I can't write space-based fiction every time, setting this mostly on a single world and focussing on the problems generated by (essentially) a fallen human society was the right way to tell this story. It gave me the opportunity to show the need for progress, both technologically and politically, that allows the human race to flourish.
5. You’ve said that you don’t have any plans to return to the Commonwealth universe, or certainly not for a while. So how did it feel to finish Night Without Stars, knowing you were bidding goodbye to eight novels and fourteen years of work?
Half relief, half regret. But after exploring the Commonwealth for so long, with only one break to write Great North Road, it is certainly time to move on. After I've finished the new trilogy I may go back.
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You’ve tackled many subjects and ideas across your novels. Was there anything specific you wanted to do this time around that you haven’t done before?
Examining the 'threat' on a more personal/individual level, and the effect this has on people and the way they behave under extreme stress.