THE VOID TRILOGY REREAD: THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID, PART ONE

11 July 2016

By Mark Chitty

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Tor UK is delighted to present the continuation of our VOID TRILOGY REREAD! In anticipation of Peter F. Hamilton's upcoming novel, NIGHT WITHOUT STARS (22nd September 2016), we will be posting one section a week for the next eleven weeks. To catch up on the reread posts for The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void, scroll down to the end of this page where you'll find all the links. If you're up to date - read on, for the first installment of The Evolutionary Void reread! This week we’ll be starting with events in the Commonwealth, while also visiting Justine and her exploits in the Void.

Chapter 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.

And so we start The Evolutionary Void! The Ship is making its way towards Sol, Neskia at the helm, and it comes to a stop outside of Earth’s sensor field. Inside the Ship is the Swarm, ready and waiting, and Neskia patiently awaits to hear from Ilanthe…


As the meeting of the ExoProtectorate Council ends Kazimir now has a job to do: launch the deterrence fleet. He contacts Paula to let her know, and she tells him of events on Hanko and Aaron’s next destination; the Spike. After this discussion Kazimir makes his way to one of Earth’s t-sphere stations before ANA Governance opens a restricted wormhole to Proxima Centauri – the location of the deterrence fleet.

“Are you ready?” ANA:Governance asked.

Kazimir gritted his teeth. “Do it.”

Kazimir transforms from a physical being into energy, similar to that of ANA, but with no fixed point. In this state he examines the functions available to him and chooses those weapon, shields, and FTL abilities he might need.

Kazimir launched from the unnamed planet, heading for the Ocisen fleet at a hundred light-years an hour. Then he accelerated.


The Delivery Man is on Fanallisto delivering a couple of cases for the Conservative faction, and he’s eager to get back to his family after the events of Justine’s last dream. After the job is done he receives a call from the Conservative faction telling him of the deterrence fleet deployment, and his stand on not taking any further jobs for them is understood. With news of the deterrence fleet launching he books on the first flight he can get to Earth.

…he’d be back in London in just over twenty-one hours.

That’ll be enough time. Surely?


We join Araminta as she is on a new world after leaving Viotia via the Silfen Path, and she’s realising that she should have thought more about what to wear and how to get food before making the journey. As he makes her way onwards she eventually comes to a planet where all she can see is desert, but there is some sort of food in the pool by the treeline, and she tucks in before putting her head down for some sleep. She awakes after a vague dream, one she realises was of Gore and Justine. She continues onward across the desert, not giving up despite the endless sand she can see. Her luck comes through and the sun rises to show her a different world, and one within the Commonwealth. Result!

To find this here in the middle of a desert, she’d been lucky. Very lucky.

Thank you, she told the Silfen Motherholme.

After climbing a hill she finds herself looking down onto a town, one where she can find some food and rest. Talking to a local couple to enquire about a hotel they ask if she’s been away long, which she doesn’t know, and they tell her where she can stay. They also let her know where she is: Chobamba, an External world. As she arrives at the hotel the man there, Ragnar, welcomes her:

“Been a while since we’ve had anyone walk in,” he said, stressing “walk.”

He shows her to a room and she promptly falls asleep…


Oscar and his team are assessing the situation after the Bodnant Park incident, with Araminta now nowhere to be found – or at least they know that Living Dream haven’t got her. They have tracked down Tandra, Araminta’s colleague from Nik’s, and arrive at her house, but their scans show someone with biononics is already inside. As they enter the house they discover just who that is:

“Hello, Oscar.” The Cat smiled. “Long time, no see. So what have you been up to for the last thousand years?”

Oscar knows that this Cat is from her secure backup before she was sent to Far Away during the Starflyer War, and not the one that founded the Knight’s Guardian. Oscar plays with cat, hinting that they were more than just acquaintances on that plane flight to Far Away, much to the Cat’s annoyance.

“You cannot screw with my mind.”

Oscar winked. “Already done the body.”

Oscar tells her that they will get the information together, then leave, and Martyn tells them that Araminta was there, but left after putting makeup on to disguise her features. And they didn’t know she was the Second Dreamer. The Cat then departs and leaves Oscar, Tomansio and Beckia in the house.

Tomansio put his hand on Oscar’s shoulder. “You know, you’re almost as crazy as she is. Er, you and her on the plane. Did that really …”

“A gentleman never tells,” Oscar said solemnly.

As they leave Oscar calls Paula to tell her that the Cat was there, and that they are now going to see Mr Bovey, and Paula tells him she’s on her way to Viotia.

“I thought I was doing this so you could keep a low profile.”

“That time is now officially over.”


Kazimir approaches the Ocisen fleet, keeping a communication link open to ANA, but nothing more so to avoid giving too much detail of the deterrence fleet’s capabilities away. He probes the Ocisen ships to discover they haven’t found any mystical post-physical technology to aid them, and the Prime ships only have the equivalent of Navy Capitol-class ships. None of this will pose him any problem.

The Prime ships were the observers, he decided. Presumably they wouldn’t expect him to be able to eliminate all thirty-seven of them simultaneously. Well, that was their first mistake.

He intercepts the Prime ship signals to discover that they are simply hosts to a human mind - Paula was right. With ANA concurring Kazimir he turns his attention to disabling the ships, their communications, hyperdrive, and weapons.

It took a second and a half for his aggressor functions to break down the hardware. Then he turned his attention to the Ocisens.

He then disables all weapon on the Ocisen ships, not leaving them with any way to build anything else while in transit.

Total elapsed time to nullify all two thousand eight hundred starships was eleven seconds, enough for them to realize something was starting to go wrong but denying them any response time. Not that they could have done anything against him even if they had known.

Once this is done he communicates with the Prime motiles, discovering that they host a stripped-down version of Chatfield’s personality, and completely dedicated to the Accelerators. He relays this to ANA, asking if it now has enough evidence.

“I do. The Accelerators have acted recklessly. In supporting the Ocisens and manipulating Living Dream, they have violated the principles under which I was established. I will convene a suspension conclave.”

He leaves the Ocisen ships as they are, knowing that once they realise just how useless they are they will not proceed. He also tells the Prime ships to stay where they are: Capitol-class ships will be with them shortly.

With that, Kazimir withdrew his manifested functions and headed back toward the Sol system.

Justine: Year 3 Reset

Justine awakes as she resets the Void, now back in space and with the Skylord approaching. Knowing she needs to be more direct, she asks to be taken to Querencia where humans lived.

“My kindred are not aware of any thoughts akin to your species anywhere in the universe. None are left.”

Justine tells the Skylord why she wants to go there, and describes it in further detail, and it agrees to take her there. It then accelerates, pulling the Silverbird in its wake.

“How long will it take for us to reach the solid world we’re traveling to?”

“Until we reach it.”

She almost smiled; it really was like talking to a five-year-old savant.

Justine discovers that it will be 37 Querencia years before they reach there – plenty of time to sleep! And that’s exactly what she does…

That’s the end of this first part of The Evolutionary Void reread, and we have an epic journey ahead! So, join me next time as we tackle Chapter Two and Inigo’s 16th Dream.

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To find out more about Peter F. Hamilton, visit his website or his official facebook page

THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS, the first book in a new Commonwealth series, published on 9th October 2014, and you can read an extract here

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NIGHT WITHOUT STARS, the gripping sequel to THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS, will be published on 22nd September 2016. 

Whilst you're waiting, check out the cover reveal post!

You can also catch up on the whole Void Trilogy Reread:

INTRODUCTION

THE DREAMING VOID - PART ONE

THE DREAMING VOID - PART TWO

THE DREAMING VOID - PART THREE

THE DREAMING VOID - RECAP

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART ONE

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART TWO

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART THREE

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FOUR

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FIVE

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SIX

THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SEVEN

THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART ONE

THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART TWO

THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART THREE

THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART FOUR