Peter F. Hamilton has been published by Macmillan for over twenty years now and in that time we’ve had several different looks for his covers, from the original iconic covers of the brilliant Jim Burns, through to the huge epic landscapes of Steve Stone. But this is science fiction – where would we be without some form of evolution?
Peter’s new book THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS is set in the Commonwealth Universe and comes chronologically between The Commonwealth saga and The Void trilogy.
We wanted to do something different with the new book. And revisit the Commonwealth series. They are such filmic, exciting adventures that we wanted a treatment to reflect that. We looked at several different forms of media for inspiration – games, comparable authors and films. Here are just some of the numerous images we looked at:
When I first saw the concept I was blown away. Since then, with Peter’s help, we’ve gone into detail with character descriptions, background action scenes and colour schemes. We’re hopeful that the cover will manage to capture the attention of that most elusive of creatures – the science fiction naysayer.
The difficulty with this genre has always been trying to persuade those cinema goers who are more than happy to watch the most recent Star Trek (and not just for Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Pine), or sit through the boxset of Battlestar Galactica or eagerly speculate about the new Christopher Nolan film Interstellar but then claim they never read science fiction. They have no idea what they’re missing out on – we wanted to show them!
Peter’s novels are epic, thrilling adventures following original and brilliant characters. His main protagonist Nigel Sheldon is every bit as sexy as anything Star Trek has to offer (sorry Benedict), the politics and character encounters are just as involved and explosive as a Game of Thrones plot and the action and pace is no less than any Matt Damon/Tom Cruise blockbuster.
Hopefully the new look will encourage all those who claim they don’t read science fiction to give it a go . . .
The US cover was revealed a few months ago and they've gone with this rather stunning look.
And this is the UK version by Larry Rostant.
THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS
When images of a lost civilization are 'dreamed' by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void – a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities. With it being the greatest threat to the known universe, Nigel is committed to finding out what really lies within the Void and if there’s any truth to the visions they’ve received. Does human life really exist inside its boundary?
But when Nigel crash lands inside the Void, on a planet he didn't even know existed, he finds so much more than he expected. Bienvenido: a world populated by the ancestors of survivors from Commonwealth colony ships that disappeared centuries ago. Since then they've been fighting an increasingly desperate battle against the Fallers, a space-born predator artificially evolved to conquer worlds. Their sole purpose is to commit genocide against every species they encounter. With their powerful telepathic lure – that tempts any who stray across their path to a slow and painful death – they are by far the greatest threat to humanity’s continued existence on this planet.
But Nigel soon realizes that the Fallers also hold the key to something he'd never hoped to find – the destruction of the Void itself. If only he can survive long enough to work out how to use it . .
We were all thrilled with it, as was Peter who said: ‘This is exactly the kind of image I’ve been wanting on the books, a stylish design incorporating character with the kind of dramatic starscape my stories are associated with’. Hope you love it as much as we do. Click to read an extract from The Abyss Beyond Dreams.
And if that's not enough excitement for one day - how much more can there possibly be I hear you ask? Here are Peter's tour dates for book signings across the UK later this year. Subject to change. It's BIG!
Peter F Hamilton UK tour dates
Wednesday 8th October
12.30pm Waterstones Guildford
71-73 High Street, Guildford GU1 3DY
Contact the store for more info 01483 536366
7pm Foyles Charing Cross Road
113-119 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0EB
For more info visit www.foyles.co.uk/events
Thursday 9th October
1pm Waterstones Swindon
25/26 Brunel Plaza, Brunel Shopping Centre, Swindon SN1 1ND
Contact the store for more info 01793 436465
5.45pm Forbidden Planet Bristol
Clifton Heights Triangle West, Bristol BS8 1EJ
Contact the store for more info 0117 929 7767
8pm Toppings Bath
The Paragon, Bath, Somerset BA1 5LS
Contact the store for more info 01225 428111
Friday 10th October
12pm Waterstones Milton Keynes
Unit 72, Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes MK9 3GA
Contact the store for more info 01908 395384
7pm Oxford Blackwells
50 Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BQ
Contact the store for more info 01865 792792
Saturday 11th October
12pm Waterstones Birmingham
24-26 High St, Birmingham B4 7SL
Contact the store for more info 0121 633 4353
4pm Waterstones Nottingham Bridlesmith Gate
1/5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham NG1 2GR
Contact the store for more info 0115 9470069
Monday 13th October
2pm Waterstones Manchester Trafford Centre
42 Regent Crescent, Trafford Centre, Barton Dock Road, Manchester
Contact the store for more info 0161 749 8623
6.30pm Waterstones Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Contact the store for more info 0151 709 9820
Tuesday 14th October
12.30pm Waterstones Sheffield Orchard Square
24-26 Orchard Square, Sheffield S1 2FB
Contact the store for more info 0114 272 8971
7pm Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5JS
Contact the store for more info 0113 244 4588
Wednesday 15th October
1pm Waterstones Newcastle
Emerson Chambers, Blackett Street, Newcastle NE1 7JF
Contact the store for more info 0191 261 7757
7pm Waterstones York
15 Coney Street, York YO1 9QL
Contact the store for more info 01904 620784
Thursday 16th October
7.30pm Toppings Ely
9 High Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4LJ
Contact the store for more info 01353 645005
Friday 17 October
1pm Waterstones Colchester
12-13 High Street, Colchester CO1 1DA
Contact the store for more info 01206 561307
7.30pm Waterstones Norwich
11-17 Castle Street, Norwich NR2 1PB
Contact the store for more info 01603 767292
Thursday 6th November
6pm Waterstones Edinburgh West End
128 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AD
Contact the store for more info 0131 226 2666
Friday 7th November
12.30pm Waterstones Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
153-157 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3EW
Contact the store for more info 0141 332 9105