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A Second Chance at Eden [Paperback]

Peter F. Hamilton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 July 2005

SONNIE’S EDGE. The popular sport of ‘beastie-baiting’ involves contests to the death between artificial monsters controlled via human affinity bonds. Sonnie’s team is particularly successful... but then her monster, ‘Khanivore’, has one special advantage.

A SECOND CHANCE AT EDEN. A bitek habitat which orbits Jupiter, mining the fusion fuel on which Earth is dependent, Eden is a mini-nation of radical politics -- and even more radical technology. Then its creator is murdered in full view of the whole population, but nobody can identify the perpetrator -- or the motive.

NEW DAYS OLD TIMES. Settlers came to the planet Nyvan hoping for a lifestyle free of Earthbound hatreds. Alas, though environments may change, human nature does not.

CANDY BUDS. The crime-lord Laurus rules Kariwak with an iron fist, jealously guarding control of the bitek trade. But when an astonishing new substance appears on the streets, virtual reality takes on an entirely new dimension.

DEATHDAY. On a desolate planet, a man wages an obsessive campaign of retribution against the last survivor of an alien race. But vengeance can cut both ways.

THE LIVES AND LOVES OF TIARELLA ROSA. A passion that spans two generations of women... and endures beyond.

ESCAPE ROUTE. The starship LADY MACBETH encounters a long-abandoned alien spacecraft, with its escape route still intact -- but leading where? And is the craft as empty as it seems?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; First Edition & printing in this form edition (15 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330351826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330351829
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water with his family. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small-press publications. His work includes the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy - which established him as Britain's bestselling writer of science fiction - and his critically acclaimed Void novels: The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void and The Evolutionary Void. His novels and his handbook (a vital guide to the Night's Dawn trilogy) have sold almost two million copies worldwide.

Product Description

Amazon Review

This is Hamilton's first collection of short stories (including one novella), set in the same universe as the bestselling Night's Dawn trilogy. Actually, as Hamilton himself admits, the original versions of these stories had nothing to do with Night's Dawn, but he has used the opportunity of this collection to tweak (or almost completely rewrite) all his earlier works and bring them in line. This process seems to affect most sci-fi novelists at some point in their careers and is probably a cathartic milestone in the transition from new SF author to bestselling author.

The collection is chronological in sequence, starting with the early days when affinity is a cutting edge technology and taking the reader through it's rapid development as it forms a fundamental part of civilisation. For die-hard enthusiasts of Night's Dawn, "Escape Route" tells the intriguing story of the last flight of Joshua Calvert's father and his spacecraft, Lady Macbeth. And the novella "A Second Chance at Eden" is Hamilton's attempt at revenge; apparently when he wrote his second novel A Quantum Murder, too many of his friends solved the mystery and identified the murderer--this time he throws down the gauntlet to stunning effect. For fans or novices, this collection offers a diverse selection, all under-pinned by Hamilton's attention to detail and skill in storytelling. --Dave Mutton

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water. His previous novels are the Greg Mandel series and the bestselling 'Night’s Dawn' trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. Also published by Macmillan (and Pan) is A Second Chance at Eden, a novella and six short stories, and The Confederation Handbook, a vital guide to the ‘Night’s Dawn' trilogy. His most recent novels were Fallen Dragon, Misspent Youth and Pandora's Star.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pick and Mix 3 Feb 2004
There is not really a lot to add to what other reviewers have written - the stories are great and well written, (although perhaps not quite as well polished as Night's Dawn) and the characterisation is generally good: this is true of both those we might term heroes and those who could be villains, although in many places this becomes blurred. This is one of the best points, all the characters are human, with a mix of traits not just virtuously angelic or evilly demonic. Another good feature of this anthology, is that each story is truly distinct and individual. There are one or two links to the main work (Night's Dawn) but each story in Second Chance is written in slightly different styles and focuses on slightly different things, giving a full range between "Alien" at one extreme and "Caves of Steel" at the other.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This anthology provides an excellent introduction to Hamilton if you have never read him before. In particular, since it is set in the "Night's Dawn" universe it is a good taster for anyone comtemplating reading the trilogy.
All the stories are good. Well written original plots with good characterisation and (usually) a satisfying twist in the tail.
"A Second Chance at Eden" is a sci-fi whodunnit posing an Asimov style problem: In a world where every action by every person is observed and recorded by an omnipresent computer, how do you commit the perfect murder? Unlike Hamilton's other whodunnit (Quantum Murder) the solution is suprising and unguessable.
"Candy Buds" reads like a future fairy tale until you come to the nasty twist at the end. And what more intriguing puzzle could there be than the abandoned alien space ship in "Escape Route"?
Hamilton demonstrates in this book that he is a worthy successor to the best of the "golden age" hard SF writers (clarke, asimov, heinlein etc)- no fantasy sorcerers or spells here. He combines new ideas and speculative technology with good characterisation typical of the best of contemporary writing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of short fiction 23 Aug 2009
In the mid-21st Century a brilliant geneticist named Wing-Tsit Chong creates the affinity gene. When spliced into human beings, it allows them to control bonded servitor animals with total accuracy. Humans fitted with the gene can also communicate with one another using the gene, which creates an effect similar to the old, mythical idea of telepathy. The affinity gene revolutionises science, and when combined with the growing industry of biological technology -bitek - it seems to promise a brighter, less technologically and materially-focused future for the human race. In 2090 the Jovian Sky Power Corporation begins mining helium-3 from the atmosphere of Jupiter and builds abitek space station, Eden, as a cheap alternative to a traditional but expensive hollowed-out asteroid habitat. Eden is given its own neural strata and its sentient mind can communicate with all of its inhabitants, and all of them with one another, forming the ultimateutopian society.

But change is hard for some to accept. The Reunified Christian Church is deeply concerned about the implications of bitek and affinity, for with the immediate reassurance of thousands of other human minds to any crisis or problem, people grow up better-adjusted and in less need of psychological reassurance. In short, they grow up with no need for faith in what cannot be seen or known. And that is a danger that no religion can ignore.

Spanning 530 years of history, the six short stories and the title novella that make up A Second Chance at Eden chronicle humanity's first faltering steps into space, the colonisation of other worlds and the huge schism along ideological and religious grounds that splits the human race in two, theAdamists and Edenists.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 15 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This is a wonderful collection of science fiction short stories. Each story is based on a good idea and the writing runs smoothly like a fresh little creek in the mountains. The characters are believable and mostly likeable. Thanks, Peter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 1 Jun 2001
Second Chance is a complementary book of 6 short stories and 1 novella (Second Chance At Eden) set in the same time line as Hamiltons Nights Dawn Triology. Before I comment on the book I'd like to point out that you really should read The Reality Dysfunction and Neutronium Alchemist first before picking up Second Chance, to get a feel for the story and time line. You MUST read Second Chance BEFORE reading The Naked God, you'll see why after reading Naked God - there are a few events in Second Chance that were an epithany to me in hindsight, orgasmic if you figure it all out for yourself.
All the stories cover strong themes, with pleanty of sub-text to develop the story and keep you guessing all the time (a talent endemic to all Hamilton's work).
Probably the best stories featured are New Days Old Times - the end is stunning and surprisingly emotional considering you've only had a little while to relate to the characters. A Second Chance At Eden, Escape Route and The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa. The rich prose immerses you in Hamiltons universe, let you're mind wander and you're walking through Eden; servitor chimps scuttling by- the detail is truely phenominal, without becomming superflous and utterly boring - anyone who has ever read Kes will know what I mean.
The dialogue is spot on, although a little strong at times - this is an adult book and not really suitable for children. Those who have read the trilogy will understand what I'm trying to say.
Read it, thats all I can say. You really will be missing out if you dont have a copy of The Nights Dawn and Second Chance on your bookshelves
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad series of short stories.
Not bad series of short stories.
Some are confusing, luckily short; others are pretty darn good.
Not a killer read; but interesting. Read more
Published 26 days ago by CjW
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British science fiction writer in decades
I really enjoy Peter Hamilton's books - and this one was no exception. I can imagine that he could write great poetry because along with a rich and engrossing ability to write... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sylvia merritt
3.0 out of 5 stars shorts
The last story is just super duper after having kbo'd the first bit of the collection.I'm afraid we've seen the last of this author on the market.Face it freedom has its limits. Read more
Published 5 months ago by James 42
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth your time
Whether it is a pre or post nights dawn trilogy read you will pickup interesting insights that add more context to the already rich universe.
Published 7 months ago by azzathedon
3.0 out of 5 stars A second chance at Eden---- Peter Hamilton
Stories are the usual quality-- superb, it's a pity the condition of the book wasn't the same, pages stained, the cover had the corners knocked and dust cover torn. Read more
Published 19 months ago by ceebee
5.0 out of 5 stars A Second Chance At Eden
An excellent collection of stories by Peter F. Hamilton. All six stories are an interesting read and have the usual great atmosphre and characters created by Peter F. Hamilton. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Stephen Sawyer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but...
The timeline is somewhat screwed but what the hey.
If you like this author then you will like this book but its definitely not his best or anywhere near. Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by MikeM
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If you like Peter F. Hamilton's nights dawn trilogy then you will probably like this. I left this to last. Read more
Published on 13 May 2010 by A. Talbot
5.0 out of 5 stars different but also a great read
This book contains six short stories and one novelle that take place in the universe of the 'night's dawn' trilogy. Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2010 by harrie van de vlag
3.0 out of 5 stars Seven short but entertaining stories.
The book is sequence of stories set in the time leading up to the time of the Nights Dawn trilogy is set the stories again are very imaginative and will keep the reader interested... Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2008 by S Williamson
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