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Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga) [Paperback]

Peter F. Hamilton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 2005 Commonwealth Saga
In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across.When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them. For what if their disappearance indicates some kind of galactic conflict? Since a conventional wormhole cannot be used to reach these vanished stars, for the first time humans need to build a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance. But it arrives to find each 'vanished' star encased in a giant force field -- and within one of them resides a massive alien civilisation.


Product details

  • Paperback: 1149 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (4 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330493310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330493314
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,785 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

Review

" The depth and clarity of the future Hamilton envisions is as complex and involving as they come." -- "Publishers Weekly "(starred review) " The author's expansive vision of the future combines action and intrigue on a panoramic scale." "-- Library Journal "" Astounding . . . Thrilling . . . Hamilton uses technology to excellent effect." "-- Science Fiction Age "" Shows how thought-provoking yet entertaining science fiction can be. Some of the best fiction . . . in years." "-- Midwest Book Review "" [Hamilton is] taking on one of sf's (and maybe all of literature' s) primal jobs: the creation of a world with the scale and complexity of the real one." -- "Locus "" [Hamilton is] a rare talent." "-- The Denver Post" "From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The first instalment in Peter F. Hamilton's epic Commonwealth Saga

It is AD 2329 and humanity has colonized over four hundred planets, all interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth has grown into a quiet, wealthy society, where rejuvenation allows its citizens to live for centuries.

When astronomer Dudley Bose observes a star over a thousand light years away vanish, imprisoned inside a force field of immense size, the Commonwealth is anxious to investigate what actually happened. As conventional wormholes can't reach that far, they must build the first faster-than-light starship. Captained by Wilson Kime, an ex-NASA astronaut a little too eager to relive his glory days, the Second Chance sets off on its historic voyage of discovery.

But someone or something out there must have had a very good reason for sealing off an entire star system. And if the Second Chance does manage to find a way in, what might then be let out?

'Anyone who begins this won't be able to put it down . . . Hamilton proves that "intelligent space opera" isn't an oxymoron'

Publishers Weekly

'Compelling'

SFX

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The star vanished from the center of the telescope's image in less time than a single human heartbeat. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hamilton page-turner 16 Feb 2004
Format:Hardcover
Odd that Amazon considers it not yet published, as I just finished reading it this weekend after Amazon shipped a copy to me. Once again, Peter Hamilton has painted a broad canvas for his latest series of novels. Set in a relatively near future, but one in which wormhole travel to far stars is an everyday occurrence, where the elves are recognized as an off-world species who walk their own paths between the worlds, and a shadowy terrorist group, inspired by fears of a mysterious alien invader that no-one else believes to exist, Hamilton once again weaves dozens of individual stories into a seamless whole.
The "Pandora's Star" of the title refers to a mysterious cosmic event hundreds of light years away, beyond the reach of the wormhole technology, where two solar systems are suddenly enclosed instantly by a pair of massive force fields. This drives the major action in the book, with its usual massive space battles, detailed descriptions of alien species, complex politics and the tragedy and small triumphs of individual lives.
Hamilton has developed a star-spanning empire with new species, including his usual AI constructs and human memory archives, however this world is very different from the universe of the Neutronium Alchemist. There are the usual cliff-hangers at the end of this satisfying read, which make me certain to buy the sequel when it is released (hopefully this year!)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi at it's very best 29 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback
In my younger days I was an avid sci-fi fan devouring everything that I could get my hands on. Twenty years on I decided to re-visit the genre and after many disappointments happened on Pandora's Star. Don't be put off by the size of this book - I found myself so enthralled that as I neared the end I was getting quite depressed at the thought of finishing but still couldn't put it down. A superb story, fantastic plot-lines, wonderous worlds and amazing technology. The action involves dozens of characters across the galaxy I never once lost the thread of any of the sub-plots so well is the story constructed. Of all the good things I could say the best is.....there is a sequel!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars satisfying space opera 16 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
I am re-reading this first novel to be able to move on to the second, having forgotten some plot elements from my reading it a year ago.
To all those that say it is over long, I just say that this is space opera and there are many books out there that are over far too quickly. If you even begin to pick a book to read you must be doing so to envelope your self in a different world and storyline to that of your own life, so why should it not be all encompassing as PFH's works are. I do agree with some of the over long/boring passges, but aside from about 2 sections in this book ,the rest is necessary and adds to the allusion of space being BIG. He covers a lot of scifi basics in this but with good descriptive flair and originality, in a genre that has gone a little stale from other authors. I for one was hooked and read this again in 4 straight sessions.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Returns to Space in Style 22 Feb 2004
By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What do you do when you have written the last truly great space opera of the 20th Century? If you are Peter F. Hamilton, the answer seems to be to try and write the first great space opera of the 21st. He may have been pipped to the post by Alastair Reynolds' Inhibitor series in that regard, but The Commonwealth Saga, starting with Pandora's Star to be concluded in Judas Unchained, is an extremely impressive piece of work. In his Night's Dawn Trilogy Hamilton populated his universe with starships swallowing the void in artificial wormholes. In Pandora's Star wormholes directly link planets together, meaning visiting another world is as simple as getting on a train. There are no starships and the Intersolar Commonwealth is a peaceful, stable society. When two stars 1200 light-years away disappear, the Commonwealth builds the first faster-than-light ship to investigate. As the title suggests, this isn't a great idea and soon the Commonwealth is under threat of annihilation. Like Night's Dawn, this new series is complex, richly populated with interesting characters and with an effortless style which pulls you in and makes you care about what's happening, a skill most hard SF authors lack (hello Gregory Benford!). The ending is shocking, the humour is impressive (especially the prologue which must rank as one of the best SF novel openings ever) and the 18-month wait for book two will be interminable. Extremely impressive.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and thrilling read! 22 April 2005
Format:Paperback
Just finished reading this book, and the last 100 pages was read in a hurry to find out how the escalating conflict between humans, the mysterious Starflyer and the Primes develops. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, the story continues in the second and last installment, Judas Unchained. Hamilton has put together a fascinating, detailed and complex universe populated by believable people, technology and aliens. In the midst of the story the mythological Starflyer lurks. Believed to be a propaganda hoax of the guerilla group The Guardians, the Commonwealth of humans is not prepared for the encounter with the expansionist and hegemonic alien race of the Primes, an encounter which might be the result of the Starflyer's machinations. Central to the story is detective Paula Myo, who slowly starts to suspect that the Starflyer is very real. Parallell to the investigation of the Dyson Barrier containing two star systems and the following disastrous developments, Ozzie, one of the makers of the wormhole portals which are the premise of the star-spanning Commonwealth, travels the Silfen paths through mystical and strange worlds. The book spans 1000 pages and its multitude of characters can be confusing in the beginning. However, the previous reviewers have definitely missed out central parts of the plot by skipping chapters and characters. Both Myo and the Vernon family are important for the storyline, something which should be very clear at the end of the book. I eagerly look forward to the second book, Judas Unchained.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As described
Published 3 days ago by MRS THERESA R M ROSS
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sci fi read
A bloody jolly good read. First book I have read from this particular author and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read more
Published 14 days ago by BrianK
5.0 out of 5 stars Pandora 5 Star
Insanely good. This the first Peter F. Hamilton book I've read and it's definitely not going to be the last. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bern
5.0 out of 5 stars just brilliant
a vision of the future which is so well put together its in my opinion a very frightening reality which could be with us right now without us ever knowing, Yeah I know get out... Read more
Published 3 months ago by davidx
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellence in story telling
Gets better and better as you progress. The occasional exuberant descriptive passage, leads into more twists and turns than an unclosed wormhole. Now for the sequel!
Published 3 months ago by MR M D SINGLETON
4.0 out of 5 stars Push through the crowd of characters and you will get to a great story
An enjoyable space opera romp. It suffers the usual problem with door step sized science fiction books with a large cast of characters. Read more
Published 4 months ago by P. J. Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars just superb in terms of scope and vision
At the heart of the book there is a mystery of why a star suddenly disappears from the night sky. This mystery is set within a brilliantly imagined vision of humanities future. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. J. Maden
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not just for geeks...
The first half of the massive Commonwealth Saga.

A frighteningly brilliant insight into a future utopia threatened by an inhuman force. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Simon Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read From Start To Finish
Another great episode from this saga, Would recomend to Sci-Fi readers
Now to read another series from this authors catalogue.... maybe the Nights Dawn Next!
Published 7 months ago by Crispy
2.0 out of 5 stars Gets better as it goes along
As many other reviewers have said, this really is at least 50% too long, if not more. It also suffers from the problem of lots of different story lines - because some of them are... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Toller
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