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The Confederation Handbook [Hardcover]

Peter F. Hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Sep 2000

Peter F.Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy has proved one of the best-selling Science-Fiction series of the last decade, and the most dramatically successful from a UK author.

This essential companion volume comprises general background information relating to all three volumes, with comprehensive notes and glossaries on the major characters, planets, space stations, political hierarchies, weaponry, spacecraft, invasions, and the many alien races with their diverse social economies, industries and technologies.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1st Edition edition (28 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333785886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333785881
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 948,206 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

Remember those fact-filled appendices in Frank Herbert's Dune and JRR. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings? Here's the equivalent--though separately packaged--for Peter Hamilton's enormous and popular Night's Dawn SF trilogy, comprising The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God, plus related stories collected in A Second Chance at Eden.

As a "non-fiction" companion volume, The Confederation Handbook maps out this future galaxy's joyous complications. Technologies: the affinity gene allowing telepathic man/machine communication; neural-nanonics implants which link your brain to the net; intelligent voidhawk and blackhawk spacecraft; forbidden antimatter weapons; and space drives. People: human Adamists who reject the affinity gene; Edenists whose affinity links offer a "real" afterlife that replaces religion, struggling colonists everywhere; and three very different alien species--the Tyrathca, Kiint and Jiciro. Places: crowded old Earth with its O'Neill halo of orbital installations; communist Mars; utopian Edenist habitats mining helium-3 fusion fuel from gas-giant planets; quirkily various colony worlds; and the mysterious alien wreckage of the Ruin Ring.

The Handbook carefully, almost too carefully, avoids spoiler revelations about the apocalyptic action of Night's Dawn. As in those books, its Timeline stops before the main story begins, and--besides names of "Possessors" in a cast list slightly updated from The Naked God's--the superpowered returned dead who threaten the entire Federation aren't mentioned at all. Readers nervous of SF terminology may find this a useful guide to the trilogy's huge, exhilarating blend of roller-coaster action and ghost-train chills. --David Langford

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and still lives in that county. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night’s Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, two short story collections and several standalone novels. Find out more about Peter F. Hamilton at or discover more Pan Macmillan and Tor UK books at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By JonA
Having just finished reading The Naked God (thus completeing the finest SF story ever written), I feel that this handbook is essential for clarifying a few of the finer points contained within the Nights Dawn Trilogy. It is wonderfully concise and as far as I can see there are no discrepencies between it and the novels. A number of my friends have expressed an interest in reading the Trilogy and my only recommendation to them was to borrow or buy a copy of this handbook with it. It really is that usefull for understanding some of the finer details of the society which Mr Hamilton has created. The only reason I have not given it 5 stars is because certain sections are a little dry and occasionaly repeated readings of these and other sections is essential to fully grasp the idea and concept it is referring to. But don't let this put you off this book in any way. On the whole, a worthy bookend to not just an excellent piece of science fiction but an outstanding masterpiece of modern fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative. 3 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book along with the 'Nights Dawn Trilogy' and am very happy that I did. I am only 300 pages into 'The Reality Dysfunction' and have refered to it several times getting more detail on the planets and cultures than the book explains. I can say I will look at it more when I start reading 'The Neutronium Alchemist' and 'The Naked God'. If you buy the Nights Dawn Trilogy then I suggest you buy this book with it as it is an invaluable reference to the trilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth a read 2 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Although a lot of the content is already covered in the book, it goes into further details about the universe and helps you create a better image of the universe that the book is set. Probably best to buy it before finishing the trilogy as it will let you understand it a lot better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Peter writes brilliant stories. This book is poor as it reads like the story with everything but the technical details taken out. To all who think of getting this to help them read the trilogy, I say 'Don't!'. The trilogy tells you everything that is in this book!
Basically, it's not value for money. Sorry Peter, but in my defence, I have bought all your books, enjoyed them and rate you as good as Heinlein or Niven and Pournelle.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Nights Dawn Trilogy fans 13 Nov 2001
An essential guide for readers who either have read or are about to read the Night's Dawn Trilogy giving literal representations of the future worlds and cultures of Peter F Hamilton's imagination. This handbook to the future leading up to the year 2610 and beyond is as good as the Trilogy itself and is a must for all SF fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and clear reference guide 10 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Written in the style of a popular science book, The Confederation Handbook is a comprehensive resource for readers of the massive Night's Dawn trilogy and associated short stories. The book is a rationalised version of the author's notes but organised into clear, balanced sections that cover all of the main elements of the Confederation universe, from people and places through ships and weapons to cultural histories.
However, this book should not be read in isolation from the novels and stories as the reader would not understand the references, characters or plotlines that Hamilton refers to - there are a million words worth of complex science fiction behind it. The handbook acts more as an aide memoir and secondary resource than a stand-alone work of fiction.
I found this book a useful addition to the Night's Dawn collection as it explained some fundamental issues and technologies in a way that the novels had not. Whilst reading the fiction works I was continually flicking back through the thousands of pages to find a character or concept that had made a sudden reappearance. I also enjoyed the clear, simple style that prevented the handbook becoming a labour to read.
For readers who have not yet finished the trilogy, this book would also be a valuable reference and Hamilton has deliberately avoided spoiling the plot of the concluding novel, The Naked God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This brings them all together. 11 Oct 2000
Peter Hamilton was the first Sci-fi author that I tackled, I wasn't interested in the genre before, but his books are three of the most exciting reads that I have ever had. This handbook supplies the background information that gels the three novels together. The information is clearly set out, and spans the general to the specific. A must for fans , and a good way of introducing yourself to his worlds. The only question is, what will he do next?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't realise how much i needed this
I read the first book in the trilogy with my head in a spin, trying to work out what a lot of the technology/characters/wildlife is or were or was etc etc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Green Ninja
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Hamiltons books. Just Brilliant.
After reading one trilogy, I have just started another, with a short stories in the middle. If you find yourself struggling with his books, or you are getting into them but want to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lee Cannell-Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good condition.
1st Edition bought as a Xmas present for my husband.
Condition was as said if not better (Hubby loves the book too!)
Published 16 months ago by bregas
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, excellent companion to the Trilogy
This little book is very informative, concise and an excellent companion to the Night's Dawn Trilogy. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who owns those books. Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Cheryl-Lee Raine
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential and Informative
A must have guide to the masterful epic that is Peter.F.Hamilton's 'Night's Dawn Trilogy'. 'The Confederation Handbook'details everything from corperations, to space flight,... Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2004 by "generalblob"
1.0 out of 5 stars Why should we need this?
I only read the first volume of this trilogy and bought this handbook with it...and I still ask myself: why? It is pretty useless, because Mr. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2003 by "moonlightguy"
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good, but a little dry in places.+
Hamiltons consolidated his notes into the handbook with a degree of success - the information contained is to the point and explained a great many things that I was unclear of. Read more
Published on 8 April 2001 by ""
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