AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. A powerful navy protects it from any hostile species that may lurk among the stars for Commonwealth citizens, even death has been overcome.
At the centre of the galaxy is the Void, a strange, artificial universe created by aliens billions of years ago, shrouded by an event horizon more deadly than any natural black hole. In order to function, it is gradually consuming the mass of the galaxy. Watched over by its ancient enemies, the Raiel, the Void’s expansion is barely contained.
Inigo dreams of the sweet life within the Void and shares his visions with billions of avid believers. When he mysteriously disappears, Inigo’s followers decide to embark on a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life of their messiah’s dreams – a pilgrimage which the Raiel claim will trigger a catastrophic expansion of the Void.
Aaron is a man whose only memory is his own name. He doesn’t know who he used to be or what he is. All he does know is that his job is to find the missing messiah and stop the pilgrimage. He’s not sure how to so that, but whoever he works for has provided some pretty formidable weaponry which ought to help.
Meanwhile, inside the Void, a youth called Edeard is coming to terms with his unusually strong telepathic powers. A junior constable in Makkathran, he starts to challenge the corruption and decay that have poisoned the city. He is determined that his fellow citizens should know hope again. What Edeard doesn’t realise is just how far his message of hope is reaching.
The Intersolar Commonwealth is in turmoil as the launch of Living Dream’s Pilgrimage into the Void draws near and, with the Ocisen Empire fleet fast approaching on a mission of genocide, an internecine war has broken out between the post-human Factions over the destiny of humanity.
Defying the increasingly desperate Factions is Paula Myo, the ruthlessly single-minded investigator. Beset by foes from her distant past and colleagues with dubious allegiance, she is losing a race against time, and the shocking truth of how far some people will go to determine the course of evolution is only just dawning on her. Meanwhile, somewhere in Colwyn City, Araminta is coming to terms with the discovery that she is the Second Dreamer – and therefore on the run from just about everybody.
At the heart of all this is Edeard, the Waterwalker, who lived long, long ago, deep inside the Void. He is the messiah of Living Dream, and visions of his life inspire billions of humans. They worship these dreams of Edeard’s crusade against corruption, injustice and violence, of his struggle to hold true to his convictions in the face of temptation and betrayal, of his lovers and his battles and of his extraordinary powers, which grow in strength daily.
Edeard’s glorious, captivating story is the driving force behind Living Dream’s Pilgrimage – a force too strong to be thwarted – and, as his triumph draws close, the true nature of the Void will finally be revealed.
Peter F Hamilton’s startling perspectives on tomorrow’s technological and cultural trends span vast tracts of space and time; his stories are as compelling as they are epic in scope, and yet they are always grounded in characters – human, alien and other – who, for all their strangeness, still touch our hearts and fire our imaginations. Now, in The Evolutionary Void, Hamilton concludes the highly acclaimed Commonwealth saga that has unfolded in The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void.
Having finally mastered his astonishing psychic abilities and how to harness the power of the city itself, Edeard is dismayed to find that life in Makkathran is as challenging and dangerous as ever. No matter what he does, there always seem to be threats to quash and unrest to settle. Although he knows he can eventually rid the city of corruption and anarchy, he is coming to understand that he himself will have to pay a terrible price for Makkathran’s peace and liberty.
Inspired by their shared vision of Edeard’s story, millions of Living Dream pilgrims embark on their gigantic, ultradrive ships, heading towards a new and perfectible life within the Void that lies at the centre of the galaxy. Their arrival will trigger a super-massive expansion of the Void which will devour everything in its path – ultimately the galaxy itself – and, for those of the Greater Commonwealth who would stop the pilgrimage, time is running out.
On the run from planet to planet, pursued by every Commonwealth faction, Second Dreamer Araminta realizes she can no longer flee her destiny and chooses a course of action that will not only confound Living Dream but also will transform her in a way no one could have expected.
Unable to deliver the Second Dreamer to the Commonwealth’s ruthless field operative, the legendary Paula Myo, a desperate Oscar Monroe brings together a team of players who may just be able to stop Living Dream’s pilgrimage. Unfortunately his plan includes the genius recluse Ozzie, who has no intention of embarking on any kind of mission to save the galaxy – besides, Ozzie is not quite the man he used to be… if he is a man at all.
The Accelerator faction, intent on supporting the pilgrimage so that it can gain access to the technology behind the Void, finally activates its mysterious swarm with disastrous political and military consequences for the Commonwealth. This leaves the Delivery Man, a one-time faction agent with devastating firepower at his disposal, teamed up with an unlikely ally as he frantically tries to limit the damage. Together with his new partner he travels to an alien world which has abandoned evolution in favour of fate, hoping to find a solution.
Then there is Gore Burnelli, one of the oldest, most influential humans left from the pre-Commonwealth era who claims to know much more than he is letting on and perhaps knows just enough to save the galaxy – if he can outwit Ilanthe, the driving force behind the Accelerator faction. But Ilanthe has the Cat on her side, and that can only mean big trouble for anyone who gets in her way.
The Evolutionary Void will leave no reader in doubt as to why Peter F Hamilton is Britain’s number one bestselling SF Novelist.