Exposed as the Second Dreamer, Araminta has become the target of a galaxywide search by others equally determined to prevent—or facilitate—the pilgrimage into the Void. An indestructible microuniverse, the Void may contain paradise, but it is also a deadly threat. For the reality that exists inside its boundaries demands energy drawn from planets, stars, galaxies—from everything that lives.
Meanwhile, the story of Edeard, the Waterwalker, continues to unfold. With time running out, Inigo, the First Dreamer, must decide whether to release Edeard’s dangerous final dream. And Araminta must choose whether to run from her responsibilities or face them down, with no guarantee of success or survival. But all these choices may be for naught if the leader of a rival faction enters the Void. For it is not paradise she seeks there, but dominion.
Long ago, the astrophysicist Inigo began dreaming scenes from the life of the remarkable Edeard, who lived within the Void, a self-contained microuniverse at the heart of the galaxy. Inigo’s inspirational dreams, shared by hundreds of millions throughout the galaxy, gave birth to a religion: Living Dream. But when the appearance of a Second Dreamer seems to trigger the expansion of the Void—which is devouring everything in its path—the Intersolar Commonwealth is thrown into turmoil.
With time running out, the fate of humanity hinges on a handful of people: Araminta, now awakening to the unwelcome fact that she is the mysterious Second Dreamer; Inigo, whose private dreams hint at a darker truth; and Justine, whose desperate gamble places her within the Void, where the godlike Skylords hold the power to save the universe . . . or destroy it.
Reviewers exhaust superlatives when it comes to the science fiction of Peter F. Hamilton. His complex and engaging novels, which span thousands of years–and light-years–are as intellectually stimulating as they are emotionally fulfilling. Now, with The Dreaming Void, the first volume in a trilogy set in the same far-future as his acclaimed Commonwealth saga, Hamilton has created another ambitious and gripping space epic.
The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime. Now an even greater danger has surfaced: a threat to the existence of the universe itself.
At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be breached, cannot be destroyed, and cannot be stopped as it steadily expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path: planets, stars, civilizations. The Void has existed for untold millions of years. Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin, its makers, or its purpose.
But then Inigo, an astrophysicist studying the Void, begins dreaming of human beings who live within it. Inigo’s dreams reveal a world in which thoughts become actions and dreams become reality. Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise. Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, Inigo’s dreams are shared by hundreds of millions–and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet. But then he vanishes.
Suddenly there is a new wave of dreams. Dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serve as the inspiration for a massive Pilgrimage into the Void. But there is a chance that by attempting to enter the Void, the pilgrims will trigger a catastrophic expansion, an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds.
And thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and the mysterious Second Dreamer. Some seek to prevent the Pilgrimage; others to speed its progress–while within the Void, a supreme entity has turned its gaze, for the first time, outward. . . .