Read A Second Chance at Eden by Peter F. Hamilton Online

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From the author of the bestselling 'Night's Dawn' trilogy, a novella and six stories set in the same brilliantly realised universe....

Title : A Second Chance at Eden
Author :
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ISBN : 9780330351829
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 496 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Second Chance at Eden Reviews

  • William
    2019-03-29 06:30

    Extraordinary - Peter's Finest WorkThis collection of one novella and six short stories is truly extraordinary, wonderful, marvellous.Update: I now have an inscribed copy of this book from Peter! See below.1. Sonnie's Edge - a short tale - clever, visceral, courageous, and tragic.2. A Second Chance at Eden - novella - an achingly beautiful vision of who we might be, a return to the garden, full of life and joy and humanity and magic, presented and stitched together through a murder mystery. A triumph. A joy. Beautiful.3. New Days Old Times - a rending of the fabric of good people's lives through old prejudices, a warning to us all to mature or suffer.4. Candy Buds - a re-telling of Silas Marner, beautifully and powerfully rendered, full of life and magic.5. Deathday - a story of agonising loss and revenge, of hatred which, as always, destroys both the hater and the hated.6. The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa - a wonderful tale of lives interwoven in the past and future, of redemption and love, seasoned with just a touch of the supernatural.7. Escape Route - a straight sci-fi, space opera, cleverly constructed and a prequel in some ways to the Night's Dawn cast of characters.In these stories, their variety and humanity, I am reminded of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece, Mr Hamilton's finest work to date.

  • Matt Schiariti
    2019-04-03 06:20

    Having read and loved the Night's Dawn Trilogy (as well as Fallen Dragon and the Mandell trilogy) it was only natural that I wanted to read Hamilton's collection of short story 'prequels' set in the confederation universe; the same universe that sets the backdrop for the NDT.A handful of short stories that spans about 500 or so years of history leading up to the Night's Dawn Trilogy, this book paints and interesting picture of the years leading up to the sci fi epic. We get to see the growing pains of colonized worlds, the actual birth of Edenism (and an interesting look into the founder of it...who isn't exactly everything we were lead to beleive he was during the telling of the NDT)...not to mention, perhaps the coolest aspect was reading about Lady Mac original owner and pilot, Joshua's father, Marcus Calvert one one of his missions that was only hinted at by Joshua in the Reality Dysfunction..There really isn't a bad story in the bunch and I found myself tearing through it quickly. I think the highlights were A Second Chance at Eden, The Lives And Loves Of Tiarella Rosa, and Escape Route. Those were my favorites.It's interesting that while the backdrop is sci fi, these stories aren't just about science fiction. There's some horror elements, fantasy elements, adventure elements. Just overall great stuff.My only issue however is that the editing or transfer or whatever you want to call it in the kindle edition is pretty awful. Usually when speaking via affinity the passages are in bold type. This is missing more than half the time in the story A Second Chance at Eden. Also, the stories are rife with missing periods. Sometimes it makes it hard to follow who is speaking to whom.In any event, that didn't take away from the great writing and fantastic story telling. A must for any Peter F Hamilton fan.

  • Claudia
    2019-04-06 06:08

    Another amazing piece of Hamilton's infinite imagination. Or better said 7 amazing pieces - 3 of them are directly related to the Night's Dawn series (through events or characters), the others are just set in the same universe.Candy Buds was the seed from which emerged Night's Dawn, as Hamilton tells: "During the early nineties I wrote several short stories centered around the affinity technology. They didn’t belong to any particular hard and fast version of future history, I was just interested in the potential of the idea. Then along came David Garnett, who had just bought “Candy Buds” for his New Worlds anthology, and said: You should turn this into a novel. Impossible, I told him. That was back in the days of my foolish youth, before I learned the hard way that the editor is always right. He convinced me to go away and think about it. “Night’s Dawn” was the result. OK, so I didn’t get the last laugh, but at least I managed to frighten him with the size of volume one, The Reality Dysfunction, all 374,000 words of it."A must for fans.

  • Todd Campbell
    2019-04-18 04:04

    Six stories and a novella set in the Night's Dawn Trilogy universe. These stories prove that while Hamilton is a master of the 1200 page epics he can also write beautifully crafted short fiction. Recommended reading after finishing the Night's Dawn Trilogy.

  • Joakim Ruud
    2019-04-26 00:11

    I first read this one when I was 20, and it doesn't hold up at all. Hamilton the literary cheat is firing on all cylinders here, inventing circumstances and actions and motivations all because they are necessary for the narrative, and never because they make a lick of sense to the characters involved. There was one short story here that was more interesting than the rest, a kind of psychosexual drama on an isolated island that seemed poised to be a cool little treatise on the nature of personal and sexual power. But in the end, it was all explained away in the least interesting way possible. Gah.Oh! And you know what grates on me the most? Hamilton's insistent notion that culture-uniform settlements are inherently stable, while multicultural settlements are inherently unstable. As if there's no crime and instability in racially/culturally uniform societies. Can not recommend.

  • Robert
    2019-04-03 03:12

    This collection of stories, one of which is a novel by 1960-1970s standards, is set in the universe of the bizarrely popular Night's Dawn Trilogy. All of the stories here are better than any of or all of the volumes in that trilogy. The novel is a murder-mystery, something that Hamilton does well. One of the stories features the crew of the Lady MacBeth,, familiar to all Night's Dawn readers. Other stories have disparate settings and themes and that is what makes this book much better than most of Hamilton's other works; some of these stories are actually about something more than either space operatic adventure or whodunnit. Some of them have a classic sting-in-the-tail SF short story construction. If you liked any Hamilton at all, you should enjoy this collection.

  • Crusader
    2019-04-21 04:14

    A captivating collection of short stories and novellas from the Confederation Universe. Very interesting to see how the concept of affinity and the impact on the culture changes and evolves over time. Hamilton plays expertly with science fiction tropes and twist and turns them in interesting, unusual ways without ever losing the human experience at its core.

  • Koen
    2019-03-28 06:19

    “A Second Chance at Eden” is written by Peter F. Hamilton and is a compilation of 7 short stories. ISB number 978-0-330-35182-9, first published in 1998 by Mcmillan.According to the introduction of Hamilton, the stories of this collection are set in the universe of the “Night’s Dawn Trilogy”. They form a series of snapshot glimpses into the history of the Confederation leading up to the time of Joshua Calvert and Quinn Dexter. According to Peter Hamilton, some stories are new and some have already appeared in magazines and altered slightly to fit in the Confederation timeline.Each short story begins with a timeline indication the major events in that time era which gives a very good framework of the story.If you are interested in the books of Peter F. Hamilton and you want an overview of the universe of the Night Dawn Trilogy, get a taste of all the high tech development and possibilities, affinity and much more of the stunning topics of Hamilton-SF, this book is a must read.First Story: Sonnie’s Edge Earth the year 2070Short story of about 25 pages set in London 2070 giving the reader more insight in the Affinity Bond between engineered animals and humans. In 2069 the Affinity bond gene was spliced into the human DNA. The story has a nice plot twist at the end.Below an abstract of the personages of the story revolving around the group Sonnie’s Predators: Jacob, driver if the 20 wheeler lorry of Sonnie’s Predators and former Biotechnology student of Leicester University. Responsible for Beastie’s body design.Sonnie, fighter of Beastie.Karran, also former Biotechnology student of Leicester University and responsible for the nervous system and circular network.Irvina, ex surgical nurse.Wes, hardware specialist.Dicko, London area owner.Jennifer, Dicko’s gril toy.Second short story: A Second Chance at Eden, Jupiter 2090. Also the title of the book and the main events are 2075, JSKP geminates Eden, a bitek habitat in orbit around Jupiter, with UN protectorate status. Although crime is ruled out at Eden (the habitat is aware of everything going on during all times), a murder is committed and the newly appointed Chief Security officer has to deal with the investigation. At the same time Chief Parfitt has another problem: his wife is strongly against affinity bonding and he is in de middle of what his children want and what his wife is completely against.Below an abstract of the personages of the story which is set in the Eden Habitat: Eden habitat in 2090, 8 km long and 2,8 km diameter orbiting Jupiter. Eden will grow to 11 km long and has hundreds of 80 km long organic conductor cables trailing for generating electrical power.Chief Harvey Parfitt, newly appointed security officer at Eden.Jocelyn, Harvey’s wife.Nicolette and Nathaniel, 15 year old twins.Jess, one of Nathaniel’s friends.Micheal Zimmels, former Chief security officer.Sally-Ann, Micheal’s wife.Rolf Kümmel, Lieutenant detective.Nyberg, police officer.Coogan, police officer.Shannon Kershaw, programming expert.Pieter Zernov, geneticist of the Jovian Sky Power Cooperation (JSPC).Penny Maokavitz, JSKP Genetics division director.Davis Caldarola, Astrophysicist and Penny’s partner.Corrine Arberry, Penny’s doctor.Antony Harwood, owner of Quantum Soft.Wallace Steinbauer, SPKP Manufacturing Division Manager.Fasholé Nocord, Eden’s Governor.Father Leon Cook, reverend of the small Unified Christian Church at Eden.Lynette Mendelson, soil chemistry specialist and Parfitt’s informant.Eric MacDonald, former cybernetic manager and now in charge of the cloud scoop.Win-Tsit-Chong, inventor of the affinity gen.Hoi Yin, Win-Tsit-Chong’s right hand.Maokowitz Trust trustees:Pieter Zernov.Antony Harwood.Bob Parkinson, (former) student of Win-Tsit-Chong.Third story: New days Old times, Nyvan 2245.The most important development of the given time line is the Great Dispersal between the years 2131 and 2205. During this timeframe, 130 terra compatible planets are discovered. This story shows you the dilemmas of a multi ethnic society on a colonist world where minority groups are treated with little respect.Amanda Foxton, owner of three orchards.Arthur, Amanda’s husband who died 19 moths ago.Guy, Amanda’s 9 year old son.Blake, Amanda’s partner.Abdul Mustaf (Fakhud), attacked by an affinity bonded police dog.Sergeant Derry, leader of the police group.The fruit pickers are mostly Jews and discriminated:JaneLennyFourth story: Candy Buds, Tropicana 2393.In the year 2271 The Human Confederation is founded and a start is made with the construction of the Confederation Navy. At the same time antimatter bombs are banned. This story shows the thin line between reality and dreams and how this affects people.Tropicana, Adamist planet with a large industrial production of bitek.Laurus, runs the Kariwak Harbour and has an affinity bonded Eagle named Ryker.Camassia and Abelia, Laurus’ escorts.Iberis, Laurus’ son.Silene, a beggar and thief and she has an affinity bonded seagull.Erigeron, enforcer’s squad lieautenant.Torreya, little girl who sells memory (bitek) buds.Nemisia, mother of Torreya and Jante.Rubus, Torreya’s father.Jante, Torreya’s half brother.Fifth story: Deathday, Jubara 2405.In the year 2395 Tyrathca world is discovered and in 2402, the Tyrathca join the Confederation. Jubarra, a colonist planet subject to unexpected ice age cycles due to an unstable sun. Before colonization, genocide was conducted to two types of indigenous animal species. This story tells about the harsh situation where colonists try to settle in a strange environment and dreams do not always come true.Miran, colonist Jubara Development Corporation.Candice, Miran’s late wife.Slitherskins, xenoc of Jubura, some kind of shapeshifter night creature chameleon.Sixth story: The lives and loves of Tiarella Rosa, Tropicana, 2447.A short story which tells the first steps of the possibilities of cloning and insight in the use of zero-tau fields.Eason, Astroid freedom fighter.Ashley Hanson, Space plane pilot of the Lord Fitzroy and Time Hopper.Tiarella Rosa, owner of the island Charmaine on Tropicana.Vanstone, Tiarella’s partner.Althea, Tiarella’s daughter.Rosseau (Ross), Tiaralla’s help on the island.The Orphée, Tiarella’s affinity bonded sailing boat.Fernoy and Whitley from Boscobel.Lucius, deacon from Tropicana’s Orthodox church.Mullen, 17 year old friend of Althea.Cuissico development Company, main investor in de asteroid.The Kulu cooperation is one of the main investors in Cuissico.Vaughan Teuvis, Kulu security liaison officer.Dr. Kengai, Torreya Memorial Clinic.Seventh story: Escape Route, Sonora asteroid and the year is 2586.The seventh and last story tells about the possibilities of neuro nanonics, memory cells, high tech detection methods and time travel. And we meet Marcus Calvert!Marcus Calvert, owner of the Lady MacBeth (star ship).Roman Zucker, fushion engineer.Katharine Maddox, ships node specialist.Waichoi, pilot.Karl Jordan, system specialist.Schutz, Cosmonik and engineer.Antonia Ribero and Victoria Keef.Jorge Leon, hardware technician and companion of Antonio and Victoria.Norfolk Tears, expensive and precious alcoholic drink.

  • Mind Bridge
    2019-03-31 07:08

    This is a book of short stories aimed at providing the social and technological background of the The Night's Dawn trilogy. The stories stand well by themselves, although they are at different levels, thus I will provide my ratings for each one separately:Sonnie's Edge: 3/5An introductory story that indirectly describes the initial steps in the development of the bio technologies core to this fictional universe. As in most other stories, Sonnie's Edge applies the current human mentality and social organization to a world with advanced technology with somewhat predictable results.A Second Chance at Eden: 5/5This story is excellent in a number of aspects. The mystery, the human interactions, the moral dilemmas, the social (re-)organization as a result of technology providing emotional communication, the technological ideas and predictions (e.g. what would happen if there is excessive energy use on the planet), etc. This is the crown jewel in the collection and the book is worth buying if only because of it.New Days Old Times: 2/5As the title suggests, the plot line can be summarised simply: people are people, their prejudices remain, even if on another planet. The conclusion became clear immediately after the initial paragraphs and the story was essentially rehashing current social issues like a history novel, but in a future environment. Nevertheless, the story did provide some more background about the exploration and colonization of the universe.Candy Buds: 4/5An interesting story with relatively unexpected and satisfying conclusion. It builds on another favourite theme of the author: memories effectively define who people are. Deathday: 2/5This story also provides background about exploration and colonization of the universe. The plot was not very appealing to me -- the conclusion was again was unfulfilling and expected from the very beginning. The details did not compensate for that.The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa: 4/5Another great story with interesting and unexpected twists. Good interactions and character development. There are several highly entertaining moments (e.g. the Kulu Embassy) and a good conclusion.Escape Route: 3/5This story is probably better viewed in the context of the The Night's Dawn trilogy. While interesting, the deus ex machina resolution leaves something to be desired.

  • Robert Day
    2019-04-15 07:19

    So, I've had these massive doorstep sized books: the The Night's Dawn Trilogy sat in a box in the attic for the longest time and I really enjoyed Fallen Dragon, and I'm ahead on my quota of books read for the year, and so I thought to myself that I have enough bandwidth to work my way through this epic and not fall behind on my overall books read count. But then I realise that there are 2 companion volumes, this being one and The Confederation Handbook being the other.I looked it up on the interweb and determined that these two books don't contain spoilers for the trilogy, so to cut a long story short (too late huh!) I started here.These are short stories set in the same universe that purport to give the backstory to later events. Whether they do that or not, I can't really say because I've only just started the forwardstory. Taken by themselves they are pleasant enough stories and each one is satisfying within itself so you don't need to know which universe they are set in to be able to enjoy them.Mr. Hamilton writes in a nice enough fashion and his stuff is easy to follow. There is a lot of technology involved, but (a) it's all set in the future and so you gotta expect that and (b) I like it that way, so no complaints there.The characters are nicely rounded and believable and the scenery is well rendered so that you can get immersed very easily. I imagine that this will be even more so in the wider canvas of the trilogy, so that's looking good.I really liked the first story, and particularly the way it ended, but I won't say more than that, otherwise it'll spoil it for you.Well, go on then, get reading!

  • Andreas
    2019-03-28 23:08

    The trilogy itself consists of: * The Reality Dysfunction * The Neutronium Alchemist * The Naked GodThere are also two ancillary volumes: * A Second Chance at Eden – short story collection * The Confederation Handbook – reference volumeIn the USA, each volume of the trilogy was published in two parts, as evidenced by the thumbnails.The Night’s Dawn trilogy is a huge story spanning over 4000 pages, in truth one massive multi-volume novel. It tells of a great evil that befalls the otherwise mostly peaceful but very interesting and multifaceted Federation. Everything changes as mankind faces its true self. As the external threat starts to seriously damage the foundations of civilization, the large differences between various human and alien factions make for an interesting backdrop to the struggle. Actually it is very difficult to describe Night’s Dawn in a few short sentences. The scope is quite breathtaking, there are many characters and the writing is impeccable. The only nagging complaint is the far too rapid conclusion. Hamilton seems to have been in a hurry to tie things up. Some might feel the ending is a bit of a cop-out. But in my opinion whatever you think of the ending, the journey is certainly worth it.“The Confederation Handbook” reference can be practical to have lying around since there is a lot to keep track of.The short story collection ”A Second Chance at Eden” is a fine companion to the trilogy. Although only a few of the stories are in the same universe, all of them are gems in their own right. Importantly, though, the title story gives some valuable background on how the Edenist Culture was founded.These books have particularly gorgeous covers, thought US editions marred this a bit by darkening and altering the colors.http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=204

  • Andrew Couzens
    2019-04-03 04:21

    This being the first Confederation book – and, more to the point, the first Peter F. Hamilton book – that I have read, I went into it completely unable to see the significance of particular events, or the references to later stories. I do intend to read The Night's Dawn trilogy at some point in the near future, and it will be interesting to see how these short stories affect my reading experience of that trilogy. One of the things I really like in short stories of this kind is the ability of an author to infuse a sense of historical weightiness to each story as well as simply offering up a good story. Asimov's Robot short stories spring to mind as a great example of this. Some of the stories in this collection did a very good job of this. A Second Chance at Eden, the collection's novella, certainly felt significant, and was referenced in the later short stories. Escape Hatch also had a feeling of importance. Apart from these, there were some stories that were simply clever, well-written narratives – of these, the two set on Tropicana – Candy Buds, and The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rose were the best. These four stories make the collection worth reading. The other stories are ok, but lack the feeling of significance or the clever stories of those I have mentioned by name. The collection is worth reading just for those four stories, though.

  • Les
    2019-04-01 04:02

    A truly superb collection of shorter works from an equally superb author. This is one of those books which took me a long time to getting round to reading. It's been literally sitting on my bookshelf alongside my other Peter F Hamilton volumes for a couple of years. Each story adds a little extra to the awesome spectacle that is the Night's Dawn trilogy, whether it's to further explain a particular facet of the Confederation universe, or to give background to a certain plot element. I was forced by circumstance to read this compilation in a rather start-stop fashion, but this proved to be no problem due to the quality of the stories, and I was always eager to get back to it. Any fan of Hamilton and/or the Confederation universe will totally adore this, and I reckon it could be read with no problem at all by a reader with no previous experience of the series or the author. The Confederation universe is a masterful science fiction creation that will go down in sci-fi literary history as one of the best (well it should do!) and this collection is integral and wonderfully complimentary to it. I hugely recommend it.To save space here on Goodreads, I've posted reviews of the individual stories within the collection over on my blog HERE.

  • Adam Whitehead
    2019-04-26 01:02

    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 a bitek 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 ultimate utopian 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 a person able to call upon the immediate support of thousands of other human minds to any crisis or problem, they 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 516 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, the Adamists and Edenists. The final story takes place thirty years before the events of Hamilton's vast and epic Night's Dawn Trilogy, and tells the story of the last voyage of the starship Lady MacBeth under Captain Marcus Calvert.Peter F. Hamilton is best-known for his immense, brick-thick novels, themselves usually parts of trilogies or duologies of a truly epic and cosmic scale. However, he initially made his career in short stories, building up an impressive body of work in the six years prior to the publication of his first novel, Mindstar Rising, in 1993. Several of these stories were based around the fictional science of affinity, which he explored in different ways. After his popular story 'Candy Buds' was published he expanded the concept to novel-length, giving rise to the massive Night's Dawn story. In 1998 he revisited these early short stories, re-editing them to fit into the Confederation timeline a bit more neatly, and combined them with some new works to form this collection.A Second Chance at Eden is excellent, showing Hamilton's skills are just as impressive, if indeed not moreso, when applied to the short form as to his mega-epics. The first story, 'Sonnie's Edge', shows the dark side of affinity as it is used for a rather unpleasant new bitek version of bear-baiting, with an absolute killer ending. The story's setting, Battersea in 2070, (with the vast domes of the London arcology we later see in The Naked God taking shape in the background) is vivid and impressive.'A Second Chance at Eden' itself takes us to the Eden habitat in 2090. This murder-mystery novella is superb, showing the birth of the culture we will see in action close-up throughout the Night's Dawn Trilogy and examining the morality and ethics of the affinity technology when brought in sharp conflict with religious concerns. This is an intelligent story which, in the tradition of all good SF, brings complex ideas back back down to the human level.'New Days, Old Times' is Hamilton's answer to why the colonies in the Confederation are ethnically-'streamed', instead of culturally integrated. We visit the planet Nyvan (which plays a big role in the trilogy) and Hamilton's argument - that if different cultures, religions and societies are forced to live together on another world we will simply make the same mistakes all over again - is grimly persuasive. 'Candy Buds' is one of Hamilton's best-known short stories, set on Tropicana, the only Adamist world where bitek remains legal by the late 24th Century, where the richest man on the planet finds himself unusually touched by the plight of a young girl he was planning to exploit for her astonishing discovery. A dark story with a savagely clever ending.'Deathday' is a superb slice of SF horror, as one of the last colonists ordered to leave the failed farming world of Jubarra pursues a destructive vendetta against a resident lifeform with destructive results. 'The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa' is a curiously brutal and selfish kind of love story with a melancholic aspect, actually reminiscent of GRRM's 1970s SF work (such as 'A Song for Lya'). It's not quite as good as that due to a somewhat weird ending, but it's certainly a change of pace for Hamilton and works well for the most part.'Escape Route' takes us to the last voyage of the Lady MacBeth under the captaincy of Joshua Calvert's father and explains exactly what happened to trash the ship so badly it was drydocked at Tranquillity for thirty years. This is an excellent SF story featuring some traditional tropes, such as the dubious passengers and an abandoned alien artifact in space, with a clever resolution. For fans of the trilogy, this story does fill in some gaps in the backstory in an entertaining manner.Overall, A Second Chance at Eden (****½) is an excellent collection of short SF set in one of the most thoroughly-realised SF settings ever created. There are no really weak links and 'Sonnie's Edge', 'Deathday' and 'Escape Route' are all superb, whilst the title novella is nothing short of classic, showing the birth of a new human culture which is beyond normal human experience but in a manner that is convincing and even attractive: a sympathetic Singularity. Hamilton's handling of the religious element is also intelligent and interesting.

  • Maddalena
    2019-04-07 00:15

    This second "taste" of Peter F. Hamilton's short works was even more intriguing than the first, and since it introduces many of the elements of his massive novels - in particular the Night's Dawn trilogy - it encouraged me even more to take the jump or, as some of my fellow bloggers defined it, to overcome author intimidation.A Second Chance at Eden is a collection of short stories, but the one that truly fascinated me is the one from which the book draws its title: once more I encountered a murder mystery, as was the case with Watching Trees Grow, but it was completely different, starting with the background in which the investigation takes place. Full review at SPACE AND SORCERY BLOG

  • Tejsweeta
    2019-04-27 01:11

    I liked it overall.Its a collection of some short stories and a novella. Sci-fi stuff set in the next couple of centuries, mostly centering around a basic idea of an 'affinity bond' between two life forms.The general sci fi stuff is there, colonizing new places, lot of bio tech, space travel etc, but what I really enjoyed was the way the stories were written. Loved the twist at the end of most of them, and liked the way the story would develop. What I didn't care for much was the very artificial way the stories had to be stitched together with timelines in between stories.. I guess old fans of his works are probably familiar with the 'confederation universe', but for a first time reader, it was overkill.Still, definitely worth a read!

  • Dan Stoner
    2019-04-26 07:16

    The Night's Dawn universe is so rich that Hamilton likely has an unlimited number of possible stories he can set there. This collection of stories is laid out chronologically with some of them taking place at key historic moments that eventually led to the complex universe where the novels are set. It was nice to meet important historic characters such as Wing-Tsit Chong and Marcus Calvert. I also enjoyed that some of the stories targeted the pivotal periods and cultural upheavals over developments such as the affinity gene and bitech.

  • Dave
    2019-04-24 23:02

    I love short stories and this is a great collection. Set in the same universe as the Night's Dawn trilogy but before the start of that epic, these stories fill in the gaps between now and then. Hamilton is an excellent genre writer, prone to writing fantastically complex space opera. When confined to the short story format most writers like to stick to a single point of view. But somehow Hamilton manages to evoke the feeling of a novel, with multiple points of view, into even some of his shortest works.

  • Eve
    2019-04-12 00:17

    A series of short stories set in the same universe as Hamilton's fabulous Reality Dysfunction story. Fills in some of the gaps in the background of this series. Enjoyable stories, some quite poignant, but definitely lacking the punch of the Reality Dysfunction tale. Space opera, to be sure, but Hamilton envisions not only changes in science but changes in people, biological and psychological, as they adapt to their new worlds. This is what makes him such as interesting author.

  • Douglas
    2019-04-03 06:32

    I have never really been a fan of short story collections, as I am usually left with a feeling that the story isn't quite done. However, having read Hamilton's other books, it was interesting to get a different perspective on the Confederation Universe, especially "Second Chance At Eden". That lends itself to a 1000+ page novel in typical Hamilton tradition.

  • Sheri
    2019-04-27 04:17

    Hamilton has written about this fictional future in some of his other works. This volume consists of 6 stories that provide some prequel/sequel info about the settings & characters in those other works. Yet each of these stories is also quite a nice "stand-alone."

  • James Mason
    2019-04-07 03:28

    The first short stories I've read by Hamilton and they just reinforced him as my favorite fiction author. He strikes the perfect balance between science, plot, characters, and setting for me. Space opera is my jam and Hamilton is my bread and butter.

  • WyrmbergMalcolm
    2019-04-10 06:32

    Being unfamiliar of the world of the Night's Dawn trilogy has not left me feeling like I'm missing out at all. These stories are pretty good in their own right, without the back story to go with them. With most of the stories not being too lengthy, this collection was easy to read. Even the novella-sized story was intriguing enough to be worth it.It wouldn't be fair to review a short story book without looking at the stories themselves so here goes:Story Name: Sonnie's EdgeWhat is it about?: Robot Wars meets cock fighting. Affinity controlled creatures are made to fight. We learn why Sonnie is practically unbeatable.Thoughts: A strong start to a story collection. Being new to this universe, I didn't feel left out having not read the books (yet) and at the same time got a good introductory understanding of affinity and humanity.Score: Buy the book for this storyStory Name: A Second Chance At EdenWhat is it about?: In an enclosed habitat orbiting Jupiter, a woman is murdered. It's left to a newly arrived detective to solve the case.Thoughts: This is more of a novella than a short story. Based during the early days of Eden, home to the Edenists, this is a pretty decent detective story in its own right. It also explores the ethics of affinity as well as the differing religious views towards it.Score: Buy the book for this storyStory Name: New Days Old TimesWhat is it about?: On a planet in a different system, in an orchard of genetically engineered apple trees, humans are still humans.Thoughts: It was nice having a much shorter story after the last one. This story shows a pretty depressing viewpoint that no matter how far humanity goes, if people can be prejudiced to others, they will do so. This exact story could have been told at any time of our history and barely a word needs to be changed.Score: Worth readingStory Name: Candy BudWhat is it about?: A ruthless tycoon spots a rival entrepreneur and attempts to gain the new technology.Thoughts: This one left me quite conflicted. I certainly enjoyed the premise of this unscrupulous guy taking in these young kids in order to steal their technology and exploit them. Having it interspersed with short 'dreams' giving examples of what this candy buds can do, also worked well. However, I found the ending both very abrupt and a little unclear as to what just happened. I was beginning to suspect the kids were hustling the guy but then I began doubting most of what happened as having happened.Score: Worth readingStory Name: Death DayWhat is it about?: A man hunts a native creature but there's more to it than he first thought.Thoughts: Not much can be said about this one without giving too much away. It is a story that goes in a different direction than expected. Certainly an interesting premise.Score: Worth readingStory Name: The Lives And Loves Of Tiarella RosaWhat is it about?: A man looking to disappear finds work on a remote archipelago, a place he was destined to go to, but not for the reason he thought.Thoughts: The lead character, Easson, is a bit of an arse which made him a little difficult to relate to or like very much. However, the story flowed pretty well and had an interesting twist. I'd guessed a bit of it, but was a little out. I enjoyed the "base under siege" segment but was a little disappointed that there were no further attempts. The final scene can leave you thinking.Score: Worth readingStory Name: Escape RouteWhat is it about?: A ship's captain and his crew are hired to pick up some easily acquired precious metals from an area in space, only they find something else.Thoughts: The story started off quite dry and I feared this would be a bit of a slog. However, once the crew reached their destination the story takes on a compelling 'The Sphere' quality and made of a top read.Score: Buy the book for this story

  • Mike
    2019-04-23 04:10

    The weakest story in this collection is good,the best story is brilliant.A SECOND CHANCE AT EDEN is a five stars read.

  • Florin Constantinescu
    2019-04-26 03:27

    Prequel collection to the Night's Dawn trilogy, this contains stories which were originally meant for Night's Dawn, and a few which were retrofitted to this universe.Regardless of source, some are very strong ("Escape Route" for ex), and there are no duds.It makes a good starting point for the series, as it eases the reader into it. Some of the stories even feature characters later to be met in the main 'sequence'.

  • Lauren Donoho
    2019-04-05 05:28

    This collection is a little uneven, and in keeping with that, it highlights all my most and least favorite things about Hamilton's writing - the sexism is a little more visible, the techno-exposition is a little more random, the world-building is a little more startling. All the stories in Second Chance at Eden are set in the same world as the Night's Dawn trilogy (Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist, Naked God), across a wide swathe of the future timeline. The title novella is actually my favorite of the collection, though I don't know if I would've felt the same way if I hadn't read the rest of the series. While it is a perfect introduction to the affinity technology that's central to the Night's Dawn trilogy, I'm not sure I would have been so engrossed immediately in the plot if I hadn't already been interested in Edenism. A couple of the stories - "Sonnie's Edge" and "The Lives and Loves..." - were actively disappointing, not to mention dripping with (different kinds of) sexism. "Deathday" is a really effective horror story about revenge and isolation, but it's also a really interesting SF story about how genuinely other alien life would be. "Candy Buds" is a standout, whether you're familiar with Night's Dawn or not, and the central concept is so damn cool I can barely stand it. "Escape Route" is a solid, engaging action story, even if the final twist is a little deus ex machina and a little ridiculous, and "New Days Old Times" is an engaging slice-of-life story about a normal woman on a normal colony planet, separate from all the macro-political shenanigans going on elsewhere in the collection. I have my issues with Hamilton's "ethnic-streaming" colony concept, but at least with this story he makes a reasonable argument for why it would've been a popular strategy. I just have trouble believing that anti-Semitism and other forms of racism will still be so prevalent in the year 2245 that the kind of harassment portrayed in "New Days..." would be possible.All that being said, if you read and enjoyed Night's Dawn, I would recommend A Second Chance... without reservation, as a gap-filler for the trilogy. If you haven't, I'd still recommend it, but with the annotations noted above.

  • Peter
    2019-03-31 02:24

    Good short stories on their own, but better as background.: This is a series of short stories providing some background to the universe as it exists in the Night's Dawn Trilogy.As with any collection, some are better than others, but for me those that cover the evolution of Affinity (a form of gene engineered group telepathy), and Bitek (Biological constructs) are particularly welcome.To be honest, I would have preffered that the final part of the Dawn's night series had been published first, but that's not a critisism of this book, rather that it's been a good series and I'd like to know how it concludes.On it's own, I guess it would work quite well, but many of the terms that are used (Adamist/Edenist worlds for example) are explained more fully in the full series, so you could be forgiven for missing out on something, but it does come into it's own as a companion.Pretty good.

  • Clayton
    2019-04-21 03:29

    I read the book primarily to compliment the reading of the Night's Dawn series. I have only read the Reality Dysfunction so far and wanted to see if I could fill in any backstory by reading this.The stories in the book that I think matter are and would be perhaps useful reading for someone prior to jumping into the Reality Dysfunction:- A Second Chance at Eden (backstory on the start of the Edenist culture)- Escape Route (backstory of Josh's dad and his ship from the Reality Dysfunction)- Candy Buds (backstory on some of the technologies in the series like the use of zero tau and affinity)The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa (backstory on some technologies like the use of zero tau and affinity)if I was recommending the Night's Dawn series to someone, I would tell them that the following stories are optional:- Sonnie's Edge- New Days Old Times- Deathday

  • Mike
    2019-04-19 06:05

    I have not read an Peter F. Hamilton before so this was my first experience of his work and unfortunately it wasn't a good one. I don't know if this was because it is a collection of shorter works (relatively speaking) or that I "read" it as an audiobook. Certainly the person reading it wasn't the best, he seemed far too rushed and it was difficult working out which character was which. I was also disappointed because this type of science fiction is normally one I like.May be I'll give him another chance, but this wasn't a good introduction to his work.

  • Bryan
    2019-04-09 06:08

    A set of short stories that flesh out the Confederation Universe. There are some weak stories in the middle ("Candy Buds", "Deathday", "New Days Old Times"), but the book is very much rescued by the superb title story, along with "The Lives and Loves of Tiarella Rosa" and "Escape Route". I do think the Confederation well has probably run dry though after this collection (and indeed Hamilton has not revisited it in the 13 years since this book was published).