The Night's Dawn Trilogy

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British author Peter F. Hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy consists of three epic science fiction novels: The Reality Dysfunction (1996), The Neutronium Alchemist (1997), and The Naked God (1999). A collection of short stories, A Second Chance at Eden, shares the same universe, and The Confederation Handbook documents that universe in non-fiction style.

The sprawling narrative deals with a far future where humanity struggles and wages war against past souls flooding back into the land of the living via possession (Al Capone and Fletcher Christian are among the returnees). Hamilton's future is expansive and primarily optimistic, with huge sentient space-cities that can closely resemble a natural Eden. He extrapolates on current trends concerning the blurring of technology with biology, and environmental devastation. But Hamilton pulls no punches on humanity's darker side. Poverty, sexual exploitation and cruelty still dog our civilizations in Night's Dawn, and the coalition opposing the Possessed are faced with a particularly cruel moral conundrum; they cannot destroy them without also killing their host bodies.


Humanity in the 27th century

In the Night's Dawn trilogy, humankind, although now united under an organization known as the Confederation, has been broken up into two major divisions, Adamists and Edenists. The economy is dominated by the Edenists, who maintain a powerful monopoly across the Confederation by harvesting He3 ("helium 3") from suitable gas giants. This resource is used by all Adamist starships as a primary fuel source. The use of the only other major energy source, antimatter, is illegal due to its devastating military potential, and its possession or production is a capital crime.

Adamist culture

Adamists are the larger of the two groups, and consider themselves to be normal humans. They allow themselves to use some genetic-engineering improvements (referred to as "geneering"), but do not generally condone the use of "bitek" (organic/bio technology) in their culture. They are a vast group of people of various cultures and backgrounds, and realistically, the Adamist group encompasses any non-Edenist humans. The majority of Adamists, who are at least nominally religious, do not utilise bitek because it was banned by the Pope during the 21st century. Instead, they use nanotechnology, which they refer to as "nanonics". Nanonics perform many of the same physiological feats as bitek, and the two technologies are relatively compatible. Adamist starships use fusion-energy based drives, and as such much of the human economy is based on the proliferation of He3. Use of the ZTT (Zero Temporal Transit) faster-than-light drive allows Adamists to colonize star-systems, usually through the settling of both planets and asteroid belts.

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