Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Of The Week: Peter F. Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon"

The Book Of The Week this week is Peter F. Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon". Although there's some similarities to military tales like Starship Troopers, the book is primarily a commentary on the ever encroaching power of multi-national corporations on our society and the individualist to community to national government struggles to live with it, along with some transhumanist alternatives.

Corporations in the future described by the book have taken over space colonization and found a somewhat inelegant solution to the problem of how to turn a profit: armed robbery. Of course, legally they're on sturdy ground - euphemistically referring to the practice as "asset realization" - but it's nothing more than tax extraction through force and so serves as a neat covert commentary on the origins of government power.

Hamilton's gift is his efficiency of description, and with space technology he manages to simultaneously summarize the great concepts for the lay-audience while adopting it to the setting of the book; for example, he describes O'Neill Colonies while explaining why future technologies have made the crop growing modules unnecessary.

This is one of the rare Peter F. Hamilton books that is not part of a series, so if you've never read one of his books, this is most likely the best place to start.

Buy it on Amazon


  1. I'm reading the book you suggested, Platinum Moon. It's starting out alright, but I'm very skeptical of the idea of fly-by-wifi. :)

  2. Bill will be enthralled to hear that.

    Both Masten and Armadillo's vehicles are fly-by-wifi :)