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In the distant future, corporations have become sustainable communities with their own militaries, and corporate goals have essentially replaced political ideology. On a youthful, rebellious impulse, Lawrence joined the military of a corporation that he now recognizes to be ruthless and exploitative. His only hope for escape is to earn enough money to buy his place in a better corporation. When his platoon is sent to a distant colony to quell a local resistance effort, it seems like a stroke of amazing fortune, and Lawrence plans to rob the colony of their fabled gemstone, the Fallen Dragon, to get the money he needs. However, he soon discovers that the Fallen Dragon is not a gemstone at all, but an alien life form that the local colonists have been protecting since it crashed in their area. Now, Lawrence has to decide if he will steal the alien to exploit the use of its inherent biotechnical processes -- which far exceed anything humans are capable of -- or if he will help the Resistance get the alien home.
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The acclaimed Peter Hamilton's standalone SF adventure Fallen Dragon sees him taking a breather after the immense, galaxy-spanning Night's Dawn trilogy, with a tauter story of future skirmishing in a mere few solar systems.
Centuries hence, despite faster-than-light travel, human interstellar exploration is stagnating. There's not enough money in it for the vast controlling companies such as Zantiu-Braun, now reduced to extracting profits via "asset realisation"--plundering established colonies that can't withstand Earth's superior weapons tech.
Lawrence Newton's childhood dreams were all about space exploration. Now he's just another Z-B squaddie, trained to use the feared, half-alive "Skin" combat biosuits, which offer super-muscles, armour and massive firepower, all queasily hooked into the wearer's bloodstream and nervous system. Commanding a platoon in Z-B's raid on planet Thallspring, Lawrence has secret plans to make off with a rumoured alien treasure.
But Thallspring resistance is unexpectedly tough, thanks to locals such as Denise Ebourn who have mysterious access to neuro-electronic subversion gear far subtler and perhaps more dangerous than Skin. Meanwhile, how fictional are the stories Denise tells her school pupils, about a fabled Empire that ruled our galaxy for a million years before becoming... something else?
Hamilton excels at violent action, but not with the dreadful simplicity of space opera. Despite his role in the explosive Thallspring situation, Lawrence genuinely hopes to avoid bloodshed--while Denise's lofty idealism results in chilling atrocities, and even Z-B may be less cruel and monolithic than it seems.
A breakneck interstellar chase leads to a satisfying finale and an unexpected romantic twist. This is solid, meaty SF entertainment. --David LangfordReview:
Absolutely vintage science fiction. Hamilton puts British sci-fi back into interstellar overdrive (The Times)
One of Hamilton's best . . . the book is undeniably a page-turner and should provide many absorbing hours for the author's existing readers as well as a salutary introduction to a major SF author for a new audience (Publishers Weekly)
A complex and gripping story, totally independent from his former work . . . For Hamilton fans this is a must-read. If you haven't read any Hamilton before, this is a good place to start (SFBook.com)
Easily his most personally affecting and cleverly written. Fallen Dragon is a love letter to star flight that recognizes the potential for humans to make a mess of anything, sincerely hoping that we won't (www.themittani.com)
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Book Description Orbit, 2009. Paperback. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # 9780316021838
Book Description Orbit, 2009. Condition: New. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in NEW condition. Seller Inventory # 0316021830-2-1
Book Description Orbit, 2009. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 0316021830_abe_bn
Book Description Orbit, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0316021830
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0316021830