British Fiction Focus

Someone Else’s Memories: Revealing A Window into Time by Peter F. Hamilton

Book a couple of weeks off work, Peter F. Hamilton fans, because not only do you have his next door-stopper, namely Night Without Stars, to look forward to—A Window into Time will also be along shortly to tide you over till the conclusion of The Chronicle of the Fallers.

Bizarrely for Hamilton, whose normally enormous novels have strained the shelves of discerning science fiction fans since The Night’s Dawn trilogy kicked off in 1996, A Window into Time is a “small and perfectly-formed” novella set to be released as an ebook in late July. “A high-concept mystery set in London, with a compelling time-travel twist,” it’s also unusual for the bestselling fella “in that it isn’t set in the future,” nor does it appear to “feature a lot of shiny Science Fictional technology.”

Teenage Julian has perfect recall, which means he has trouble finding his place in the world. But he really does know his own mind. So when he starts experiencing someone else’s memories, which are also tantalizing glimpses of the future, Julian realizes he must find out why. And as he comes to know this unmet friend, it becomes clear that this man is in danger. Julian resolves to do everything in his power to track him down—a journey which takes him to the heart of London’s commercial district, home to the city’s financial elite. He can’t give up, as he might just prevent a murder.

“This wonderful novella is just the perfect introduction to Peter’s work,” Senior Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan put it in the post announcing A Window into Time’s impending publication, “and a great palate-cleanser for a Peter F. Hamilton fan who finds themselves between actual novels.”

Actual novels like 2014’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams and this year’s Night Without Stars, which, like its predecessor, has been graced with some strikingly stark cover art by the remarkable Larry Rostant:

Night-Without-Stars-Cover

Last but not least, here’s something of a plot synopsis for you to pour over between now and Night Without Stars’ release at the end of September:

The planet of Bienvenido is on its own, isolated from the rest of the universe. And it’s waging war against the ruthless Fallers, aliens which have evolved to conquer whole worlds.

Kysandra is leading an underground resistance, aided by biological enhancements that give her a crucial edge. But she fears she’s fighting a losing battle. This is especially as the government hampers her efforts at every turn, blinded by crippling technophobia and prejudices against enhanced ‘Eliter’ humans. However, if the resistance and government can’t work together, humanity on this planet will face extinction—for the Fallers are organizing a final, decisive invasion.

Bienvenido badly needs outside help. But the Commonwealth, with all its technological expertise, has been lost to them for generations. Desperate times will call for desperate measures, or humanity on Bienvenido will not survive.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He lives with about a bazillion books, his better half and a certain sleekit wee beastie in the central belt of bonnie Scotland.

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