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Literature / Chronicle Of The Fallers

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A series of Science Fiction novels written by Peter F. Hamilton.

The Chronicle of the Fallers is set during the Void Trilogy era of the Commonwealth Universe and deals with many of the same things, but with a much different cast of people.

So far, the Chronicle consists of:

  1. The Abyss Beyond Dreams (released 21 October 2014)
  2. A Night Without Stars (released 22 September 2016)

Warning: unmarked spoilers ahead.


This series provides examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Humans: As in the Void Trilogy, the Commonwealth is this to the Void humans. The 'advanced' part is because the Void interferes with advanced technology, forcing the humans into Medieval Stasis. The 'ancient' part is because time runs differently - externally, the colony ship Vermilion enters the void around 3133, and Nigel enters it in 3326, but Vermilion's colony in the Void experiences a subjective timespan of roughly three thousand years.
  • Aliens are Bastards: The Fallers or at least the ones that didn't become Skylords.
  • Canon Character All Along: In A Night Without Stars, Faustina is Bethaneve.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Within the Void, Nigel makes a creditable Elf, and is appropriately arrogant about it.
  • Cloning Gambit: In A Night Without Stars, Joey gets Paula onto Bienvenido by fast-growing a clone and overwriting it with her memories. Played with in that this is a backup plan, and the original Paula isn't aware it's been used until after the plot is over.
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  • Continuity Cavalcade: In the final book of A Night Without Stars. Edeard, Salrana, Troblum, Catriona, Oscar, Justine and Mellanie all appear.
  • Death of Personality: What happens to Proval and Demitri, although Demitri is (a) not technically alive and (b) saved using time reversal.
  • Eldritch Starship: The Forest is a fleet of these. They're Fallers in starship form, reproducing and firing their eggs down to the surface of Bienvenido.
  • Eternal English: Despite three thousand years of divergence, Nigel can easily speak with the residents of Bienvenido.
  • Evil Knockoff: Fallers. The original is killed in the process.
  • Expendable Clone: Nigel's ANAdroids.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted. Joey dies of decompression, complete with blood from his eyes and mouth, but he doesn't explode - he just suffocates.
  • Fallen Hero: Slvasta, ultimately. By the time of A Night Without Stars, he has the respect of history, but every other viewpoint character hates him, and his legacy is the repressive People's Congress government.
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  • Full-Circle Revolution: In The Abyss Beyond Dreams, Bienvenido is governed by the absolute monarchy of the Captains. It's overthrown by the People's Congress, which by two and a half centuries later is established in A Night Without Stars to have a repressive secret police force and generally be just as bad, if not worse.
  • Genre Throwback: In A Night Without Stars, Bienvenido has 1970sish technology, secret police, constant use of the word 'Comrade', and even collective farms. Nuclear weapons also show up repeatedly and are occasionally used. There's a touch of the Cold War paperback thriller in there.
  • Immediate Sequel: Averted, unusually. While the Commonwealth Saga and Void Trilogy run pretty much continuously, there is a 257-year gap between The Abyss Beyond Dreams and A Night Without Stars. Of course, considering the average lifespan of Commonwealth citizens, this effectively is an Immediate Sequel for them; however, it's a couple of generations on Bienvenido.
  • Interquel: Technically. The main plot of The Abyss Beyond Dreams starts in 3326, well over two centuries before the start of the Void Trilogy (3580). However, Inigo dreams Edeard's plot (well, most of it) between 3320 and 3324, so it's already public knowledge by the time The Abyss Beyond Dreams kicks off.
  • Medieval Stasis: Played straight in The Abyss Beyond Dreams, thanks to the Void damping effect.
    • Averted in A Night Without Stars. Because Bienvenido has been ejected from the Void, its technology is able to advance to roughly 1970s-equivalent in general, with some outliers.
  • Modern Stasis: In A Night Without Stars. As Bienvenido has to deal with the Trees even after its ejection from the Void, the government takes measures to preserve societal stability to maintain an ongoing war footing. It is mentioned that technological developments must be licensed, and licenses are rarely issued. The slow pace of development becomes clear given that in the opening, Bienvenido has roughly 1940s-level technology, and then two hundred and fifty-seven years later in the main story it only has 1970s-level technology.
  • My Greatest Failure: Slvasta doesn't manage to kill Ingmar before the latter is used to make a Faller.
  • Recycled Premise: To a degree. The worldbuilding and choice of characters strongly parallels the Void Trilogy, just more dystopian.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In the ending, Nigel rescues Laura from the Forest's twenty-seven-hour time loop.
  • Sole Survivor: Slvasta is the sole survivor of his patrol squad. Their deaths leave him traumatised and obsessed with Fallers.
  • Time Skip: A Night Without Stars takes place two hundred and fifty-seven years after The Abyss Beyond Dreams. This is pocket change for Commonwealth citizens, although not so much for the people of Bienvenido.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Edeard, Slvasta is one of these. Unlike Edeard, Slvasta is angrier and less rational.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: There's a lot of this with the ANAdroids. They are meant to be used as help and expendable test subjects, but they come to mean a lot to those who spend time with them.

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