The Reality Dysfunction - Emergence
Copyright 1996 by
I first read this on the 20th September 1997 and most recently on the 18th March 2002
It's the 26th Century. Human civilisation has split into two major cultures:
Adamists and Edenists. Edenists use bitek, or biotechnology, to create
artificial life. They build self-aware orbital habitats and spacecraft.
Edenists are effectively immortal, they can live, even after the death of
their physical bodies, by uploading their consciousness into these bitek
To the Adamists this is abhorrent. They believe this is a corruption of
humanity and that artificial lifeforms and entities who survive physical
death are soulless imitations of life.
The Confederation governs the Adamist civilisations, in some alliance with
the Edenists, in a more or less enlightened manner.
Earth, reprising the British Empire's one-time policy, transports
criminals to colony worlds to serve as temporary slaves to the colonists.
Quinn Dexter is a petty criminal and true-believer in the depraved
Night's Brother religion. Betrayed by his gang boss and religious leader
Banneth, he is transported to the primitive colony world Lalonde.
Dexter is determined that he will escape from Lalonde and enact his
revenge on Banneth. To do that he'll need first to bend the other
involuntary transportees to his will. He'll do that by instituting the
depraved beliefs of his Night's Brother religion.
Gerald Skibbow and his wife Loren are looking forward to starting a new life
as colonists on Lalonde, away from the dangerous and hopeless arcologies of
Earth. Their beautiful but rebellious daughter Marie is less enthused,
bitter that she's been dragged away from civilisation, fashion and cosmetics.
A passing alien makes a brief appearance, sufficient however to
trigger cataclysmic events that the rest of this massive trilogy attempts
On the Edenist habitat of Tranquility, Joshua Calvert, prospecting for lost
alien technology in a ruined asteroid belt near Tranquillity, discovers an
Quinn Dexter's observance of the Night's Brother obscene and deadly rituals
finally bears its corrupt fruit - he can recall dead souls to possess the
bodies of the living, and these possessed have fearful, terrifying power.
This is the first of the two-part novel The Reality Dysfunction which is
itself part one of The Night's Dawn trilogy.
Refer to The Naked God, final volume of the trilogy, for my summation of
this vast work.
By the way, it's a terrific read. The trilogy has got just about every sort
of technology you can think of: nanotechnology, biotechnology, FTL, wormholes,
artificial intelligence, telepathy, spirit realms, lasers, masers and
In the United Kingdom, this book and its sequel The Reality Dysfunction - Expansion are published
as a single volume The Reality Dysfunction.
Loaded on the 10th April 2002.