Peter F Hamilton is one of the biggest science fiction authors on the planet, the multi-million selling author of the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy and more. In 2018 he started a whole new sequence with Salvation, a stunning return that earned a five-star review from our sister publication SFX magazine, and kicked off the 23rd century-set story of a team sent out to the site of an alien artefact, one of the members is not who he or she appears to be – part space opera, part whodunnit...
“I wanted to do a different style of narrative structure,” Peter F Hamilton told SFX of the novel back in August 2018. “It’s similar to Dan Simmons’ Hyperion in that you get the travellers en route to their destination and each of them tells their story, which builds up the background. But of course Simmons took that off The Canterbury Tales so I’m not particularly worried that I’m going to be accused of copying this now!”
Salvation was just the start of the story, however, and with the second part of the trilogy, Salvation Lost, coming in October, SFX is delighted to give the world an exclusive first look at the cover – just scroll down to take a look.
We also grabbed a chat with Peter F Hamilton himself, who talks about Salvation Lost and Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots – his Sonnie’s Edge was the inspiration for one of the shorts in the highly acclaimed anthology series.
Salvation was the start of a new sequence for you. When you were writing Salvation Lost, did it still feel fresh and new?
Salvation Lost is a direct continuation of the Salvation story, but now everyone knows exactly what's happening, the story can progress a lot quicker. That gives it a whole new perspective, which is just like writing something new for the first time. Fresh ideas always come out of what I’m writing at the time, I’m always looking at what I've done and trying to see a different angle on it. The problem is trying to blend all this new stuff into a story that’s already been outlined in plenty of detail.
Can you give us an idea of where Salvation Lost picks up from Salvation?
About 30 seconds later – or one dramatic pause's worth. Although it's a trilogy in that it’s told in three separate books, Salvation is one story.
How would you compare Salvation Lost to Salvation in terms of the storytelling? More of the same? Bigger? More adventurous?
More of the same but different. There was a big whodunit element in Salvation, that obviously doesn't carry over (no spoilers!), and it also included a lot of backstory to help introduce the setting. However with Salvation Lost I’ve expanded the universe and what's going on in it, as well as introducing a new set of characters who help widen the focus.
Do you envisage any crossover with universes in other book series you’ve written, or are you keeping them separate?
There is no crossover. I like to keep the various universes I write about separate. That way I’m always writing about something different.
Since Salvation came out, you've had your story Sonnie’s Edge brought to the screen in Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots. How did that come about and were you happy with the final result?
I was approached a couple of years ago by Blur Studios who did the adaptation of Sonnie’s Edge. So keeping quiet about it for that long was tough. Aside from some emails and skype calls with [producer] Tim Miller and [director] Dave Wilson I wasn't involved in production. But I did get to see various rough versions of the show as they developed it. The work they did bringing Sonnie and her world to life so vividly was amazing. I didn’t really know what was involved in producing something like that, nor the sheer effort required, even the number of people required was surprising. The end result is perfection.
Has the experience whet your appetite to have more of your work adapted for the screen?
I think everyone at Netflix is watching the numbers, so I’m hopeful that they'll green light a second season. One of the recurring comments I've been getting from people who watched it, was they wanted a whole show of Sonnie’s Edge. I get that, but Sonnie works because it's a short with a twist at the end that leaves a huge impact. Of course, there is the whole Night’s Dawn trilogy if anyone is keen...
Salvation Lost is published by Pan Macmillan in October.