Manhattan in Reverse

Peter F. Hamilton

25 July 2019
272 pages


Across seven original tales from master of science fiction Peter F. Hamilton, Manhattan in Reverse offers captivating glimpses into incredible worlds – with characters old and new.

'Each short story has enough ideas for a whole novel' – Ken Follett, author of The Pillars of the Earth

Following the events of Judas Unchained, Paula Myo returns. In the title story Manhattan in Reverse, the detective is on the case of a species believed to be without sentience – until it attacks the human colonisers. And, in The Demon Trap, Paula is dispatched to investigate a terrorist attack – and a motive that will be hard to unravel. Elsewhere, Watching Trees Grow tells of a murder in an alternative 1800s Oxford, and The Forever Kitten raises questions of eternal youth – and the sacrifices required to pursue it.

With all his usual brilliantly conceived storytelling, Peter F. Hamilton’s talents are on full display in Manhattan in Reverse.

A rare collection from one of sci-fi’s more engaging storytellers
Hamilton is often associated with space operas unusual even in that genre for both scale and mass; one of the best stories here, “Watching Trees Grow”, depicts the human race’s expansion out from its home world as the background to an immortal Javert’s inexorable solution to a whodunit. He also usefully reminds us that it is possible for people of somewhat conservative views to be humane; the title story is an effective puzzle concluding in a moral point that does not only apply to alien planets
The collection’s highpoint is the excelled novella “Watching Tress Grow”, set in an alternate reality in which Rome never fell and most citizens are immortal