The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
Inigo is a scientist studying the Void, a mysterious black-hole-like structure at the centre of the galaxy, when he begins dreaming of human life inside the Void. Facilitated by the Gaiafield, a sort of neural internet, his dreams are shared amongst the population of the Commonwealth. A religion, Living Dream, soon forms around Inigo and his dreams, and Inigo goes into hiding. Living Dream spreads to billions of people on multiple worlds, taking over entire governments on some planets.
The leader of Living Dream decides to mount a pilgrimage to the Void, with the intent of leading his people to a new, Utopian life inside the Void. The human government of the Commonwealth, and other alien races, are split on what will happen if the pilgrimage goes ahead — some believe the fleet of ships will not be able to enter the Void and will be destroyed, whilst others believe the attempt to enter will trigger an expansion phase of the Void, consuming the entire galaxy.
The various government factions despatch agents to find Inigo and a hidden Second Dreamer, who has also started broadcasting dreams of the Void through the Gaiafield, in order to stop the pilgrimage before it destroys the galaxy.
You know what you are going to get with Peter F. Hamilton — a solid, door-stop sized action/adventure story featuring his bio-enhanced characters, and this is exactly what The Dreaming Void provides. This first book of the Void Trilogy clips along at a steady pace as we follow the various faction agents as they hunt for Inigo, and Living Dream, who are searching for both Inigo and the Second Dreamer.
Each chapter alternates with sections recounting Inigo’s dreams of life inside the Void — a medieval level society, where everyone possesses telekinetic abilities. I found these sections to be a more interesting and involving story than the main plot.
There’s nothing outstanding or innovative in this novel, but if you are looking for a hefty chunk of adventure, then this may suit your purpose. Be warned though — you WILL want to pick up the sequel to continue the story.