In the far future science-fiction world of Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy, mankind is divided into two distinct cultural factions, the Adamists and the Edenists.

The Basics

The larger and more conservative of the two factions, the Adamists reject Edenist bitek, mostly on religious grounds. They make up for this deficiency with an advanced knowledge of particle physics and nanotechnology. Though most Adamists retain 100% human DNA, they often modify themselves with nanotech implants. The Adamist faction incorporates many thousands of nations and sub-cultures, united by little more than their rejection of the bitek lifestyle. Adamist culture is very similar to the culture of present-day Earth.

How They Get Around

Adamist starships are direct descendants of the rockets and orbiters of today, consisting of zero-G crew areas, life support systems, cargo bays, and propulsion drives. They are built around a central fusion reactor which generates power for all ships' systems, as well as providing thrust. The bridge contains acceleration couches which protect the crew during high-G maneuvers, along with a sophisticated computer system that downloads flight data directly into the captain's mind. The ships are perfectly spherical, as the space-folding ZTT jump technology that allows interstellar travel can only form a spherical event horizon.

Where They Live

Adamists live in Bernal Sphere-style colonies, hollowed-out asteroid space stations, and on the surfaces of earthlike planets. There is one Adamist bitek habitat, called Tranquility. Adamists colonize far more aggressively than the Edenists do, and control far more natural resources. Earth itself is still inhabited, but since the destruction of its atmosphere, everyone there has lived in arcologies. Though the frontier worlds are primitive and there are some very conservative worlds, most Adamists live in high-tech versions of today's nations.


The pinnacle of Adamist science is nanotechnology, which influences nearly every facet of their society. Nanotech band-aids heal broken bones in hours, and, for those with enough money, nanotech implants can increase their physical abilities far beyond those of unmodified humans. However, the most revolutionary use of nanotechnology is the neural nanotech suite. Any Adamist of reasonable means can have a microscopic but powerful computer installed in their brain, which can serve a limitless number of functions. Adamists use them to play video on their retinas, to control vehicles and complex tools, and to store large amounts of information which they could not remember on their own. Starship captains control their ships with commands from their neural nanos. Soldiers use them to trigger artificial adrenaline highs and to block pain. Software modules allow them, Matrix-like, to learn kung fu instantly. They can access worldwide systems of wireless broadband communication. Finally, in an approximation of Edenist affinity, Adamists with neural nanotech installed can send "mental ICQs" to one another. Though these messages are transmitted almost instantly, they are received consciously as a form of language, rather than unconsciously in the manner of affinity. Thus, Adamists can neither live beyond physical death nor form a Consensus - they are restricted to a kind of cell phone in their head.

Weapons Systems

Without the Edenist ability to form a Consensus, Adamists are still subject to constant wars and infighting. As a result, Adamist research has a tendency to focus on new and efficient ways of killing people. Three examples stand out.
The combat wasp is an automated drone missile launched from spacecraft, capable of accelerating at up to 20 gees. Most ship-to-ship combat is performed by these heavily-armed drones, which duel according to their programming between the ships. They are so effective that a single drone escaping the melee spells doom for any but the most resourceful of ships.
Antimatter is just like it is in real life - expensive and difficult to produce, but fantastically destructive. It is universally banned by treaty. Secret black market antimatter stations produce it in small quantities for the unscrupulous, who use it with extreme caution. A drop of anti-hydrogen can destroy continents.
The Alchemist is a top-secret weapon of mass destruction invented by Dr. Alkad Mzu, who was captured before its deployment and is kept under tight surveillance at all times. Though its exact capabilities are unknown, it's rumored to be able to destroy entire star systems.

Attitude toward Edenists

Adamists find Edenists to be blunt, frivolous, and immoral. Because Edenists are almost inhumanly well-adjusted, they make little allowance for the feelings of those who cannot communicate as well as they. Adamists often find this superior attitude grating. Though there has never been actual war between the Adamists and the Edenists, relations are perpetually strained.

Adamists of note include womanizing starship captain Joshua "LaGrange" Calvert and the aristocratic Lord of Ruin, Ione Saldana.