This book is a collection of short stories by Peter F. Hamilton which are all set in the same universe as his 'Night's Dawn' trilogy (which I've just finished). I was a bit worried about how good the short stories would be, coz the trilogy was about 3600 pages long in total. So I wasn't sure how well his story telling style would cope with the limited space of short story. But it was good :)
The stories are a series of snapshots of his future history of the Confederation up until a couple of decades before the start of "The Reality Disfunction". Some fill in things you'd want to know if you've read the trilogy (like the last story which tells what happens to Joshua Calvert's father on his last space voyage, or the title story which is about events at the start of the Edenist culture), others are just little snapshots of the culture of the 'time' (like the first story "Sonnie's Edge").
I'm not sure how well they stand alone (without having read the trilogy, I mean) as obviously I read the trilogy first. They did all keep the attention, and the twists were not immediately obvious which is always a plus point! There was only one that stuck in my mind as below par, "Candy Buds" confused me a bit, I'm not sure if I missed something or if the story lacked something.
All in all I liked it, and I'll probably buy it (got this out the library) sometime.