The Night's Dawn trilogy
A sprawling epic of possesion and struggle among the far future's radically different humanity.
Written between 1996 and 1999, The Night's Dawn trilogy is a huge, ambitious space opera. Each of its component books is over 1,000 pages long. They are: The Reality Dysfunction (1996), The Neutronium Alchemist (1997) and The Naked God (1999).
The story involves a conflict between the living and the dead. The latter are trying to re-enter the corporeal world, via the mechanism of possession. If those in the living dimension want to stop the dead invading they must kill the host bodies.
This war between the dead and the living takes place in the 27th century, against a background of huge cities. Although in many ways Utopias, these also suffer from the dystopian blights of poverty and disease. This yin and yang mirrors society's split into two radically different groups, the Adamists and Edenists.
The world of the trilogy is huge and exhaustively detailed - so much so that Hamilton wrote a non-fiction companion to the novels, The Confederation Handbook. He has also followed the trilogy with a collection of short stories, A Second Chance at Eden.
Work nominated by sirthursday and bendyfish.