Hyperion

Hyperion

Book - 1989
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Random House, Inc.
A stunning tour de force filled with transcendent awe and wonder, Hyperion is a masterwork of science fiction that resonates with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable epic by the multiple-award-winning author of The Hollow Man.

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Praise for Dan Simmons and Hyperion

“Dan Simmons has brilliantly conceptualized a future 700 years distant. In sheer scope and complexity it matches, and perhaps even surpasses, those of Isaac Asimov and James Blish.”The Washington Post Book World 

“An unfailingly inventive narrative . . . generously conceived and stylistically sure-handed.”The New York Times Book Review

“Simmons’s own genius transforms space opera into a new kind of poetry.”The Denver Post

“An essential part of any science fiction collection.”Booklist

Baker & Taylor
A pilgrimage to the realm of the Shrike, a part-god/part-killing machine, provides the travellers the forum to tell their incredible stories

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c1989.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385263481
0385263481
9780385249492
0385249497
Branch Call Number: SF SIM
Characteristics: 481 p. ; 22 cm.

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susan_findlay
Mar 07, 2017

Simmons does a beautiful job of introducing first a world (Hyperion) then a universe by way of a series of tales told by a group of seemingly random individuals gathered together for a pilgrimage. At first, the book seems like it will be a bit of a slog, but it's worth pushing through the initial set-up to get to the first tale. The tales are the meat of the book. They are what tell the story. They are both brilliant and compelling.
Essentially, each pilgrim explains why they have been chosen for the pilgrimage by telling either a personal history or the history of a close associate/friend/family member. Each tale introduces you to new aspects of Hyperion and this universe - often aspects you didn't even realize you needed to see until you were shown them.
While this book feels a bit like a collection of related short stories, the stories combine to make a richer whole - and, while I certainly have my favourites, they all feel essential to the overall mission of the book.

j
JohnGoatcher
Jan 22, 2017

One of the best I have read for years. It has a very engaging story with a fairly timeless plot that will probably be valid a long time hence. You must line up the sequel before finishing this one!

c
camzm
Dec 22, 2014

I think this is probably the best story I have ever read in the science-fiction genre, which is quite something. The characters all feel so alive and the pacing is excellent. There is also quite a bit of philosophising in the books, there is much more going on than the actions of the characters on the page.
The book is also chock-full of literary references, most obviously to One Whose Name Was Writ In Water (Keats).

This book is actually the first in a series of four, if you find the ending confusing, follow up with "The Fall of Hyperion."

o
oldman74
May 19, 2013

Well-written piece which does a wonderful job developing the characters and allows us to care for their virtues despite their vices. Won the Hugo Award (Science Fiction). This is the first book in the series.

g
Gordo81
Oct 16, 2012

While I found this book quite interesting I really did not appreciate the violence and sexuality included in the book, I am not sure that it really added to the story and I found it quite inappropriate to my sensibilities.

I do like the way the story advances through the tales of each character. I found some of the stories much more engaging, I liked the Priest and Father most.

s
stormy1960
Oct 04, 2012

I can see how one would either love or not so much love this book, but I found the artifice of the "Canterbury Tales" approach, the corny shift in writing style for each characters story, and the in retrospect predictable lack of resolution at the end to be very powerful and a very appropriate way to carry this tale along. I will read this one again someday.

t
tabellaria
Aug 21, 2012

Disappointing, as several of my friends were hyping this book and it's apparently won some prestigious awards. I like sci fi in general but not this one. Characters felt like caricatures (flat and unmotivated), dialogue felt clunky and contrived. Writing style is verbose in areas where it doesn't need to be (too many descriptions of landscapes we're seeing just for a moment and not enough coherent description of the world and its technologies and political systems and made-up words). So much random violence that it desensitizes you and you don't really care any more by the end. Awkwardly sexist at times. But if I had just gotten a little bit of plot resolution I could have forgiven most of this. Yes, I know this is setting you up for the sequel, but at least give me a little resolution at the end of ~500 pages! How can I care about the mysteries alluded to in the story if the characters don't even care enough to try to answer them?

l
LaurenAHHH
Jul 01, 2012

I thought this book was great. It's structured so that multiple short stories are being told as the main characters are traveling to the Time Tombs in Hyperion. It's a very interesting way to structure the book and I really enjoyed it.

After 5 attempts and 10 years I finally finished this book and I STILL don't understand the appeal and the popularity. It's confusing, there is little detail to allow a real understanding of the universe he creates, no serious history and it cuts off after what is essentially nothing more than the back stories of the 7 pilgrims.

t
TheWhiteAfrican
Dec 16, 2009

One of the best sci-fi books in recent years. Greatly influenced by the Canterbury Tales and the poetry of John Keats (there's even a cyborg clone of Keats featured later!).
The story is centered around seven pilgrims, each who tells his own story and thus the book is in a sense a collection of shorter works, all brilliant, under a larger framework.
The writing is easy to read, yet absorbing. Simmons' characterization is exact and his description of the many wondrous things in his universe are gorgeous.
However, you will have to read the slightly disappointing sequel (fall of hyperion) to find out how the story ends, and if you're still on a Simmons-high by that point, you can check out the next two books in the saga, Rise of Endymion and Endymion.

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Acteon
Dec 09, 2011

As the entire known universe is torn apart by war, seven strangers travel to Hyperion to make pilgrimage to the Shrike. A creature which, unrestricted by human morality or the limits of time strikes out at humanity, slaughtering its victims in attacks to fast to be seen or understood. Fleeing the confusion on their home-worlds, these individuals share their stories so that they might understand why they were each drawn to seek answers from an inscrutable being whose actions only seem to breed chaos and destruction.

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