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.
©1989 Dan Simmons; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1990
Locus Award, Best Novel, 1990
"Dan Simmons has the Midas touch: Every genre he writes - whether SF, horror, mystery, historical, or thriller - he turns to gold. Hyperion and The Fall Of Hyperion set a new standard for grand-scale science fiction." (Kevin J. Anderson, author of The Saga of Seven Suns)
"Dan Simmons was a star from the outset. It was the Hyperion books that made him a superstar. The man, quite simply, is what we in the trade call a writer's writer." (Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author)
Each of [the pilgrim's] stories would make a superb novella on its own. (The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas)
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
As someone with a literature degree and a sci-fi lover, this book was the perfect combination of the two. The book mirrors the format of Canterbury Tales in that each of the pilgrims tells their tale along the way to their destination. There was only one that I found boring. The rest were fascinating and all diverse from each other, explaining why they had come to the dangerous world of Hyperion. There's many allusions in the story to famous literary works and a chilling sci-fi god-monster and Hyperion natives. The prose is beautiful and engaging. I'm looking forward to continuing the series.
I would give Hyperion 4.5 stars, but I feel obligated to give 5 if just to offset these science fiction appreciation challenged fools. Sure, Hyperion ends abruptly. What publisher do you know that lets you publish a 1200 page novel? This is one of the best science fiction books of all time, I know, I've made a side career of reading Scifi. I would say the list goes something like this: Dune, Enders Game, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Hyperion, the Mote in God's Eye, the Fall of Hyperion. Read it, listen to it, but don't stop with it, finish up with the Fall of Hyperion as well. The books are really fantastic (not a huge fan of Endymion and Rise of Endymion but they tie up the series nicely). Seriously, if there is one writer today whose work compares to that of the "Golden Age" writers, it is Dan Simmons. This book is mostly character development, but it is great character development.
For me this is tough to review b/c the writing, narration and story are fantastic and i would give them each 5 stars, that is, until the ending. This book is and was very well known in its time, won a Hugo award even but that perplexes me unless the sequel was released at the exact same time b/c this book cannot stand on its own. Had the sequel never been published, this book would have been quickly forgotten and possibly even hated due to the abruptness of the ending. I get writing a story that draws readers in and makes them want to keep reading but this book's ending is cruel to the readers. Given the succinctness of Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion (book 2), the author clearly knew exactly where the story was going and only ended the book where it ended to trap readers and force them to buy the new book. Perhaps that was the publishers decision to do it that way but to me this was an incomplete book.
That being said, i highly recommend this book (and its sequel)! The accuracy of some of the 'predictions' in this story are on par with that of Asimov and other great classic sci-fi writers and that makes it really fun to read (listen) for me personally. If i had known that book 1 and book 2 are really a single book, i would have given this 5 stars overall.
This story is clumsily populated with anachronisms, and non-essentials juxtaposed with obvious scientific understanding.
The author, at times leaves the story behind, apparrently for no other reason than to showcase his abilities as a writer, The story moves extremly slowly, and the only reason that I trugded through it was the overwhelmingly positive reviews that it got and that I already spent the credit on it.
In the end, it was worth the credit but just barely. as abruptly as the first book ended, I dont know that I am interested in the main characters enough to find out what happened to them. I may or may not get it.
This has caused me to question the reviews that a book gets.
I was sucked into this book in 5 minutes. I couldn't put it down. It's so original and spell binding. Time well spent in "bookland" with this series.
This series tries to combine an examination of weighty issues - such as individual vs collective good, the relationship between human and artificial intelligence, the question of what humans might evolve into, religion vs state - while at the same time providing an entertaining plot. It's successful enough for me to have thoroughly enjoyed both the print and audio versions. I like listening to long books with a bit of heft so this 4 volume series has been great.
Unlike many others commentators I didn't find the main narrator smooth sailing, though this might be a stylistic preference for the most part. He's not terrible, just that sometimes he sounds as though he's voicing a commercial. One major irritation was his failure to produce an English accent for the voice of John Keats - the attempt interferred with pleasurable listening of those parts (this is more of an issue in the next book than this one).
This was really an enjoyable read, and some of the pilgrims' tales were utterly captivating. Narration is good, not great.
Highly recommended for those who can appreciate good storytelling and aren't looking for a run-of-the-mill thriller for those with short attention spans.
My thanks to audible for bringing this book to the audio format.
Hyperion and its sequel are absolutely wonderful books! Dan Simmons succeeded in creating an interesting and vibrant universe of unique worlds, fantastic creatures, and varied human colonies. He takes a unique approach by having each main character tell his/her own story in the first book to fully develop their characters before setting them into the main conflict of the story. I loved it and will definitely look for more Dan Simmons books in the future.
Excellent book. I've seen this title on the shelf, but I never picked it up. Once I noticed it was available from audible, I figured I'd give it a try. I was not disappointed. This was just an outstanding story. It was well read by the cast and Dan Simmons is at the top of his game as he weaves the different threads of the story together. Also, it is Unabridged!! Seriously, give it a try, I'm betting you won't be disappointed. If you are like me, you will be hooked and you will need to get the other 3 books in this series! Actually, if I ever get a free moment, I might try to read them as well as listen.
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
hyperion has 6 narrators. all of them are great! the production is top notch!
it's the 28th century. humanity fled earth b/c of an incident. one group settled among the planets whereas another group took to space. the former, the hegemony, forming a group of worlds linked by faracasters, which allow instant transmission from one place to another. the latter group, the ousters, live in space and have modified their bodies to live in space.
the hegemony is aided by the techno core, 3 factions of ais (artificial intelligences) that ceded from humanity 300 years ago. the ais help the help the hegemony run the farcasters and advise the hegemony.
hyperion is a backwater world. it doesn't have a farcaster so people have to travel there in ftl (faster than light) spaceships and travel in fugues- where they sleep the time away. ftl ships are fast, but space travel sill can take months and years b/ween the planets.
on hyperion, there are the time tombs. pilgrims travel there hoping to have a request granted by the shrike. the shrike is a 3 meter tall "thing" covered in spikes. it has 4 arms and 2 legs covered with scalpel-like spikes. it has menacing red eyes and rows of pointy metal teeth. the shrike has a tree of spikes where the shrikes victims are impaled alive, suffer, and cannot die.
there's tension b/ween the hegemony, the ousters, and the techno core. a group of 7 people are on what is possibly the last pilgrimage of the shrike church, whose followers believe the shrike will impale all humanity on his tree of spikes.
the story is comprised of each group member's story of why and how they're on this pilgrimage. each story reveals more about why they're on the brink of war and about the varying sides (the hegemony, the ousters, the techno core, and the shrike).
each story is unique and interesting, but i found the 1st one, the priest's tale a little too long. however, what is revealed has implications later in the series. this story is long! it's 4 hours, but the ending is freaky, creepy, scary, and well worth it!
the 2nd story, the soldier's tale, was my favorite. it tells colonel kassad's story of a mysterious girl he initially meets as a cadet while in the force academy's training simulation. kassad's story starts at the academy and takes his listeners through the time when he is named the "butcher of bressia."
the 3rd story, the hyperion cantos, is told by the poet, martin silenius, starts on earth. yes, he's old, but time passes for him b/c in his early years he sleeps the years away travelling b/ween the stars. martin's story is one of boom, bust, boom, bust. he's born rich, loses it all, works as a farmer, writes about his time on old earth, becomes rich, loses his money, writes a trashy series, loses his muse, moves to hyperion, finds his muse again but...oh what a muse he finds!
the 4th story is the scholars tale. it's ok. we learn why sol is traveling with a baby.
the 5th story is the detective's story. this was my 2nd favorite story. brawne lamia is a private detective who hired by a cybrid named john keats to discover who killed him. keats is an experiment of the techno core. his brain mostly resides in cyberspace and his body is mostly human with some enhancements. in this story, we get a peek into the techno core, the different factions, and their motivations.
the 6th story is the consul's story. his story is the story of his grandparents- how they met, fell in love, and died. the consul's story relates that even though technology is beneficial, there are a lot of downsides and things that get lost.
whew! i wrote more than i planned! so if you're still reading this, then know that this is a pretty good scifi book. i have read all 4. the 2nd book, the fall of hyperion, is awesome! it propelled me into book 3 and 4.
the technology is still cool and not at all outdated. the shrike imho is one of my favorite and most memorable scifi characters. you'll measure all other baddies against him, it, whatever. lol philosophically, you'll wonder how the human race should evolve, and you'll wonder how far we should develop ai.
p.s. after reading/listening about the shrike, you'll think the terminator's a wimp!!!
I loved this book. It is beautifully written with brilliant characterisation and a really good storyline. The format means that there are six interesting stories narrated by each of the main characters and these in themselves are well-constructed sci-fi. The over-arching story kept me interested throughout and made me immediately order the sequel "Fall of Hyperion", which I also read and loved. Very highly recommended to people who like the genre - it is one of the best of it's kind. Well read.
"Fantastic...but only as good as the narrators"
This story is probably one of the best sci fi books I have ever read (listened to!). The stories within the story are likewise fantastic.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars is that an audiobook is only as good as the narrator. This book is read by numerous narrators and the lady who narrates M. Brawne Lamia has one of the most annoying accents ever! It was more frustrating as Brawne Lamia is a really interesting character.
An exceptional book, a very good recording and an enjoyable and engrossing experience from beginning to end.
If you can find the time please try to read the book, but if that isn't possible then this is the next best thing, a story of stupefying complexity and subtlety.
The best thing is that the second book is as good if not better than the first, so enjoy.
"A fantastic combination"
We all have our favourite authors and when listening to them as an audiobook we either fall more in love with them or end up slightly disappointed that they don't meet our expectations - we don't like the reader or it doesn't fire our imagination the same as with our own reading. With this in mind, when I have been selecting new authors, I have done so on the basis of comments people have made, playing a sample of the narrator and how well it has been rated here and elsewhere online.
Dan Simmons and Victor Bevine et al have been a find! This has book has depth in all sorts of unexpected areas and the narration is first rate. Lots of different themes are covered from different perspectives as the story unfold before you - you'll love some characters, hate others and see still others in a new way. It makes you think about certain things that are relevant and wonder how you might have chosen to deal with it.
I don't wish to give any plot away and I hope that you might discover this wonderful combination of first rate narration with a fantastic author.
"Wonderful Sci Fi"
This has got to be one of the best science fiction books I have read. The listener follows seven pilgrims who are on a quest to meet a mythical monster - the 'shrike' on the planet 'Hyperion'. Each pilgrim shares his story with the others, and each story is told in a different style which reflects the individuals' characters. The stories are sometimes harrowing, sometimes sensual and sometimes touching, but always riveting. Dan Simmons has created an incredible, multifaceted world (worlds!) with history, politics, mysticism and religion all mixed in. It is thoroughly captivating - buy 'The Fall of Hyperion' at the same time as you'll want to read on.
No. This pilgrims progress style collection of linked short stories is painful. Multiple styles are applied, under a common context, but the characters were unsympathetic and the stories generally uninteresting. It is possible that it may just be dated but I think I am being generous. As if it wasn't a struggle to get through the dreary storylines the book had no proper conclusion and ended abruptly expecting the reader to move on to the next in the series. That's not going to happen.
No. It is awful.
The one saving grace was the multiple narrators but it was mildly confusing and not enough to raise the product above lamentable.
I don't really understand why everyone has raved about this book. It is dry, stilted and just plain dull. I have asked myself if I am just not a Sci-fi fan but this type of thing is just so much better from Issac Asimov or Iain M Banks
"The Best Sci Fi Series in Audiotape"
This was an eye-opener! The whole series is exquisitely crafted and sensitively narrated and so good I hope it wins many many awards. The ONLY writer to rival Ian M Banks.
It takes just a little while to engage with the story, but then you realise that you are in love with this strange but fascinating world with astonishing yet poignant tales.
Highly addictive, I bought the whole series.
On the book...
I really liked this book - and have recently finished listening to all of the series. Iain M Banks is still my favourite sci-fi author, but I'd listened to all of his audio books and wanted some more epic contemporary sci-fi and people seemed to recommend this - and rightly so. As a whole the story is definitely epic, has great characters and a really great story. In this one, the sex scenes were a bit perverse and unnecessary. I could see the idea he was going for with it - but it didn't play out well really and was pretty cheesy at times. Other than that, the story is really good and well worth reading.
I didn't really think much of the narrator - it sounded like English wasn't his first language maybe. He pronounced every single word - like 'to' and 'a' - fully, which - when you actually hear it done - is quite strange. He occasionally made little errors in pronunciation - saying the 'chasm' with a soft 'ch' sound - which is a bit weird - or maybe he just did the whole thing in one take without bothering to fix the error. He also pronounced 'Aargh' exactly as it is written, with a clear 'r' and then a hard 'g' sound on the end. No-one really says that when they scream - that's just obvious - again - weird. The thing I disliked the most though was his inability to portray anything other than a small range of emotions. Whenever he took on a woman's voice - there was one set tone - and any emotion - such as anger - was not portrayed at all - it was always just 'the soft woman tone'. The range of accents for the different characters was good - just a bit more attention to tone and emotion was needed.
"Brilliant and gripping story"
I've little to add to what previous reviewers have said except that this is a truly superb audiobook. I was gripped from the word go, and was engrossed right the way through despite the book's length. Probably in the top two or three audibooks I've listened to this year. Narration is excellent. Strongly recommended.
This is without doubt, the best series of books I have downloaded from Audible so far. Epic sci-fi with amazing characters that you will really feel for as the story unfolds. I had of course read the books a long time ago but hearing them brings a whole new dimension to the story, beautifully narrated by the reader, my only tiny complaint was some of the American pronounciation of word and names but it never gets in the way of the huge, complex, and very rewarding story. I've just finished listening to Fall of Hyperion and have to admit to tears in my eyes at certain points. About to start Endymion, plenty of tears to come as I remember. Highly recommended even if you don't like sci-fi!
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