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)
A fascinating story is unfolded for us by a full cast of narrators. I was engrossed and mesmerized. There are a lot of interesting scientific concepts explored here, much of it dealing with time paradoxes. But the conclusion left me feeling cheated and rather annoyed. One of the tools writers use to build complexity, interest and tension is to weave in additional plot threads. The more plot threads, the more interesting the story tends to become, but it also becomes very complex and drawing all of those loose ends to a tidy conclusion is an author's greatest challenge. In Hyperion, Simmons weaves a masterwork of many layers only to leave it all hanging out there without any resolution. Great start, disappointing finish.
I made it about halfway through this book before giving up due to lack of interest. There may be a fascinating story in there somewhere, but I was not motivated to find it. The audio production is very good.
Having a different person read for each character and then an additional one for the he said, she said and other narration didn't work for me at all. I have read the book a couple times and love it but this was almost impossible to listen to. Looking at the other books in the series they abandoned this style of recording after Hyperion, but I'm not going to risk it and try any of the others.
The concept presented in this book isn't ground breaking but it is the way the story is told that sets this book apart from others. I would give this book 5 stars except i think they could have added a prequel to the book or atleast a decent back story before plunging the listeners into the world of Hyperion. Still overall its a good book and worth the credit.
I've heard that this book and series is considered an award-winning masterpiece but the only word I can find for it is "weird". Weird scenery (like giant flying trees) and weirder characters without motivations explained. For example, one character finds out his friend suffered an excruciating death because of contact with an alien life form. Then, in the next scene, we find out somehow the character has suffered the same fate as his friend--but the how and why of this occurrance is not explained at all.
As the recording went on the story just got both more weird and more boring. And one of the narrators (female) didn't seem to be able to act.
I couldn't finish it--don't waste your time.
No joke. The top level sci-fi story of the shrike and all that is so badly written I can't believe anyone liked it. It has every sci-fi cliche, weak creation of "future" terms, a plot so obvious you'll know where it's going before it gets there, a mishmash of 19th and 20th century references (sometimes acknowledged as "really ancient" and other times just thrown in as though everyone in the future should know these cultural tidbits). It reads like a Simmons wrote a bunch of stories in a variety of styles, some of which he masters and some of which he gets too cute with (Sam Spade type mystery with a woman PI, wow what a twist) and then in great haste under deadline linked them together. Another reviewer mentioned the terrible female character (whose lines appear so infrequently you often forget she even there until her tale). Tough for an actress to find motivation in the delivery , when there simply isn't any in the book: the lines in the novel are almost an afterthought--as in "oh, I should have the female say something occasionally."
Some of the individual tales are quite interesting and well written, but the overall structure is so dreadful, it's not worth suffering through to get to the occasional interesting tale. I'm skipping the second book entirely. I just don't care what happens to these characters, and I can't face another long novel of wooden style/dialogue and cliched plotting/action.
As I listened to this book, i loved the way that it tied religion and human history with the sci-fi story line.. i hated the way that it ended with such a lack of closure.. BUT i guess thats why I'm onto "The fall of Hyperion". .. LOL . Well i'm off to see the wizard..
Again, I was fooled by the reviews which were generally positive. However, this was another costly loser. Although I managed to get through it, it was an effort. The story idea wasn't bad, although it took most of the book for me to get it. That was the good part. As for plot line, style, characterization, and plain old storytelling...strictly fifth rate. The book was
packed with overly dramatic
and stilted language, hackneyed and
pretentious characters so predictable and robot like and unlikeable that I wanted them killed off
in the first few chapters. Like many bad sf/fantasy writers, the author just had to give
several of characters those "cutesy" "names from the future" that no
parent in their right mind, even millenia from now, would likely even think of naming their children. And, the "climax" was not a climax nor was it imaginative. It was, worst of all, without
Except for its epic length, one could easily
guess that the author, when he wrote this book, was an 8 year old x box addict. HYPERION is a real waste of time.
I read a few reviews that said that this book was terrible, but I didn't think it was too bad...at first. It's basically several short stories tied together by a really slipshod and poorly executed attempt at a framework. The short stories themselves are pretty good, one even brought tears. The setup for the stort stories is pretty weak, however. Everybody is on a pilgrimage together and they explain a part of their reason for going on the pilgrimage. We really get into their stories, which, it seems, will be resolved at the conclusion of the novel. This resolution never happens, not one of the stories is ever fully resolved. Then the author tacks on the very worst ending that I have ever read in my whole life. I hate authors that do that to me, and i will never read another book by this one again.
Tell us about yourself!
In my opinion, no.
This novel felt like a collection of short stories. They never connected to me. The book never really "ends". The Shrike is the principle antagonist, but in the book rarely antagonizes much of anything. In my mind, I kept picturing a petulant child doing random things to random people, usually impaling them at random. As a single entity on a single planet in a very large collection of planets in an empire, I didn't get the fuss.Of course, the short stories themselves are about the people around the Shrike, not the Shrike himself. Most of the short stories are okay, I didn't connect with them. I just couldn't get around the "silly" aspects of science.
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