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)
When I first starting listening to this book, I thought OMG what have I purchased, this is terrible. However, I persevered through the first chapter and then it captured my attention and the story has grown on me. I am now enjoying the story. It is not however, the kind of story that I cannot put down.
too many concepts that are simply not explained and so you begin to skim read gleaning the bare bones of the story, letting the rest go. This prevents me from becoming immersed in the story.
I enjoyed the narrators
The Depth the writer goes to to explain the world around him in the tiniest of details he goes to to portray the image of the time. Most impressed
Without any doubt this book equals the "The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F Hamilton. Till Hyperion, was in my opinion the greatest Scifi I have ever read.
The World an the life going on in it. I think this statement explains it well enough because the narrator has done such a good job that its all that needs saying.
Definitely yes, was hard to go to sleep at night while listening to it, because I wanted just "five more minutes"
A must have addition to anyone's lib, an cant recommend it enough.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
Reading is a different experience, couldn't be "better or worse", but what I will say is that the production was spectacular. The only other audible production I can compare it to is Dune. It was just great from the main narrator to the different characters just great. I wouldn't have enjoyed a movie more, which I think is a better comparison.
Rachel has to be one of the most interesting and compelling characters I have encountered. A close second would be Father Hoyt...all in all the character development is very well done.
I have not, but he (they) did an awesome job.
"go listen to the audible version first, they did it better"
Simmons is just a great writer, I would compare him to Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula LeGuin.. He is descriptive, develops characters very well and presents a multi layered story that draws you in. the basic story premise is based on systems theory, religion, poetry and a complex science fiction space opera. Detractors will maintain that Simmons spend too much time describing minute items. But I enjoy getting lost in the details of a good story so I personally enjoy that. I plan on listening to the remainder of the series. I cannot say enough about the production and overall delivery of this great book. My favorite (besides Dune and the Dispossessed) on audible in the SciFi category thus far. Thanks!
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
I really enjoyed the story structure of 6 separate character back-stories being told, and the reader being left to perform the synthesis. It was rewarding to find small areas where one or more of the back-stories referenced one another, and impressive how each was told in a truly unique style & voice. One of the back-stories, for example, is an homage to the hard-boiled private investigator noir played out across multiple worlds linked by public instant teleportation system. Another story is practically devoid of any fast-paced action altogether while it explores the slow-motion heartache of very personal drama within one family losing their daughter to a mysterious ailment. Naturally, all readers will prefer one or more of the storylines while finding others less engaging, but I won't opine here, as it seems there is intentionally something provided for all readers. There is an interwoven theme of literary appreciation that I feel I would have appreciated more if I had more familiarity with 19th-century poetry, but it doesn't prevent one from enjoying the SF. One distraction I found in the multiple narrations was how equally eloquent and poetic they all seemed despite their varied origins. An example of this would be the overly patient and floral detail given to the language of a lowly space construction worker from the final back-story narrative. Still, I found the layering of detail that resulted from hearing the tales sequentially was gripping and made each moment more urgently interesting than the last. I disagree with the opinion that the novel is indigestible in isolation from its sequel by the simple fact that I could quite contentedly walk away from the series after just this first book (although I doubt I will). Unresolved mysteries and cliffhanger endings are commonplace in short stories and novelettes, which I read voraciously, and focus the attention instead to the concept questions, rather than the answers. What would it be like to watch your child age in reverse, knowing each day brings her closer to oblivion? How does one maintain a relationship when travel at relativistic speeds causes one partner to age at a vastly different pace than the other? How must a homogenous human society that erases the cultural distinctness of each new colony world it incorporates appear to another branch of humanity that avoids the comfortable familiarity with planet-based life for one between the stars? Can the ancient authority of religious tradition, in this case Judaism and Catholicism, be maintained in a post-diaspora following the destruction of Earth and it's Holy Lands? The great ambition of this novel is to tie together such disparate storylines in a way which feels quite natural to the reader, and to provide a universe big enough to accommodate them all believably. In that regard, Hyperion is quite successful, and remains a wholly enjoyable stand-alone work.
I first read Hyperion when I was a teenager (and when I'd never heard of John Keats), and I was wondering if it would still hold up (and whether it's more fun if you've read some Keats). The answer is yes!
At first I was doubtful. The first chapter is very awkward because the 5 voice artists are conversing with each other and there are irksome pauses between their lines that should have been edited out - it sounds very stilted.
But hang on in there, because the meat of "Hyperion" is the five lengthy tales told by individual narrators, and this is where the novel really takes hold. Each of the stories is wonderfully engrossing and moving, and each evokes the novel's many worlds and societies in thrilling detail. They are little masterpieces of storytelling and each could stand alone in their own right; but linked together, they illuminate and develop each other beautifully. As the novel comes to its close, you realize that it's a masterpiece of formal perfection. Despite ending on a cliffhanger it's entirely satisfying.
The only disappointment for me was the reader of the Brawne Lamia tale, whose voice lacks the emotional depth of the other readers, and who lumbers the pivotal character of Johnnie with a truly awful attempt at a British accent. The other readers are all wonderful though.
This is one of the great science fiction novels and well worth a listen.
A decent performance of one of my favorite books. Still fantastic after nearly 25 years.
I don' t think I would. I have read some of the longest, most dry sci fi in existence, and loved it. Hyperion turned out to be quite shallow in the "science" portion, and pretty simplistic and childlike in the "fiction" area. I found the narrators all to be poorly chosen, the universe shallow and less than believable, the plot uninteresting and non-engaging, and the characters all taken from books written for teenagers. Additionally, the author obviously has some kind of obsession with poetry and classical poets, and extremely clumsily inserts references to this are aof interest into the world. Maybe I am spoiled after listening to John Lee narrate all of Peter F. Hamilton's space operas, but the combination of horrible narration, shallow/boring plot material, and poorly visualized action sequences made this listen quite painful. It is 20 hours, and it took me a week to listen to all of it....while I could listen to 34 hours of a Peter F Hamilton novel in 3-4 days.
Some better Sci-fi, after having listened to a sample of the narration beforehand.
Not in this lifetime.
Well, obviously.....it already has one.
People who think this is decent sci-fi desperately need to listen to Peter F Hamiltons works narrated by John Lee, one of the best audiobook narrators of all time.
Valar morghulis. We know.
I think we all enjoy a book with a good story, well-developed characters and enough action and/or suspense to keep us turning to the next chapter. Hyperion has all that AND a marvelous structure akin to the oft-cited Canterbury Tales. I felt that this structure was what truly distinguishes this book apart from other works of classic science fiction. The outstanding job of the entire narration cast reinforces this, I believe, just as the author would have intended. Definitely be prepared to continue on your reading with Fall of Hyperion but I would stop there in the series. The Endymion books fall off in quality of writing and story in large measure.
I had a "buy 3 for 2" special, and this was one of the books I selected. I didn't have high expectations, but I was really blown away. The story is told in parts, and each of the main characters tells thier backstory so there is potential to loose track of the story, but the way it is constructed I found that I didn't struggle at all to keep track. The story was interesting and in a few cases a little thrilling which I really enjoyed.
The only thing that really bothered me was the naration. There were so many of them that I struggled to remember who was speaking, and it made the story a little choppy. Not really bad, just not good.
I would recomend this book to others, and I'm listening to the second book now.
Everything :)) the story was full well rounded and not too out there for a new SF fan like myself. DS slowly led me into the light and now I look forward to listening to all his stories
The detail and realism of the worlds and characters left me wanting more with each page
Oh so many, the time tombs and their complexity, the 'evil' Shrike and it's purpose in humanities destiny, the use of the poet Keats and his prose, the Stephen Hawkings, Tesler and www references keeping the link to what we know now and it's possible use in a future so rich with detail!!
Choose again :)
the story just got better as the books progressed and I loved the narration by Victor Bevine
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.
"As fine a Science Fiction Novel as Dune"
Every so often you come across something really special when reading or listening. This is not "like" Dune There were times when listening the to this novel when the words flowed over the ear like quicksilver. It has real characters, great action and a unique storyline, it is complex but not obscure and it is epic without being pretentious. In short it is a real gem, listen to it!
"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.
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!
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.
"Hmm... Tried to like this. Have failed so far."
Well, if you have ever found yourself saying "please can you get to the point?", then you might struggle to get into this like I have struggled. The prologue and first chapters are intriguing, but once the first of 7 characters (a priest) began to tell his tale by referring to the diary of yet another priest - it dawned on me after listening for 2 hrs into the 'diary entries' that nothing of any note had actually happened yet! Unfortunately I then became really conscious of Dan Simmons' need to describe superfluous details and embellish nearly every object or vista with elaborate similes - all this just for diary entries!?If I had listened to this whilst kicking back, I might have not have objected, but in the car I just found myself getting bored so I've not even made it to the end of the priests tale.Might give it another go, but at the moment I'm not fussed about it.
Maybe if it had started with someone other than the boring priest?
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