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)
This story is great in that it takes into account the very nature of our humanity that will never change despite drastic changes in time, space, technology, or political environment. The characters are clear and strong. It is easy to find and root for the character you relate to the most. This is a great adventure full of twists turns and they didn't leave out the emotional connection that makes you care what happens to the people in this tale.
If you love sci-fi; but, want a story that brings romance, family duty, heroism, and sarcasm, together, then this is the book for you.
At first, it seems like the bulk of the story will be several more or less separate tales, told by pilgrims on their journey. This book is so much more than that. The tales themselves are there, but they are not anywhere near as disconnected as they first appear.
Also there is quite a bit happening with the Pilgrims and also the rest of the galaxy between the tales.
The multiple narrators work fine . . . each voicing both their character's tale whole, and also their individual characters in the scenes between. Some of them are quite good, but the rest of the series is narrated by Victor Bevine alone. He did a great job on those three books, but there is of course a notable shift when the first book ends with multiple narrators and the second picks up with just one of them. From a series perspective, I think I'd have preferred him alone on this book as well for continuity.
And the second book certainly picks up from this one. The only form of ending in this book is the reaching of the destination of the pilgrimage. All the rest of the story threads remain open for "Fall of Hyperion." I like reading (listening) to series, so this isn't a problem from my perspective, but if you're looking for a stand alone book this isn't one.
I very much recommend this book.
It is a pretty good story. Kind of a modern retelling of Canterbury tales (sort of).
Yes. The story is quite good. It is an interesting plot with good world building.
The idea of the time tombs was an interesting twist on the time travel motif. Also, loved the tale of Rachel and the backwards travel.
Probably. A couple of the voices spend familiar.
That would be tough.
Unlike other, I didn't like the Canterbury Tales style of storytelling. I find the start of stories to be the hardest to read and this book gave me six beginnings.
This novel is like an avalanche - starts slow and little confusing, but picks up speed and force as it moves forward. Wrapped in a stunning Sci-Fi backdrop, Hyperion is a story of a pilgrimage of a soul-
-A Priest who dedicated his life to finding a proof of his faith finds a massive cathedral that should revive Catholicism but turns out to be something else completely.
-A Soldier who is shaped and maimed by his military past, but not as much as by his love.
-A Poet that lost all vocabulary but 7 words because of a head trauma.
-A Scholar that must come to terms with the fact his daughter is aging backward, one day at a time.
-A Detective who falls in love with her client, an AI reincarnation of John Keats.
-A Consul who is not sure if survival of humanity is such a necessary thing.
Each story takes the reader to another world and together they weave together a wonderfully detailed tapestry of the imaginary universe.
The Priest's tale is presented as diary entries, the Poet's tale is told through lyrical prose, the military action-adventure-style story of Colonel Cassad is full of lasers and explosions, the Detective's story is a crime noir. Throughout each tale, one thing is evident: Dan Simmons is a terrific writer. Each style is well done (especially the Poet's tale), and even though there's so much variance in style, the novel always feels like a cohesive whole. And again, such heavy topics as individualism, love, parenthood, alcoholism, religion, morality, and art are all explored without a preachy voice.
Chorus of narrators in the beginning is quite jarring, especially because of ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ inserts in a different voice, but as the novel branches out into 6 personal stories, the reason for multiple narrators becomes more understandable.
Voice artists are terrific.
Hyperion is the tale of pilgrims on a voyage to the planet Hyperion with the intention of encountering The Shrike, a being of almost godlike power who is said to grant one pilgrim in a group their heart's desire. But as with the Canterbury Tales, this is just the framework upon which to hang six tangentially related short stories - the tale of the Priest, the Soldier, the Poet, the Scholar, the Detective and The Consul.
Each of the individual stories is told by the protagonist in their own voice. The Poet's tale is full of pompous farce, the Detective's Tale reads like a 31st-century Sam Spade mystery, and so on. Hanging over all the stories is the spectre of The Shrike and his mysterious homeworld, which have touched each of the travelers in some way.
Some of the stories are more captivating than the others, but together they weave a mesmerizing whole. And like the Canterbury Tales, the point of the book is not the resolution awaiting the travelers at their destination, but the stories they tell as they make their way. Uniquely structured, captivating, and well worth a listen.
Highly recommended visionary science fiction. Told in the style of Canterbury Tales where each character recounts their story as they travel. Their stories are superb and reveal both their characters and motives and progress the story. However unlike Canterbury Tales this is no comedy.
Be aware however that the story isn't finished at the end of this book in the series.
I'm planning on reading the rest, this is must listen material for those who like science fiction.
Hard to identify a favorite character and although they were all quite different through the depth of the story telling and characterization I identified with parts of each of them.
Damn fine narration although Allyson Johnson sounds more feminine and attractive than I imagine fits her tough character. A very minor point.
Who knows, but in the right hands what a fantastic film this could be.
There are alot of good scifi books
the first couple of hours
several hours in i had no clue what was going on and didn't care about any of the characters. DONE
The novel is a frame story; structured sort of like Canterbury Tales. The main characters proceed on a pilgrimage towards a deadly encounter with a kind of mythical creature which is alleged to come from the future to judge humanity. They each tell their tale in order to determine why it is that they were all chosen for the pilgrimage and to piece together the plot from their separate viewpoints. Each individual tale is quite compelling. Some emotionally moving, others exciting. The author allows the reader to almost survey various subgenres of SF within a single novel and a large, sophisticated fictional world. I found that aspect of the novel most enjoyable and original.
Each tale is narrated by a narrator assigned to that character. During the scenes of the frame story, the narrators play their roles in dialog. When the character proceeds to tell his tale, the narration completely becomes the domain of that character's narrator. All of these narrators are extremely talented. I felt they greatly added to this audiobook. They took what really is an amazing novel and elevated it a great deal more.
The novel has a most excellent balance between plot and character. While it is largely character driven, and the true drama is almost certainly existential and philosophical, the author provides plenty of action to drive the story forward, especially in the more action-oriented characters.
The tale of the priest is theological SF. The tale of the military colonel is told in military SF. The tale of the poet is horror SF. The tale of the detective is pure cyberpunk. The tales of the scholar and consul are forms of time travel SF, but in the case of the consul, includes aspects of spy and mystery novels. All of these tales are seamlessly woven together in a frame plot that I found equally as compelling as the tales it frames. I rarely have encountered a novel structured in this way where the frame was anything more than thin bookends for the individual tale.
The themes of all these tales are intensely existential and speak to the human condition. They deal in human pain and grief in several contexts and aspects of life. Each of these griefs do in the end weave together to make a kind of sense.
I highly recommend this to hard SF readers who enjoy complex, intellectual plots and deep characters.
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