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)
After reading the other reviews of this book, I am compelled to submit my own. First, this is a very well crafted science fiction classic. It creates an entire future universe that is both plausible and fascinating. Second, the story and characters are well developed, intriguing and real. I highly recommend this book. I agree that the female narrator was initially irritating, but once her story begins, becomes more interesting and you get lost in her tale. Be warned however, this only one-half of the book. For complete closure, you will need to read The Fall of Hyperion. Read back to back, this is a brilliant tale of the future with real and unique characters and storyline. This book is well deserving of both the Hugo Award and Locus Award for Best Novel of 1990.
A great sci-fi story told in the "frame story" format. (Like Canterbury Tales.) Seven very different people are on a pilgrimage together to Hyperion and each of their back-stories unfolds the plot.
What I liked best about this story is that in addition to being a great story and setting, (common in good sci-fi/fantasy) the author happens to be a great writer (not so common even in good sci-fi/fantasy). You can tell that the author has a love of science and futurism but also a love of language and poetry. (References to Keats abound.)
Warning: When I started this book I thought it was a stand-alone novel. However, it ends abruptly and I'm told that the Fall of Hyperion finishes the story.
The first of two books in the series focuses on a universe where a far flung civilization is in decline. Seven disparate people embark on a reluctant pilgrimage to an ambiguous and malignant entity.
During the journey they tell their stories in an effort to puzzle out why they've been chosen, and how they can use their shared experiences to achieve their individual goals.
Wonderfully written characters make this bleak, intense book worth reading. But be forewarned, the experiences they share are dark! This is not a joyful read, but an extremely memorable one. Definitely a must for Sci-Fi fans.
The important thing to understand is that is the first part of series and in reality this book is little more than a prologue. That being said it is a gripping first chapter. The hyperion series is more than a story, it is a work of philosophical and religious fiction that explores the meaning of life and the universe. Don't take that to mean its not full of action, it is. This series has everything in it from medieval sword fights to massive space battles and the destruction of worlds.
At its heart this is the story of mankind's struggle for true transcendence. The plot is deep and convoluted involving substantial time travel and is its secrets cannot be fully understood until the last book. This is a work that you have to begin with some faith that at some point it will all make sense. Trust me, it does and the final revelation in The Rise of Endymion is remarkable.
Christians beware, this book may challenge many of your belifes in uncomfortable ways.
Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.
I read this series back in its first published hardcovers, so I look at this book with a judgmental eye - Is it a worthy listen, and its subsequent writings? Here's my take on this audiobook.
This is outstanding scifi, to the point. It reminds me of "The Mote In God's Eye," in its depth, solid character backstories and various perspectives. As in the mentioned comparison, this is complex storytelling that makes you consider as you listen. Each character has purpose and propels the story along, often in unexpected ways. This is THOUGHTFUL scifi, with tremendous respect for the reader's/listener's time, intellect, and maturity. If you want pulp scifi, go listen to Heinlein - This one's for those hungry for a story with meat on its bones, one that makes you want more. One that makes you want to listen to it again, in case you missed something important, and that's quite possible, with this fantastic scifi audiobook.
What's it all about, you ask? Again, Audible listener, I give only hints in reviews, neither plots nor spoilers here. Here's a taste of what your hear...
Knights Templar traveling across the galaxy in living trees. A undying priest carries
a nightmarish secret from an abandoned zombie-like congregation, a woman becomes younger each day, and races to beat the clock, literally. A virtual reality-trained military leader seeks the love of a woman haunting him in his computer-driven landscape. A drunken writer seeks the final and ultimate story. A spacefaring horde, soon to arrive in the known space of man, to conquer and enslave the billions that fear their arrival. And of course, they all seek the Shrike, a man-shaped judge and jury covered in blades, riding the currents of the time tombs, bringing death to most, and life to some.
And that just scratches the surface.
These various stories and their perspectives come together to create a great tale, and you'll definitely want more.
The narration team does a good job to bring this audiobook to life - If you read my other reviews, you know I'm BRUTAL on narrators. The can make or break the author's work. So, "good" is high praise coming from me.
All in all, this is an audiobook that you'll like.
So the Shrike awaits. Enter the Time Tombs, Audible listener, and be judged!
Hyperion, is intricate, exhilarating, and, at times, wantonly embellished and needlessly esoteric. Simmons's works are all pocked with literary nooks and crannies that he fills by paying homage to classic writers, spinning poetry and prose, and reviving classic themes. Unfortunately, in his quest for literary achievement, he sometimes leaves the reader behind. Reading Simmons requires both faith and patience.
The stories embedded within Hyperion are a mixed bag. The priest's story is the most compelling. Father Dur?'s exile to Hyperion and his subsequent life with the Bikura is brilliant and haunting. The scholar's tale is also very good. The remaining stories range from mildly interesting to completely lacking in context. The purpose behind the stories is not always apparent and, without reading the sequel, they seem completely irrelevant to the story. They all play a significant role, but we do not learn this in Hyperion. They also serve to lay out the foundation for the frame story's complex setting. Simmons doesn't cut corners on anything. His universe is dark, detailed, and even confusing.
Be warned that Hyperion ends abruptly. I have no idea how this novel won awards without the context of its sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, considering that the frame story of Hyperion is completely unresolved at the end. If I hadn't known there was a sequel, I would have been quite annoyed. Even so, it wasn't clear at the outset that the sequel would be required for closure.
The narrators are talented and the overall production is excellent. All of the characters are given expressive voices that serve to illustrate and decorate their story. With a few minor exceptions, their voices are exactly as I would have imagined them to be had I been reading the paper version. The narrator who reads Silenus's part is particularly well-suited to the role.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
Please get your Shrike on.
This SF novel absolutely surpassed my expectations. I loved the framing (see: The Canterbury Tales); loved the multiple styles and voices; loved the complexity; and loved the characters. There were times when I could hear echos of Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy and Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Anyway, it was brilliantly executed BIG S, Big F, Science Fiction.
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.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
I don't write separate reviews for books in a series. Especially here, where Hyperion has been called the prologue to the Fall of Hyperion (FoH), it's been intimated that the former cannot stand on its own and I agree. Some have compared and contrasted the two connoting that there is perhaps a lack of cohesion and that they are very dissimilar. To that end, I disagree. The "prologue" smoothly transitions into the main body of the work and feels completely natural. Taken together, the two seem very much a part of a cohesive whole.
I was skeptical that the stellar cast of narrators of Hyperion could be equaled by a single actor, albeit Victor Bevine in FoH. Mr. Bevine was phenomenal and I never, at any point in the listening, felt like the work was diminished.
It is good that I have listened to this author later in life. Having been brought up reading the classics of all genre of literature, it is often difficult to appreciate lesser works after having experienced the masters. Dan Simmons is a master when compared to authors of any genre. I have heard Simmons compared to Dickens. Truly in his development of characters, the comparison seems a fair one. It would be hard to compare the plot of this work to that of any other.
Often fraught with and characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions, the work is almost too much to be believed. But somehow Simmons makes it all believable for some time in the future. Unlike some classic, older SciFi which seemed futuristic when it was written but then later became seemingly dated, this piece is fresh, modern or hopefully even timeless. There's religion, technology, philosophy, excitement, a great deal of love and caring among seven pilgrim strangers and funny, now that I think about it, only one real villain in a world that is more vast than I can even imagine. This is truly a magnum opus in every sense of the word.
This is not only a great story, well performed and well written. It is also particularly interesting for stepping through 6 different contrasting genres of writing extremely well. I loved this and would highly recommend it.
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