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Endymion by Dan Simmons

Endymion (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Dan Simmons

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2,973301,927 (3.95)42
Authors:Dan Simmons
Info:Bantam (1996), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 468 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:science fiction

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Endymion by Dan Simmons (1996)



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English (24)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
The life of a 12-year-old child and eventually the very existence of the human species are at stake in a horrific battle between two cyborgs that have come back in time from a future dominated by a renegade computer network. The cyborg defending the messianic child is a large, now obsolete mechanical red-eyed male; the would-be assassin is a shape-shifting indestructible female.

I don't know if Dan Simmons intentionally borrowed this scene from "Terminator 3," but the resemblance is certainly there. Endymion, however, is set a thousand years in our future and takes place on a multitude of worlds. It is the third of four novels in Simmons's "Hyperion Cantos," and depicts events some 300 years after the those of the preceding volumes. I would not, however, recommend reading Endymion on its own, as the references to events and characters from the earlier novels are pervasive and critical to understanding the story.

There are many themes to these novels aside from the threat of machine-based intelligence. The idea of love as a universal natural phenomenon existing on some unfathomed dimension is one of them. On a less esoteric level we see the workings of the theocracy that now rules most inhabited worlds. Perhaps we are meant to see the similarity between a theocracy and a sentient computer where the dogma/programming refocuses the institution/machine to exist solely for self-preservation rather than its original purpose.

The first two novels of the Hyperion Cantos are mind-boggling in their vision of a future where human forms, societies, technologies, and even time and space are constantly molded according to needs and whims. Endymion is in a more intimate, post-apocalyptic setting where survival is often a matter of using bare hands against raw natural elements. It is also a gripping story of interplanetary pursuit, and one in which we can sympathize with both the hunter and the hunted. The novel ends with much foreshadowing that suggests that the final volume, The Rise of Endymion, will be back in the mind-stretching category. ( )
3 vote StevenTX | Dec 12, 2014 |
Dust jacket and full-color endsheets by John Picacio
  narbgr01 | Oct 5, 2014 |
This quest story set 300 years after the events of the much stronger “Hyperion” novels, was a bit of a let down. A trio of archetypical heroes flee from pursuing elements of the tyrannical empire regime across several planets which are the familiar settings from the earlier novels. While it is interesting to read the developments on those locations in the centuries of aftermath, I was reminded of the similar quest in Asimov’s “Foundation and Earth”, where the protagonist visits several worlds which were the nostalgic settings of some of Asimov’s stories set centuries earlier. Here, however, it is far less compelling as most of the spots have gone to wilderness. Also, the hero characters are a bit two-dimensional, fitting very familiar character patterns: Aenea, "The Holy One” child, who is somehow mystically important, and a threat to the authorities; Raul Endymion, “The Woodsman” guide, who uses his street smarts and survivor skills to protect her; and A. Bettik, “The Man Friday” who loyally and capably serves both.

While the first two novels of Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos made excellent use of multi-protagonist narrative threads to tell the story from multiple perspectives, This novel instead primarily sticks to just two- Raul Endymion and his chief pursuant, Father-Captain Federico de Soya, who is an extremely sympathetic ‘villain’, earnestly carrying out his duty to his shadier superiors. I had a feeling that we’d see some redemption and rehabilitation of this character after the first few examples of his flawless moral behavior, despite his unsavory mission. Most of the evocative tech and philosophical questions lay in his portions of the novel, giving it a much stronger grounding in Space Opera, while Raul’s narrative felt more rustic and terrestrial.

In the end, Endymion is a victim of the earlier novels success and ambition. Outside of their shadow, it might have stood as a great story, but as it happens it is merely a good one. It feels flatter by comparison with it’s fewer character narratives, it’s more linear structure, and smaller-stake drama. ( )
  SciFi-Kindle | Jul 11, 2014 |
Like many, I was let down by this continuation of the Hyperion universe. They are still a good read, but it's hard to make up for the fact that they can't stand alongside the first two books. ( )
  ub1707 | May 5, 2014 |
This is an excellent book. I liked it a lot. ( )
  frozenyoghurt | Jan 30, 2014 |
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Several translations of the Hyperion series were published as multiple volumes There are no equivalent English volumes. Do not combine these with any works other than the equivalent partial volume in another language.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553572946, Mass Market Paperback)

Two hundred and seventy-four years after the fall of the WorldWeb in Fall of Hyperion, Raoul Endymion is sent on a quest. Retrieving Aenea from the Sphinx before the Church troops reach her is only the beginning. With help from a blue-skinned android named A. Bettik, Raoul and Aenea travel the river Tethys, pursued by Father Captain Frederico DeSoya, an influential warrior-priest and his troops. The shrike continues to make enigmatic appearances, and while many questions were raised in Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, still more are raised here. Raoul's quest will continue in at least one more volume.

This series has something for everyone: Simmons's prose is imaginative and stylistically varied; point-of-view and time-scale are handled with finesse; the action is always gripping; the device of Old Earth allows Simmons to work in entertaining references to present-day culture; and the technology raises bizarre questions of ethics and morality in its use of repeated death and resurrection.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

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An adventure story set in a universe ruled by a church which rewards obedience from its citizenry by dispensing resurrection. The story centers on Raul Endymion, a woodsman from the planet Hyperion, given the task of finding the planet Earth which mysteriously disappeared. By the author of The Fall of Hyperion.… (more)

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