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Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Dan Simmons

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,066157511 (4.22)226
Authors:Dan Simmons
Info:Spectra (1990), Mass Market Paperback, 481 pages
Collections:My Best Recomendations (unowned)

Work details

Hyperion by Dan Simmons (1989)

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    corporate_clone: It is difficult not to compare Dune and Hyperion, even though both series have major differences in terms of tone, style and philosophy. Those are two long, epic, elaborate and very ambitious sci-fi masterpieces where religion plays a key role. I would highly recommend the fans of one to check out the other.… (more)
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» See also 226 mentions

English (147)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Yes, I know it's a classic. And yes, I know tons of people loved it.

And that, my friends, is why I was disappointed in this novel. I expected something more.

There is a lot to like in this novel. The separate stories are individually fascinating (except the poet; he's just... irritating beyond belief....). They combine to give a varied picture of what life in this world is like. Most of the stories are powerful, with heart-wrenching endings. The Consul's story is overly convenient, though, with a lot of the "meat" of the universe tripping off his tongue. But, overall, I enjoyed the structure.

What I didn't like is the ending. I get the sense that the pilgrims' solidarity at the end (but: We're off to see the wizard? Oh, come on.....) is some sort of ending that I'm supposed to appreciate, but basically this book stopped in the middle of the story.

And here's my beef: if this is presented as a stand-alone novel, it should BE a stand-alone novel. This is not that. To read the arc of the characters, and of the world, the Shrike, all of the stuff I just spent 10 days reading, I have to read book two. Which was not clear to me. I should get to CHOOSE to read a series, not get drug into it by clever marketing omissions.

(Yes, I knew The Fall of Hyperion existed when I started this book. But I thought it was a continuation of a broader, universe-type story, not a novel that tells the second half of the plot of the first book. And I shouldn't have to research a novel's "series status" before I read it.)

So, that's my beef. Not sure if I'll read The Fall of Hyperion. We'll see. I liked Hyperion enough to read it, if I can decide to trust that Simmons actually wraps it all up in the next book.

At least a little. I don't need nice pretty bows. But at least a little tape would be nice. ( )
1 vote ThePortPorts | Jun 20, 2016 |
Luin ensimmäisen kerran 1999 ja nyt suomeksi. Scifi-kielen tekninen koukeroisuus avautuu vielä paremmin äidinkielellä. ( )
  RistoZ | Jun 8, 2016 |
Read this book when it was first published, and I remember being really impressed and blown away by it.
Really NEED to re-read this and the sequel soon
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
I'm not rating this book because I didn't finish it. I love reading science fiction, but this book is more fantasy than sci-fi. I tried forcing myself to finish reading this book 3 times over a 9 week period (3 renewals at my local library).

It takes about a hundred pages for the book to get interesting, but even then the story telling is slow paced. As other reviewers have pointed out, it's sort-of like a futuristic Canterbury Tales. But it's "all tell" to quote a Literature professor. Good stories are a mix of showing the action and telling the audience what happens. By simply telling, you lose a lot of the potential drama and excitement.

The worst part for me was the characters. They were emotionally flat, and I had difficulty caring what happened to them.

It's rare for me to not finish a book. But, I got to the point where I honestly didn't care how it turned out.
  HSContino | May 20, 2016 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

I’ll admit, I resisted the pull of the science fiction genre for a long time. As a kid I read solely fantasy, then as a grew older I eschewed it for classics, and works that seemed more “literary.” It’s only recently I discovered my love for sci-fi, and the multitude of styles, subgenres, and types of thought that the classification encompasses. As I’m new to the science fiction world, I’m leery of a lot of older works as they tend to be either too campy, or too much “hard science.” Thus, Hyperion sat on my shelf and stared at me for nearly a year before I picked it up. When I finally did, I found a surprise waiting for me – the universe and characters Simmons crafted in his 1990 novel are rich and complex. He uses the possibilities of these future worlds to explore the deepest corners of what it means to be human, the motivations of a future race, and how the progress of humanity can separate us while simultaneously bringing us together. I found, in short, a fantastic example of everything that science fiction can be.

It’s difficult to sum up the first novel in this series, as we are presented with seven characters travelling together, and each tells their own backstory as they progress through the main story arc. Our protagonists are on a pilgrimage to the Time Tombs on the planet of Hyperion, where they will make a request of a powerful and sometimes violent entity known as the Shrike. Each pilgrim’s tale is presented in a different style and exposes more of the history and culture of this universe, while simultaneously revealing hints towards our protagonists’ ultimate destination.

The Priest has been to Hyperion before, searching for one of his order who disappeared researching an elusive indigenous race.

The Soldier tells of his involvement in past and recent conflicts between the human Hegemony and the separatist colonies of the Ousters.

The Poet began his life on Old Earth and through the miracles of science is still alive more than 200 years later. He lived in the early capital of Hyperion – until the colonists started disappearing. Sometimes rather violently.

The Scholar lived an idylllic life with his family on an older white-picket colony. This is torn asunder when his daughter, an archaeologist, discovers something alarming during her research of the Time Tombs.

The Detective’s story finds her with a new client – where she learns a dangerous amount about the vast network of AIs that coexist with the Hegemony, and their interest in the enigma of the Time Tombs.

Lastly, the Consul tells a story from his grandfather: of his time spent on a spinship, the harsh penalties of time dialation, and his first-hand account of what happens when the Hegemony takes over a previously free world.

Around these individual stories, Simmons weaves their larger journey with vivid descriptions of Hyperion, their trek towards the Time Tombs, and the mystery that lies within. The “frame story” format (best known from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) is an elegant way of staging the planet of Hyperion in a fictional world that feels vast and alive. Through each character we see the peaks and valleys of the human experience, even in a distant future. We feel the agony of loss, war, obsession, violence; but also the pure joy of passion, love, motivation, and the thirst for knowledge. This story is highly character driven and soft on the “science” part – if you’re looking for theoretical technology, you’ll have to try somewhere else. The novel suffers from a slow start and an abrupt ending (Simmons himself called it a “novel in two parts,” in conjunction with the sequel The Fall of Hyperion), but even this does not detract from the feeling the Dan Simmons is not only an author, but also an expert psychologist and architect. Hyperion is, in my opinion, a shining example of science fiction’s rise in the literary world. The use of science and a speculative future gives us new avenues to explore the capabilities of the human race, as well as to turn a mirror on our current state and progress.

Literary trivia: Simmons titled his novels after John Keats’ unfinished epic poems “Hyperion” and “The Fall of Hyperion,” which tell a story of the Greek Titans and their fall to the Olympians. There are many parallels drawn throughout.

( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dan Simmonsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahokas, JuhaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevine, VictorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Ted
First words
The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-Sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below. (Prologue)
The Consul awoke with a peculiar headache, dry throat, and sense of having forgotten a thousand dreams which only periods in cryogenic fugue could bring.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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.

The ISBNs here are not always correctly matched up to the books. Use both the title and ISBN to figure out what the actual work is. Also note that the title sometimes contains the volume number in the entire Hyperion series (with or without multiple parts).
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References to this work on external resources.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Pilgrims share secrets
while flying to strange planet.
First book in series.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553283685, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

A stunning tour de force, this Hugo Award-winning novel is the first volume in a remarkable new science fiction epic by the author of The Hollow Man.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

On the night before Armageddon, seven people set out on a pilgrimage to Hyperion's Valley of the Time Tombs, where the creature Shrike awaits them.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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