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The Hyperion Omnibus (Gollancz SF S.) by Dan…
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The Hyperion Omnibus (Gollancz SF S.) (edition 2004)

by Dan Simmons

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5821016,969 (4.35)11
Member:Skaidon
Title:The Hyperion Omnibus (Gollancz SF S.)
Authors:Dan Simmons
Info:Gollancz (2004), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Hyperion Omnibus [2-in-1] by Dan Simmons

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Wow! ( )
  valmont.layne | May 20, 2014 |
A modern day cyberpunk version of the Cantabury tales. A set oftravelers, each seeking a boon, hunt for the legendary Shrike...a creature that grants wishes or death. Saul's daughter is growing younger, soon she will dissappear. Kassad is a soldier. His desire is unclear. Martin is a poet who seeks his Muse. Braun seeks her lover's killer and her client's answers. It does not help that her client is John Keats...and an AI. The Templer seeks the Shrike's treeship. The Priest seeks redemption and surcease of pain. The diplomat seeks only death. What they do not know is that two others travel with them...one in cyberspace, and one in a parasite on the othe's back. Nor do they know that the fate of all Mankind relies upon the outcome of their journey.

In a plot of quantum complexity Simmons tells several tales at once -all in great detail and in the appropriate dialects. All of his travellers are real, all of them have more than one real goal. His backdrop is vivid. His knowledge of literature profound. The hidden references to the works of John Keats and other poets add an extra layer for his more literate readers. His pacing and sense of the important make this a fun read for everyone. ( )
  D.ElaineCalderin | Aug 23, 2013 |
Hyperion Cantos
By Dan Simmons
Publisher: GuildAmerica
Published In: New York, NY, USA
Date: 1990
Pgs: 929

Summary:
Humanity has left Earth behind. Thanks to FTL and wormhole tech, humanity has reached out to the stars and made new homes, united under the Hegemony. Hyperion and the labyrinth worlds hold secrets though...secrets and monsters. The Shrike a multi armed killing organic machine worshipped by some, feared by all, walks Hyperion awaiting the end of the world or its next victim, depending on whose dogma you are listening to. War has broken out between the Hegemony and the post-human Ousters, humans who have left planet bound living behind. The Time Tombs in the home area of the Shrike are opening. A last group of pilgrims are on their way. The war. The Shrike. The pilgrims. The past. The present. The future. All are colliding on Hyperion in what may be the last days.

Genre:
fiction, science fiction, apocalypse, space, hegira, war,

Why this book:
I’ve read both the books that make up this book before and love them deeply. I wanted to re-read them again and finding them in the Cantos format was a godsend. This is a huge sweeping space opera covering the future history of man in a mysterious universe with more mysteries than answers.

This Story is About:
It’s about throwing off the yokes of society. In some cases, the yoke is torn away whether the individual character wants this “freedom” or not.

Credibility:
The story is very immersive and drags you along with it causing a well crafted suspension of disbelief as Simmons shows us what he wants to show us and hints at what lies beyond.

Favorite Character:
Colonel Fedmahn Kassad comes across as a man of his time though he has things in his past that would mark him a monster by the other people of his time. And he’s a badass. The Consul is intended in the narrator/everyman role, I believe. He does have a certain attraction as he is “our” viewpoint on the stories of the others and the later events. All the pilgrims are wonderful characters, with the exception below.

Least Favorite Character:
Martin Silenius is the poet. His inclusion seems to be to give Simmons the chance to trot out bits of the classical intermixed with his own poetry. A Loki/Pan figure with a long history because of the time debt that he has accrued during long frozen fugue states on interplanetary voyages, meaning that he has seen a lot and lived through a lot, but slept through a lot of the interstellar future backstory of this world that Simmons is creating. All that said, the Silenius character continually comes across as an ass.
A close second would be Hegemony CEO Meina Gladstone. She’s as much the villain as the circumstance that sweeps through the huge community of Humans over the course of this story. Her plans within plans may “free” humanity, but she may end up killing many of them, millions, at least, if everything works to her plan.
Ummon speaks in verse or koans. Reading his dialogue is painful.

Character I Most Identified With:
Through the early stages of the book, I identify mostly with Kassad and, by the author’s design, the Consul. In the later stages of the book, you see and feel a lot through the eyes and feelings of the pilgrims plus Johnny II.

The Feel:
The story has a real “you are there” feel to it. The tragedy of Sol and Rachel Weintraub is very palpable. I can’t imagine what Sol experienced in those years as Rachel progressed. But, yes, we can imagine it. Simmons gave us good deep insight into the character of the man.

Favorite Scene:
Father Dure’s sense of wonder when he discovers what the Bikura are hiding down below, or rather the first level of what they are hiding, is a great scene.
Kassad’s first visit to Hyperion, especially, when he awakes from fugue and has to fight his way through his fall from orbit.
Kassad’s “final” battle on Hyperion, not the denouement, but when he blows hell out of one of the monuments as he unleashes the full hell of FORCE’s future sci fi weaponry. And his final, final showdown with the Shrike is pure excellence.

Settings:
Hyperion, space, the tree ship, the Tesla forests, Mars, virtual reality battles all through history, Barnard’s World, Hebron, the WorldWeb, The Moon, a replica Earth somewhere in the Hercules Cluster, the Ouster Swarm, the Labyrinths, the Datasphere/Metasphere/Megasphere

Pacing:
The pacing of the story is excellent. Not a roaring page turner, but whenever you put it down, it draws you back. At least, it does for me. You’d think with the introspection of some of the pilgrims’ stories that the pace would drag, but it really doesn’t. The story drags me along through the tragedies of some of their stories and the sheer WTF-edness of what is happening to some of them.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
N/A

Last Page Sound:
Damn. That is awesome.

Author Assessment:
Absolutely awesome. I would definitely read more stuff by Simmons.

Editorial Assessment:
Tightly done.

Disposition of Book:
This is a Keep it. Hardback. Proud to own it book.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
I fear that the story would have to be watered down too much to make it fit the screen. There’s just too much story here. Warner Brothers is supposedly developing Hyperion for the big screen.

Casting call:
Fedmahn Kassad would need an actor of Arabic descent who could play early middle age and world weary while maintaining the military precision aura. I know of a few older actors who could do it, but I’m not finding the “perfect” casting choice in my memory. Though I can almost guarantee that in a movie with them wanting to tighten the story, they’d combine some of the characters into supercharacters. I could see Fedmahn and the Consul combined. If Hyperion had become a movie 25 or 30 years ago, I could see Ricardo Montalban in the role, either as Kassad or a combined Kassad and Consul. Vinnie Jones would be excellent in the role. Faran Tahir would as well.
For the Consul, if he maintained his character from the book, I could see a Ewan McGregor or a Joshua Jackson...type.
I have a picture of Sol in my head. But I’m not sure there is an actor currently acting who fits with what I see in my mind’s eye. I see an old man slipping toward ancient. The dome of his head is bald with a fringe of white flyaway hair. I went through an image search of bald actors and can’t find someone who would be perfect..
Johnny Lee Miller could be Martin Sillenius. His Sherlock on Elementary makes me realize that he could inhabit the character of the poet out of time who remembers Old Earth before the Big Mistake. ...and the gravitas and sadness and madness that would inevitably characterize a persona that has lost so much.
Judi Dench could play Meina Gladstone, CEO of the Hegemony.

Would recommend to:
Genre fans. Space opera fans. People who like a crunchy plot with lots of characters and lots of action spread over a wide range. ( )
  texascheeseman | Jun 22, 2013 |
Hyperion Cantos was first work of Dan Simmons I have read. However, it is not the first Sci-Fi book I've read by any means - I consider it to be the best one among them, though.
Why? Hyperion is a complex study of a darker part of future world as imagined by the author. First half (entitled Hyperion) does not come in a simple tale, it is told in six different tales, each written using different style, which suits the narrator. And I can tell, this job is done very well. Facts about the world are scattered and nicely woven into the narratives and into a less significant main plot. Parts between the stories act as a place where you can contemplate on the story just told and I've always been impatiently looking forward to the next one.

Do not expect the tales to be like fairy tales for children. The first tale comes from mouth of a priest and you may find it shocking, disgusting, horrifying. While many reviewers dislike this story, it was my favorite. The second one uses a language of a poet - bohemian that can disgust another part of the audience. All of them, however, are really interesting and unique, while slowly revealing the relationships established in Simmons' world.

The central point / character - antihero of the book - is The Shrike - one of the most remarkable characters ever described in Sci-Fi. Shrike, which comes from an unknown world and time, unpredictable, murderous, being put outside the laws of physics.

There are some references to our times and our planet, which I've found a little strange and unrealistic. Author obviously wanted to make the setting more imaginable for us, but sometimes he overused this 'trick' and that is probably the biggest flaw of this book.

Second part (entitled The Fall of Hyperion) originally consists of 45 chapters that conclude the story begun in 'Hyperion' part. This time, John Keats (or someone who has his memories) is much more apparent than in the first part. Through his words, visions, dreams and deeds we can see the fates of other main protagonists.

The narration is very descriptive many times, requires a careful attention and many people will want to reread the book to fully captivate the messages this book tells. Still the book does not make you bored and keeps you thinking about it all the time.

10 out of 10. Highly recommended. ( )
  mouserSVK | May 9, 2011 |
Wow. Finally some good sci-fi. ( )
1 vote Reysbro | Dec 10, 2010 |
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This is for Ted
To John Keats Whose Name Was Writ In Eternity
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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.
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'Hyperion' and 'The Fall of Hyperion' are credited with single-handedly reinventing and reinvigorating SF in the 1990s. Forming a broad-canvassed, imaginative and exciting epic, the combine an intelligent, literary approach with cutting edge science, compelling characterization and suspense.… (more)

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