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Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Dan Simmons
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Dec 2005 GOLLANCZ S.F.

It is the 29th century and the universe of the Human Hegemony is under threat. Invasion by the warlike Ousters looms, and the mysterious schemes of the secessionist AI TechnoCore bring chaos ever closer.

On the eve of disaster, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set fourth on a final voyage to the legendary Time Tombs on Hyperion, home to the Shrike, a lethal creature, part god and part killing machine, whose powers transcend the limits of time and space. The pilgrims have resolved to die before discovering anyhting less than the secrets of the universe itself.

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Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + The Fall of Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + Endymion (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (8 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575076372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076372
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Hyperion is the first of a much-heralded two-part work -- including the The Fall of Hyperion--about the last days of a vibrant yet self-destructive galactic civilization of humans called the Hegemony. The Hegemony is doomed because in exchange for the knowledge needed to conquer the stars, the human species sold its soul to a hive of machine-based intelligence known as Technocore. Six people embark on a pilgrimage to Hyperion, their only hope for redemption, to seek the help of the Shrike, a half- mechanical, half-organic creature that inspires both terror and devotion in its subjects. The book won the 1990 Hugo Award for Science Fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The book that reinvented Space Opera.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scene-setter for a classic series 1 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Hyperion we follow seven pilgrims as they move towards the Shrike Temple on the planet Hyperion.
Initially we know little of how the seven came together, why each of them is on a personal pilgrimage, and why the Shrike Temple is significant.
As they journey, they agree to tell their own reasons for the pilgrimage, and thus we get a series of short stories, or vignettes, where we learn the background of each individual. And in doing so, we learn more of the universe in which they live.
There is a bigger story here, a greater canvas on which these icons have been painted, but we only learn part of it - the rest is saved for the sequel - The Fall of Hyperion.
[As an aside, there are four books in total - in addition to the two I have mentioned, we have Endymion and the Rise of Endymion. In reality, it is two pairs of books - the Endymion books are set 250 years later and with a mostly new cast, although knowledge of the earlier books vastly aids their enjoyment. Reading the Fall of Hyperion greatly adds to Hyperion itself, but you can stop there if you wish. Endymion is a new venture - albeit a fabulous one.]
Dan Simmons writes with impressive clarity - while other authors hide behind jargon, Simmons keeps it real and in doing so gives you a clear visual image of his universe. And it is that writing style that makes this a light and pacy read, without losing any of the depth of content.
As a stand alone book, this can seem a disjointed read, but still a worthwhile one. Viewed together with the sequels, it is a wonderful achievement, and one of the great sci-fi classics.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking mix of science and mysticism 12 May 2004
This classic work has so much to recommend it that it’s difficult to know where to start. Its overall reference to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – in that seven pilgrims each tell their tale as they journey toward their goal – is only one facet of a novel rich with literary reference and wryly judged future historical perspective.
At one point, Martin Silenus the poet tells of his great work ‘The Dying Earth’ the title of which, he points out, was taken from an old earth novel. In the same section his literary agent tells of the realities of book-marketing in the Twenty-Ninth Century. Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ she tells him, is permanently in print, although no-one actually reads it. The poet blithely asks who Hitler was.
No doubt Jack Vance, and many other readers who picked up on the reference to his Nineteen Fifties novel, will be amused at the idea of Vance novels being remembered in an age where Hitler is a name known only to those in the rarefied strata of academia.
The pilgrims have been chosen by the Church of the Shrike to make the pilgrimage to the Time Tombs of Hyperion and petition the Shrike, an alien godlike creature bristling with metal horns and claws.
Each pilgrim tells his tale of why they think they were chosen to take the pilgrimage and in doing so, slowly fill in the backstory of this Hegemony of Worlds, of Hyperion itself and the mysterious Shrike.
Each tale fills in a piece of the jigsaw puzzle depicting complex galactic politics in which it is difficult to judge who are the players and who are the pawns.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic. 16 May 2008
Few books come as universally-applauded in the genre as this one. It was getting to the point where people seemed to be questioning my fitness to blog about SF since I hadn't read Hyperion, so I thought it was time to take the plunge. For those likewise ignorant of the book, Hyperion is the first in a four-volume sequence known as The Hyperion Cantos, consisting of Hyperion (1989), The Fall of Hyperion (1990), Endymion (1996) and The Rise of Endymion (1997). The sequence is heavily influenced by both the poetry of John Keats and the work of Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales is the clear structural inspiration behind the first novel.

The 28th Century. A war is brewing between the Hegemony of Man and the Ousters, a race of 'barbaric' humans living in arkships drifting in the depths of space. As the war drums sound, seven individuals are summoned to the remote frontier world of Hyperion by the Church of the Shrike, the godlike entity who roams that world killing people for unknown reasons or hanging their still-living forms on its giant mechanical tree. As the seven pilgrims journey through space to Hyperion, then on a gruelling ground journey across the planet even as the Hegemony and Ousters do battle in orbit, they tell each other the tale of how they came to this place and the reason for their interest in Hyperion and the Shrike.

It's a pretty straightforward structure, and indeed the book comes across as a collection of linked short stories with a prominent framing sequence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully creative and gripping tale
Having read both Hyperion and the Fall of Hyperion I can attest to Dan Simmons ability to paint rich worlds of imagination that will take you on the ride of your life! Read more
Published 28 days ago by Brigadier99
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Consider it as "Hyperion Part II", as you'll need to read "Hyperion" first. Great characters and engrossing plot, a real page turner.
Published 2 months ago by Xiiit
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a beautifully written story with vivid characters and engrossing plot. Should really be called "Hyperion Part I" though, as the ending leaves you hanging and you... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Xiiit
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant tale
After finding this book ranking quite highly on a list of 'must read' sci if books, I was expecting good things; however I has never assumed I was going to be so encapsulated in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sam Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Loved it. Great sequel to Hyperion. Not sure I understood everything towards the end but that's ok, because I am sure I will read it again. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mel Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi and great writing
This is one of the best sci-fi books I have read for a long while. It's the scope of the thing! The characters are so well drawn and the worlds they inhabit so rich in detail. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mel Powell
2.0 out of 5 stars In Romanian!
Now rectified and refunded by helpful Amazon guy, but this was on the English page in error-I'm not really qualified to judge.
Published 3 months ago by IAN CAMERON-MOWAT
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just great Sci-Fi, great literature of any genre.
More than just great Sci-Fi, great literature of any genre.

Tight plot, little wasted words and a wonderful spin on the usual Sci-Fi suspects. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Inch
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Sci Fi
A classic novel for lovers of 'big picture' science fiction novels. Great characterization and a wonderfully described universe, this book balances action with story-line... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best science fiction novels ever
This is an enchanting book that stays with you long after you turn the final page. I like science fiction for the ideas, but rarely for the writing; this is a glorious exception,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. M. Hanlon
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