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Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 8 Dec 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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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: 11.5 x 3.2 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,535 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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
This is the second book of Dan Simmons' 'Hyperion Cantos', and the conclusion to the story begun in the award winning 'Hyperion'.
On the small scale, the Shrike pilgrims have told their stories, and have arrived at the mysterious time tombs to await their fate. On the larger scale, the Hegemony of Man faces the threat of mass invasion from the genetically-enhanced Ousters.
If you've not read the first book in this series, 'Hyperion', then this won't mean much to you. Reading that book is essential to understanding this one - the two form a single large volume, and neither can be read as a stand-alone story.
This book is slightly less literary than it's predecessor, although a resurrected form of John Keats does feature as a major character, and thus continues the theme of the first book. It's not necessary to know anything about Keats to enjoy this work, although it's added richness for those that do.
A greater focus is placed on the actual story started in the first book, rather than continuing the way the first book disjointed the overarching story with the minutiae of why the pilgrims were travelling to the Shrike. It's a more flowing narrative, therefore, and benefits from it. Hyperion was an interesting way to tell the back-stories of the protagonists, but it's appropriate to come away from that style in the follow-up, and adopt the more conventional narrative style to show how their stories play out.
The Fall of Hyperion is a compelling novel of sacrifice in the face of adversity. The two Hyperion books together make a fantastic example of what can be acheived in the sci-fi genre, bringing it down from the hard sci-fi level to a much more compasionate human one. And the best part is that these books set the scene for the second two books in this series - Endymion and the Rise of Endymion - which are simply the finest books ever written in this genre.
Read all four, and thank me later!
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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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