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The Hyperion Omnibus: Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 2 Dec 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 779 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575076267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076266
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 4.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The epic Hyperion duo - credited with reinventing SF in the 1990s - together in one volume for the first time.

About the Author

Dan Simmons arrived on the scene with the epic horror novel THE SONG OF KALI. Then in the 1990s he rewrote the SF rulebook with his Hyperion Cantos quartet. He has also written thrillers. Alongside his writing he maintains a career as a college lecturer in English Literature in the USA.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Alex Fell on 26 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback
Although written coming on for twenty years ago, the two novels that make up this omnibus edition, "Hyperion" and "The Fall of Hyperion" are absolutely "must-reads" for all serious lovers of literary SF.
The first book sets out the stories of a disparate group of travellers, brought together to visit the machine entity/deity the Shrike at its "lair" in the Time Tombs on the planet of Hyperion. Ostensibly, this is an attempt to avert an invasion of the settled universe by a swarm/fleet of Ousters (humans who have opted out of the mainstream human culture, which is run and regulated by AIs). However, each has a personal reason to visit the Shrike (a normally fatal enterprise) and on the course of the journey, each tells their tale. Thus, the book is a sort of mini-Decameron for the SF crowd, with the author adopting a different tone for each segment. It is supremely written, each segment explaining more of the overall milieau and pushing the plot forward as well as delineating the characters.
The second book focusses less overtly on the characters of the original book, as the action broadens out into the political background of the setting and the action taking place on other worlds, as the Ouster invasion and its ramifactions develop. This is more conventional in its structure, but nevertheless riveting, and building to a highly satisfactory conclusion (though it is one of those books which you don't really want to end, so immersive is the story).
The writing is superb all the way through, brimming with ideas and packing a great deal of "sense of wonder", but also maintaining a high degree of action-packing and also, in parts, very moving emotionally (the last is not often a feature of even the best SF).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tanstaafl on 27 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Having been a reader of SF for the best part of 50 years, I was surprised to find I had overlooked these novels for so long. I have to admit I found the first book quite oppressive. The tales of each of the pilgrims are dark and tragic, and I found it quite hard going, although the story becomes more compelling as you try to piece together the connections between them. The latter part heads off into space opera, wilderness adventure, fractal and virtual universes, and moral philosophy.

I suspect that a reader more familiar with the life and works of John Keats would find another layer (or two) in this book, but even on face value it is an entertaining tale with well-drawn characters and which makes you care about the fates of the protagonists. As said somewhere else, the clever twist is that what appears to be a plot device is in fact central to the plot - the loose ends are tied up quite neatly and you don't feel cheated in the final exposition.

Overall I enjoyed this enough that I have immediately purchased the Endymium omnibus, which picks up some of the threads of Hyperion. I don't think that a first-time SF reader would make it past the first hundred pages or so, and would miss out on some stunning word images.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Digital-Finger on 31 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Firstly let me state that I really enjoyed this book. Not for one moment did I reach the point where it risked being thrown in the bin, which I mention because it's not uncommon, I'm an intolerant, quickly bored reader easily moved to belligerence. Thus many a book that starts well ends up unceremoniously thrown in the bin if it springs major transgressions on me. Life is just too short to wade through books that are over-paced, predictable, clichéd or too far out of genre.

I prefaced my review with that because there is one point in the book around page 288 where I started to wonder whether it was going to go downhill fast after a brilliant start, i.e. was it going to change to sfi-fantasy from sci-fi? Yes at one point, I half expected it to wander off into Tad Williams 'Otherland' style, which is fine in its place but this book isn't that place.

However it redeemed itself and I continued

On finishing the book I would say despite some slight reservations I did actually very much enjoy it. It managed not (quite) to delve far into fantasy over sci-fi , and the premise behind the story didn't atually seem too far fetched for sci-fi, in my view. In fact flaming clever considering when it was written. The plot alone must (as with all time twisting plots) have taken considerable thought and planning, I'll certainly give him credit for that.

By the end of the book it is clear he's referenced the classics in both characterisations and themes, but he makes no bones about that and ultimately he brings a spiralling sci-fi theme very much back home to human feelings.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Jun 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm going to wade in on the side of the superlatives here. This series continues to amaze me after all of the 18 or so years since I first started reading it. Of course all of the classic science fiction themes show themselves: time travel, vast civilisations, cyberspace etc. but there are ideas spanning the whole of literature in here too. We have parental love, the search for redemption, corruption in high places and as a finale the "deus ex machina" plot device turns out to actually be the plot itself.

There are images in here that have stayed with me for the whole of that 18 years: the flame trees, catacombs and of course the Shrike and this is one of the few series that I have willingly loaded into my luggage for another re-read on holiday. (The other being the Night's Dawn books).

Saying that this is not a good book for novice science fiction readers is slightly disingenuous. It certainly may be hard to grasp all of the concepts if you have never seen any of them before but even Mozart was once criticised for having "too many notes". :-) The series has a huge vision and if you like complexity and resolution in your reading, you will not be disappointed.
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