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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scene-setter for a classic series
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...
Published on 1 Nov 2003 by Tom Douglas

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars required reading for those who read Hyperion but...
Basically if you've just read and finished Hyperion it's a sure cert that you're going to be looking at getting the sequel, since the first book ends so suddenly with so many loose ends. In this case this review may be moot.
However, let me warn you that instead of a satisfying ending, be prepared for a rather long and confused series of events that almost raises as...
Published on 17 Feb 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic., 20 Dec 2011
I think that Hyperion is a fantastic example of science fiction at it's best. The story is complex, thought provoking and vividly told from the perspective of seven pilgrims as they travel towards certain death at the will of the mysterious Shrike. Similarly to the Canterbury Tales each character takes a turn to tell their tale, each of which is worthy of a story in it's own right. I believe that this is a book for anyone who appreciates excellent writing and clever ideas being a true masterpiece of science fiction.

Hyperion is really the first half of two books and should be read as such. With this in mind it is worth having The Fall of Hyperion handy as you wont want to wait for the second half!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply excellent. READ this book!, 16 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. I loved the many an spectacular surprises, I loved the characters, the action, the violence and the plot.

The plot is the main driving force behind this book. While other great books(eg by Peter F Hamilton),drive a book by empathy towards a specific character, this books succeeds without that. The characters are awesome but it is the constant surprises that made it a very special book for me. I had to stop constantly and think about the latest jaw dropping plot twist.

I have extremely high standards with books, and I am not easily impressed. This book did it. Read it. I doubt you will be disappointed.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

PS I attended a talk by Peter F Hamilton and Ian M banks in early 2013 and Ian M Banks went out of his way to recommend this book. He said that sometimes your read a book and realise that you have to 'pull your socks up'. When he said that h was referring to this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth all the Hype, 5 Dec 2011
By 
Steve D (London, England) - See all my reviews
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SF's answer to The Canterbury Tales, with frequent references to John Keats and an actual clone of him appearing within its pages. That's probably the worst description I could ever have come up with, but it's true! In fact, Keats seems to have such a hold over Simmons that the book's title - and its sequel's - is taken from Keats' final poem, about the Greek Titans and the Younger Gods. From what I can gather, Keats died before finishing the poem, to the point where it stopped mid-line, and although Simmons doesn't go to that length, there are similarities ...

Anyway, this tale of seven pilgrims journeying to a doom-laden encounter that will see most, if not all, of them fail to return, is just a wonderful exercise in storytelling, beautifully written, jaw-droppingly inventive and imaginative, populated by characters who are gradually fleshed out as they tell their own stories of how they have come to this point in time. This central conceit allows Simmons to change voice, to switch between first and third person, and throw in all manner of literary tricks which, to my mind, all worked brilliantly. The characters' stories vary from horror to love, even to a pseudo-film noir-ish detective story, and another that I found completely heartbreaking.

I have read a few of Simmons' novels before - Carrion Comfort, The Terror, Illium - and enjoyed them all, but this one surpassed the lot. For the first few pages I couldn't get my head around most of the terminology, the descriptions, the ideas the book was throwing at me, one after another in such quick succession - but it sucked me in and I couldn't put it down. I was tempted to give it less than a perfect score. It's the sort of book that left me breathless and frustrated that it was over, wanting to know what happened next and yet quite annoyed that there are sequels. Something about it just cries out to be left as it is, to leave it to the reader's imagination to figure it all out. I'm not sure I want all the answers, but I know I'll read them anyway, and I'm almost sure they'll be a let down. This book, on its own, is pretty much perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A pilgrimage with wond'rous tales, 22 Oct 2011
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Quite simply one of the best works of science fiction ever written! The pleasure (and terror) is in the travelling, not the arriving! The literary nods, the sci-fi ideas, the characterisation and conceptualisation are all marvellous!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Join the Pilgrimage, 19 Aug 2011
By 
David Ford "Genre junkie" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hyperion (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Kindle Edition)
Rarely have I been so impressed when starting a new series. In the first installment of his quartet, Dan Simmons manages to craft something rather special out of what is essentially a science fiction take on the Canterbury Tales.

The story sees a disparate group of seven people called to Hyperion, a planet on the outskirts of the vast, sprawling human Hegemony. Each of them has a link of some sort to the planet, a reason why they go to face the mysterious, deadly Shrike which resides there.

The latter is a truly sinister creation, a nightmare of blades and glowing red eyes able to appear seemingly at will. The monster is rarely seen, but casts an ominous shadow over the entire novel.

What make the book great, though, are the life stories the pilgrims tell on their journey. The sheer breadth of style and genre seen in the various tales shows the sheer talent and imagination Simmons can bring to bear.

They range from the creeping horror of the priest's tale, to the all out action of the soldier's tale, to the cyberpunk thriller of the detective's tale. Particular standouts include the tragic parental loss of the scholar's tale and the era spanning love story of the consul.

They just have time to finish their various backstories before the novel ends, leaving us to find out their fates in the sequel. Based on the quality of this opening part, that will hardly be a chore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 16 Aug 2011
By 
plot hound (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
The books has a strong set of characters each of whom gets to tell the story of why they are going to the Tombs, this gives each character a certain depth, some are dealt with more sensitively than others but they are all interesting and believable whether likeable or not.

The science is kept to a minimum and this is definitely not a hard-science fiction book. It sometimes reads more like fantasy with the Shrike being a god-like being whose powers aren't explained.

The individual stories do give glimpses of a guiding principal and a direction for the book with clues and common elements appearing to shed some light on the mysteries on Hyperion.

Well written, fast paced, intelligent and original. There is really nothing bad to say about the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Sci-Fi novel I've ever read, 5 Feb 2011
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Asphodelia (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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I have never been a fan of sci-fi literature, in fact I never read any until a friend mentioned it and kept making references to the TechnoCore. I was intrigued and decided to try it.
The first couple of chapters were a bit hard to get through, because of course you're thrown into a universe that is taken for granted you understand (otherwise it would be very poor writing indeed). But with the first 'tale' by the priest, I was hooked. I hadn't read anything about the plot and I was surprised at the Canterbury Tales-like structure. Each tale is narrated in a different style and each is very gripping, with the exception maybe of Kassad's tale, the one I found the weakest.

Simmons is not 'just' a sci-fi author. This book brings poetry, philosophy, anthropology and so on into the mix - you will be looking up Keats' works on the internet as soon as you hit Lamia's tale.

All I can say for the sceptics is, forget your doubts about sci-fi and forget the issue of 'genre' literature. Read this book and you will most certainly want to carry on and read the sequel, "The Fall of Hyperion" (which you kind of have to, as the novel doesn't really have a proper ending).

Great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking sci-fi, belter of a read, 11 Dec 2010
What a fantastic book! I've just finished, and - warning - you'll need the sequel handy when you do.

As others have said, this is Canterbury Tales on a galactic scale. Very cleverly written in that it gradually introduces you to the author's vision through different viewpoints and stories without overwhelming you in the process. Having read all the Iain M. Banks, this is up there with Player of Games or Use of Weapons.

All the "stories" are different, some more exciting than others but all worthwhile and readable. The one that did it for me was Sol Weintraub's which - being a new dad - I found very emotional(!).

Be aware, this won't be for the younger reader as there's sex, swearing and a fair amount of violence. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sequel to Hyperion, 5 Oct 2010
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The story is taken up in the fall of Hyperion immediately where it left off (with a cliffhanger ending) in Hyperion. The reasons for the individual stories in the first book become apparent quickly and the surprise inclusion of keats (the poet) becomes more obvious as the story continues. I will not say to much about it (i dont wish to give away the plot) except that much is explained in Dan Simmons marvelous and delightful, always well immagined, and wonderfully written sequel to Hyperion. Very highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy sequel that provides a lot of answers, 28 Aug 2010
By 
Neil J. Pearson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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"Hyperion" gave us the background and "fall" moves the current events forward a great deal. The book i paced differently as the constraints of the Canterbury Tales framework are dropped, leaving an excellent space opera to enjoy.
Simmon's somehow manages to draw all the threads from the two books together to give a very satisfying conclusion to part 1 of the "hyperion cantos" with one or two surprises thrown in for good measure. Unlike many sci-fi books, he also manages to keep you interested by making you care about the characters and thereby making us care about the epic.
The biggest surprise for me is how ahead of its time the book is, as the internet was barely born when the novel first came out in 1988. A true visionary.
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