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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  116,604 Ratings  ·  4,956 Reviews
On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.
A stunning tour de force, this Hugo Award-winning novel is the first volume in a remarkable new sc
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Kindle Edition, 481 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Specta (first published May 26th 1989)
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Matt There isn't a prequel. There are three more books, the second follows the events in this book and the back two take place several generations later.

…more
There isn't a prequel. There are three more books, the second follows the events in this book and the back two take place several generations later.

Simmons drops you right into his world with very little context or explanation as to who people are or what is going on.

The confusion of the reader is shared by the characters. What's happening on Hyperion is a mystery on a grand scale, and this first book is a journey to try and figure out what in the world is going on there.

I remember being super confused for the first parts of the book, but then the adventure of piecing things together along with the characters was amazing. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
Somehow I’ve managed to read a dozen books by Dan Simmons without getting around to Hyperion, one of his most acclaimed works. Frankly, I’ve been scared of it. Simmons has been mashing up horror, sci-fi, hard boiled crime novels, thrillers, and historical fiction while often stuffing his books with so many ideas that it was all I could do to keep up so this seemed like it could be a bit more than I could comfortably chew.

Just as I feared, while I was reading and nearing the end, Simmons crept i
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Kay
Jan 17, 2012 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: offerings for the lord of pain
WHAT THE SHRIKE!

What in the world did I just read, and why didn't I read it sooner? This book is so superbly written and crafted—it's easily one of the best modern books I've read, one that excels in storytelling and writing!

If I could give this book more than five stars, I definitely, definitely would.

The scope of imagination, wordplay, and critical analysis of humankind is astounding. I do think that the "frame" structure of the story, in which each character's tale slowly unfurls the plot,
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Markus
Aug 05, 2015 Markus rated it it was amazing
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn.


Hyperion...

Imagine a universe where the Earth has been destroyed and humanity is spread out across hundreds of planets. Combine the artful poetry of John Keats with a science fiction retelling of the Canterbury Tales. Add tons of references to the myths and legends of the three Abrahamic religions, and what you have is Hyperion. A masterpiece of literature.

Seven pilgrims come together aboard the treeship Yggdrasil to
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Kane
Jan 28, 2011 Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I'm frankly terrified to review Dan Simmons' masterpiece Hyperion. It is too good and too big for me to do this right. So...if I'm going to do it wrong, I might as well have fun. I thought I would mirror both Chaucer's and Simmons' use of the frame story in my review:


(The opening bit of Keats poetry)

He enter’d, but he enter’d full of wrath;
His flaming robes stream’d out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scar’d away the meek ethereal Hours

The Overarching Frame

This ma
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Lyn
Jan 21, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons.

The depth, variety and scope of his imagination is a joy for any science fiction fan. Having said that, there were some flaws that must be addressed. The dialogue is frequently flat and there are some corny stereotypes that were fun but also distracting when the writer is trying to create a serious work. The pace is also a problem. I had to invoke my rule to give any book at least 100 pages before I set i
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Apatt
Jan 20, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Hyperion is generally regarded as a science fiction classic, it tends to be included in most "Best SF Novels of All-Time" lists. I first read it when it was first published in paperback, at the time I had no idea I was reading a book that is destined to become a classic in the genre. When I began to participate in online sf books discussion groups not so long ago (primarily PrintSF these days) I noticed how often Hyperion is mentioned, usually reverent tones. A reread is then in order because I ...more
Conor
Dec 22, 2014 Conor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still singing loudly, not looking back, matching stride for stride, they descended into the valley.

This first novel in the Hyperion Cantos easily surpassed any sci-fi I've ever read. While the presence of cool space-ships, strange planets and gun-fights in space are all going to be familiar to fans of the genre the typical adventures, rebellions and funny/evil aliens are nowhere to be found. Instead we get a tale of incredible complexity, deep, brilliantly realized world building and a mature
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Henry Avila
Mar 20, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the 28th century, through a little accident ( some people do not believe it was), Earth has been destroyed by scientists, over 400 years before, the inhabitants have dispersed, they struggle in two hundred different planets, to survive, in the vast galaxy, an Empire called Hegemony, rises, to protect or is it to exploit them ? But with civilizations growing and changing, in desert planets, ocean worlds, jungle lands, mountains regions, the expanding universe goes on forever, how can any rul ...more
Wil Wheaton
Jul 05, 2009 Wil Wheaton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fathers who are also SciFi fans
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clouds

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
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Brad
Aug 29, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for novels made up of short stories; I am a sucker for the Romantic poets (especially Keats); I’m a sucker for spine tingling sci-horror, space opera, sci-fi tragicomedy, sci-tragedy, techno-noir, cyberpunk, conspiracy theories and doomed love stories. I am a sucker for literary intertextuality and pop intertextuality. Mostly though, I am a sucker for a good tale, and that is what Hyperion is, but when I read this story ten years ago I found that it left me a bit cold. I think I fi ...more
Penny
When people rave about this book they should really mention that it doesn't have a real ending! Sure it was an enjoyable bunch of stories and all, but I was reading them in the context of learning about the characters before the big showdown at the end of the book. I guess that only happens in the next book.

I also found the description of the settings overdone and a bit indulgent. These sections became very easy to spot as they tend to be at the beginning of a chapter or new story. I found mysel
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Veronica Belmont
May 06, 2012 Veronica Belmont rated it really liked it
Well, this is definitely one of those cliffhanger ending books, as many people warned me. So.... close.... yet so far away.

Anyhow. The book was excellent, I loved the independent narratives and the writing style. This book made me want to learn so much more about the universe it's based in/on. The allusions to classic poetry and literature were very fitting to the story line, and I think they'll only deepen with what I've read so far of The Fall of Hyperion. Yes, I immediately went out and bough
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Stephen
6.0 stars. One of my ALL Time Favorite novels. This is easily on my list of top 5 GREATEST Science Fiction novels ever written. Superb combination of grand, "big idea" space opera with incredible characters and deeply emotional writing. A PERFECT NOVEL!!! HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1990)
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1990)
Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1990)
Nominee: British Science Fict
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Mario
Jun 27, 2015 Mario rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5

I wanted to love this book so bad. I really did.

Reading this book definitely wasn't easy. So many times i didn't know what the hell was going on. Most of the time I was confused or frustrated, and many times I thought about giving up. If this wasn't a library book, I would definitely put it down, and read it again when I'm in a mood for reading this kind of book.

The book is written in 'short stories' form, and I think that was my problem with it. I got bored at beginning of each story, and as
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Kaora
Nov 08, 2014 Kaora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sunset comes through the open chapel window and bathes the altar, the crudely carved chalice, and me in light. The wind from the Cleft rises in the last such chorus that with luck and God's mercy - I will ever hear.

Hyperion takes place long after Earth has been destroyed and is referred to as Old Earth. Humans now live on several planets, one of which is the planet Hyperion, where a creature called the Shrike lives near the Time Tombs, structures which move backwards through time. 7 citizens
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Ah. Hyperion. Quite the achievement. Like its fascination with poetry might suggest, this novel is a piece of art.

There are many themes addressed here, and a re-reading at some stage is likely in order. On one level it's a novel about faith: the loss of faith, and, perhaps, the regaining of faith. On another, it's a novel about retribution. Alternatively, it is nothing of the sort, and just a darn good Space Opera.

As other reviewers have noted, there is a notable element of horror throughout. I
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sologdin
Framed narratives while on pilgrimage to religious site suggestive of The Canterbury Tales, but not drawing any real influence from it. Whereas Chaucer's pilgrims generally do not tell their own stories, the focus in Hyperion is the tale of the teller. The caveat, though, is that each teller's tale is intimately wrapped up with a tale of another: the priest must tell a second priest's story; a soldier, another soldier's; a poet, a patron; a teacher, his daughter; a PI, her lover; a diplomat, a r ...more
Mangrii
Jan 12, 2016 Mangrii rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos
La famosa novela de Dan Simmons publicada en 1989 y ganadoras de los premios Hugo, Locus e Ignotus, es la primera de una tetralogía llamada Los Cantos de Hyperion. Siguiendo una estructura narrativa similar a la de Los Cuentos de Canterbury de Geoffrey Chaucer, nos narra la historia de cómo siete personas se dirigen al planeta Hyperion a una última peregrinación a su encuentro con el Alcaudón, el conocido Señor del Dolor. Durante el viaje que nos lleva hasta las Tumbas de Tiempo, hogar donde el ...more
Ashley
So before I get into the nitty gritty nerdery that I’m about to spew all over this review space, bottom line is that this book was comprehensively awesome and you should read it.

You don’t need to have read The Canterbury Tales to appreciate Dan Simmons’ epically epic first installment in the Hyperion Cantos series, and really, I suppose you don’t even need to know anything about The Canterbury Tales, but you’re certainly not going to appreciate this book very much if you don’t. Hyperion, like Ch
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Rob
Aug 01, 2016 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: Sword & Laser
Executive Summary: After a slow start, I really enjoyed this book, and will be jumping right into the next one as it just sort of stops rather than coming to any sort of conclusion.

Audiobook: The audiobook is fantastic. I'm normally a bit leary of multiple narrators, but it works really well here. Each character's part is narrated by a different person and their parts when speaking together are the only times when you hear them talking at the same time. Highly recommended.

Full Review
Hyperion w
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Gavin
Nov 07, 2014 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a bleak and intense sci-fi set in a far flung future. With war looming seven pilgrims are chosen to journey to the mysterious Time Tombs, located on the far flung world of Hyperion, to petition the dark and enigmatic Shrike.

The story is told using the "frame story" format. Each pilgrim tells their own individual story while they are traveling to the Time Tombs. It proved a surprisingly effective method of storytelling and allowed each individual pilgrim's tale to be told in a different
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Matt
Sep 25, 2008 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why this book won the Hugo. It's a well-conceived and mostly well-executed "space opera" type scifi book. You know...lots of new terms to use, lots of talk of strange teleporter technology and different types of "drives" for space travel, the introduction of a new variant of a far-future space "empire" (in this case the "Hegemony"). I gave this 3 stars not because I think mathematically it deserves a "60%" rating. I picked it because in the rating system for this site, 3 stars means "I ...more
Sarah Anne
This was not what I expected. I thought, based on the cover, that it was going to be war on an alien planet. Instead it's a series of stories from each of the pilgrim's lives. They each explain their motivation for going to Hyperion. It's a fascinating story and it shows Simmons' fantastic writing off to good advantage. This is a great book and I can see why there's so much love for it.
Jonathan Peto
This book was fantastic. If it is representative of the genre’s achievement and range, then I am even more interested in reading science fiction than before. Dan Simmons does not shy away from a challenge. He packs an incredible amount of human experience and emotion into this novel, which is not something I expected. As I read, I thought many times that the book was perfect for aspiring writers. Interested in writing a fast-paced, suspenseful, blow-by-blow combat scene? Look within. Interested ...more
seak
Sep 01, 2016 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
This book is a bit crazy. I started out reading (listening really) and it was kind of boring. Not to mention, it starts throwing around unfamiliar terms and jumping you into this world. Then suddenly, these pilgrims who've been brought together mysteriously start telling their stories, one by one. And I was sucked in.

The world starts to open up as each of these perspectives shares their relation to Hyperion, which is their final destination, specifically the Time Tombs where the Shrike is said
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knig
Jul 15, 2012 knig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to knig by: mark monday
Shelves: 2012, scifi
Outstanding, even for a reluctant sci-fi novice such as yours truly. As the saying goes, ‘a long time from now, in a far, far away part of the Galaxy’, Hyperion oscillates as a lone outpost planet: inadmissible for political reasons to ‘the web’ (just read ‘the Federation' here and you get the picture).

Hyperion refers directly to Keats’ abandoned poem dedicated to Titanomachia in an undisguised parallel between the subject matter there and current events in the now Web. Whilst Christianity (and
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SKB
Mar 25, 2007 SKB rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot put into words how much I hate this book. A friend of mine gave me this book as a birthday gift, so I had to read it. I kept telling him I don't "do" most sci-fi, but he said based on other books I liked that I would probably like it. I did not. Oh boy, I did not. I also almost vomited on the bus when I got to the part about the cruciform. And there is an actual vagina dentata in the book--I totally laughed out loud because I thought, "Really? Dan Simmons, you are REALLY going to go the ...more
Geek Furioso
Apr 28, 2016 Geek Furioso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bueno, esto ha sido una pasada. De principio a fin. Jamás había leído algo semejante. Hyperion es una puta obra maestra.
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Dan Simmons 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 Master
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More about Dan Simmons...

Other Books in the Series

Hyperion Cantos (4 books)
  • The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #2)
  • Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #3)
  • The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #4)

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“In the beginning was the Word. Then came the fucking word processor. Then came the thought processor. Then came the death of literature. And so it goes.” 110 likes
“It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.” 86 likes
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