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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  89,029 ratings  ·  3,924 reviews
On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, w ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 483 pages
Published March 1990 by Bantam Spectra (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)
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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
...more
Kay
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,
...more
Markus
Buddy read with Athena, Desinka, Gavin & Kaora

Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn.


Hyperion...

Imagine a universe where the Earth had 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 pilgri
...more
Kane
Jan 28, 2011 Kane rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
...more
Henry Avila
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
Conor
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
...more
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
...more
Brad
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
Wil Wheaton
Jul 05, 2009 Wil Wheaton rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Veronica Belmont
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
...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
...more
Kaora
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Jon
Apatt
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
Matt
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
knig
Jul 15, 2012 knig rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
...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
...more
Gavin
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
...more
SKB
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
Jonathan
This is not the novel you are looking for...

By which of course I mean that this novel is not what you may be expecting when you pick it up. I certainly didn't predict that the book would be exactly what it was in the end. I thought it was a straightforward classic sci-fi in the same manner as others. By association I thought this meant action, space flight, cool and crazy gadgets and zany characters.

But instead I ended up with something very different. There were gadgets and action but it was li
...more
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
Dale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mimi
Everyone going into this book should know it's Part 1 of a 2-part tale,and this partends abruptly.

If you know a lot ofclassic orcanonical literature, you'd recognize thesubtle and not so subtle nodsto famous dead authors and artistsscattered, not without purpose,throughout this book. And if you're not familiar with the classics, not a problem. You can always Google them afterward. Never having read John Keats or John Muiror the Talmud or know the ethics of ecology by heart wouldn't get in the wa
...more
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
C.W.
4.5. Really enjoyed this a lot. I liked most of the characters' individual stories and thought that, overall, it was really well written. A lot of interesting things going on in the world building, a ton of cool ideas. And the audiobook was great - several different narrators, one for each character. All of them were good.
Mark
I loved this book.

It follows roughly the same format as Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales": several separate stories all related to each other.

On the planet of Hyperion there exists a being called "The Shrike". It is a being made out of shiny metal covered with spikes and has four arms and a deadly reputation for killing people. Fortunately, it's constrained to a small area of the planet Hyperion. The Shrike is so mysterious that a church has been formed around it and, once in a blue moon, the chu
...more
Shelly
The greatest science fiction story ever written and the first book in the greatest science fiction series ever made. There are a lot of other Scifi books that I truly love, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.
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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, ...more
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)
The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2) The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4) Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3) The Terror Ilium (Ilium, #1)

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