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

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  69,546 ratings  ·  3,153 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, 482 pages
Published March 1990 by Spectra Books (first published 1989)
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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
Jonathan Cullen
Jan 28, 2011 Jonathan Cullen 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
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
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
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
Jon
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Dale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 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
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
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
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
Traci
I'm doing this review a little different and writing it as I finish reading sections. I don't want anything to be lost.

Can I just say Wow. To me the best books read like listening to a piece of music. Some are like rock. Others classical. But they all have a melody that is just as fun to read as it is to advance in the story. I'm only one hundred pages in while I'm writing this but so far, it's looking good.

We start off in confusion. We seem to be in a galaxy somewhere and somewhen far from Eart...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.
Mark
Not having ventured far into the literary world of fantasy/sci-fi in my years of reading I was surprised to find, while rummaging through my bookshelves, that I had all four books of the Hyperion "cantos". That's rather presumptuous of me, I thought, since the author and book was totally unfamiliar in my mind. "I hope I bought these at a used bookstore", i muttered to myself. The "Hugo Award" label on the front cover had some influence on me I'm sure in addition to the strange artwork depicting...more
Simon
This is one of those SF books that is highly acclaimed, seems to have been read by nearly every SF reader I know, and I have for some reason only just gotten around to it. Well, better late than never.

I wasn't sure how much I would like this because I normally don't go for fat space operas with lots of world building. The only other book I had read of Simmons, Song of Kali, that, although I thoroughly loved it, was an entirely different kind of book. I have to say however that Simmons tackles th...more
Megan Baxter
These stories are, individually, mind-blowingly good - in concert, they are little short of breathtaking. This is science fiction at its very best, and its avoidance of simple answers satisfies me deeply. I can't wait to read the next book.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Cassy
Sep 27, 2010 Cassy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cassy by: Eoin Colfer in Goodreads October Newsletter
First off, I would highly recommend this book for any science fiction lover. More interestingly, I would also highly recommend this book as a starter for anyone who wants to jump into the genre, because (a) it is fantastic, (b) it is just a little crazy, and (c) it contains all the best elements of science fiction. As I was reading it, I kept thinking of how it reminded me of this or that other book. It conveniently rolls everything into one! Here are some of those references/concepts:

Larry Nive...more
Alicia
April 25, 2011:

This is the first book that I have ever reviewed without first having finished reading the book. I think 44% is enough to make a fair judgment. I made it 44% through Hyperion before asking Amazon for a refund, and thus, with great relief, removing this book entirely from my Kindle library. I wish I could remove it from all existence, but alas, I cannot.

Hyperion was slow.

Seven pilgrims are on a pilgrimage to see the Shrike on planet Hyperion. The Shrike is some kind of immortal ent...more
Tim
This is my third read/listen of Hyperion I will be doing a mini review on each story as I finish reading it.

The Priest's Tale: The man who cried god.

This is without a doubt the finest piece of fiction I have ever read. A rumination on faith, death and rebirth, immortality and one mans quest to rediscover his faith. This story is haunting and each time I read it I find more to think about and ponder. On re-reading the foreshadowing of the story really takes on a sinister turn and brings on more m...more
Joel
Tentative rating until I see how it all ends in The Fall of Hyperion. But even if that book totally doesn't pay off, this one's a killer set-up, and the first "novel in stories" I've read that truly works both as individual stories (even when they started slow, all six turned out to be engaging, and it was fun to see Simmons playing with genre) and as a unified novel (moreso if you pay very close attention to the details that carry from one story to another).

Also the Shrike is truly "great and t...more
Rob
More like: ★★★⅔

SHORT VERSION: a scifi redux of the Canterbury Tales; six densely packed, interlocked, interwoven tales that create a whole that is epic in scope. Gripping and creative with all the right literary nods. And yet oddly anti-climactic and maybe even a little unsatisfying.

NOTES IN PLACE OF A REAL REVIEW:
* A strong, engaging (if somewhat vague) opening chapter; but the vague elements seem to be in line w/ some scifi conventions so...
* the pace creatively waxes and wanes; of particular...more
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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
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“It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.” 48 likes
“To be a true poet is to become God.
I tried to explain this to my friends on Heaven's Gate. 'Piss, shit,' I said. 'Asshole motherfucker, goddamn shit goddamn. Cunt. Pee-pee cunt. Goddamn!'
They shook their heads and smiled, and walked away. Great poets are rarely understood in their own day.”
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