Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)” as Want to Read:
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1)

by
4.21  ·  Rating details ·  130,456 Ratings  ·  5,639 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, wi
...more
Audiobook
Published December 22nd 2008 by Audible Frontiers (first published May 26th 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hyperion, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Jun 11, 2011 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,
...more
Markus
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, science-fiction
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
...more
Lyn
Apr 25, 2012 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
...more
Megan Baxter
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kane
Jan 28, 2011 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
...more
Apatt
Sep 23, 2012 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
Jun 14, 2014 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
...more
Henry Avila
Mar 02, 2015 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
Jun 02, 2009 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.
Niki Hawkes  - The Obsessive Bookseller
“Hyperion” was an interesting book, but it’s difficult to convey what the story was about in a summary. It’s one of those books that gradually reveals its purposes as the plot progresses. In a nutshell, a handful of POV characters journey to Hyperion – an enigma of a world made even more mysterious by the presence of the Shrike (see cover for visual – it’s the big metallic being). As each character expands on their connection to this world, you start to get a sense of what’s really going on.

“Hyp
...more
Scott
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below.”

After reading this stunning first line I was intrigued by Hyperion. By the end of the first page I was hooked. By the conclusion of chapter one I was a craven addict, my Hyperion-obsessed mind now fit for a series of cautionary posters titled "This is your brain on g
...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
Mar 26, 2008 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
...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
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
Michael Finocchiaro
I loved this sci fi classic, Hyperion and want to read the rest of the series now - especially with the massive cliffhanger at the end!
A sort of Canterbury Tales in space, Simmons takes us 700 years in the future with a human race that fled the ineluctable implosion of planet earth in two groups - the Hegemony and the rebellious Ousters. There are, if memory serves, about 25 (or was it 250?) inhabited worlds between which slipships (sp?) use Hawking drive (presumably named for the amazing Stephe
...more
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
"You have been chosen to return to Hyperion as a member of the Shrike Pilgrimage.”

This was a tough book to review. It is essentially a bunch of short stories interwoven by the connective tissue of a pilgrimage by a group of desperate people.

Ordinarily, I hate reading short story collections. Alice Munro is about the only author whose short stories I'm willing to pick up. So it is probably fortunate I didn't know going in that this was Hyperion's structure cause I would have noped right out.

A
...more
Mario
May 25, 2015 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
...more
Kaora
Oct 24, 2014 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
...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
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
Jun 23, 2015 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
Geek Furioso
Apr 24, 2016 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.
William
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely brilliant, inspired, literate, clever, poignant, illuminating. A work of genius.

A Canterbury Tales for the future, with lessons for our times.

The Clergyman's Tale was superb. Far deeper at the end, with wonderful insights into religion and spirituality and life.

The Soldier's Tale - short and intense. Very different from the first tale, with a wonderful and strange romance, along with a poignantly twisted ending. Superbly written as well. I am impressed.

The Poet's Tale. What starts a
...more
Gavin
Jul 01, 2013 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
...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
Nikola Pavlovic
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Hiperion.
Serijal nakon kojeg sam rekao i fantastika ima svog Dostojevskog da se njime podici.
Neprevazidjeno pismen, prefinjen i inteligentan nacin pisanja krasi jednog od najvecih pisaca ikada Dena Simonsa. Ajde sto covek zna da pise i sto bi od price o klikeru na petsto strana napravio remek delo nego ovaj covek u svojoj glavi poseduje i najnenormalnije i najoriginalnije ideje koje tim svojim superiornim pisanjem svodi u celinu - knjizevno delo koje u ovom slucaju nazivamo Hiperion.
Uz Roge
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Downbelow Station (The Company Wars #1)
  • Judas Unchained
  • A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2)
  • Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
  • Spin (Spin, #1)
  • Way Station
  • Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2)
  • Blindsight (Firefall, #1)
  • Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1)
  • Anathem
  • Redemption Ark
  • The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
  • Star Maker
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • Sword & Citadel (The Book of the New Sun #3-4)
2687
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
...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)

Share This Book

“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.” 132 likes
“It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.” 104 likes
More quotes…