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(Hyperion Cantos #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  216,767 ratings  ·  10,060 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, 500 pages
Published March 1990 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (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.

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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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Rick Riordan
Sep 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I had to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. Basically, it is The Canterbury Tales in space. Seven pilgrims set out on a potentially fatal one-way trip to visit the Time Tombs on the planet of Hyperion, where a godlike killing machine called the Shrike will possibly grant one of them a wish -- and probably slaughter the rest.

You have to have some patience, and be willing to change your focus from character to character, as each takes their turn telling the story of what has brought
Feb 22, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 600th review goes to Hyperion, an imaginative and magnificent classic science fiction novel.

After years of having Hyperion by Dan Simmons on my TBR, I can finally say that I’ve read this beloved classic sci-fi novel. Before I started reading this novel, I didn’t know much about the premise or the content of the Hyperion except that there’s this creature called The Shrike in it, and also this book or series is one of the most beloved and highly praised sci-fi novels of all time. I’m actually p
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: simmons-dan
Shriking the way towards one of the best epic, old mythology, and literature inspired, mindblowing, amazingly ingeniously written space operas.

The difference between the first two Hyperion parts and the third and fourth Endymion parts of the series is that the first duo is more oriented on classic mythology and literature motives transformed into a sci-fi settings, while the sequel goes full frontal space opera with anything a sci-fi readers´ hearth could wish for.

Tricky not to spoiler, because
Wil Wheaton
Jun 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: offerings for the lord of pain

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 plo
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
After reading the first chapter in a "try a chapter book tag" a few months ago I'm finally back to reading this.

I'm gonna give the audiobook a shot and see how it goes!

Update: Audibook is definitely NOT the way to go with this one... I'll read my physical copy instead!
Kevin Kelsey
Posted at Heradas Review

This is another one of those classics of SF literature that I have somehow missed reading over the years. Had I been more of an active reader in the nineties, I’m sure I would’ve come to it much sooner. Thankfully, I finally got there, and Hyperion was not what I expected, in the best way possible. It’s most often compared to Dune, The Book of the New Sun, or other great works of Science Fantasy. Obviously, coming into the novel my expectations were high, and I knew the m
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, this-book-tho
SF Masterworks (2010- series) #21: This book was a very deserving winner of the Best Novel, 1990 Hugo Award. Seven pilgrims travel to the mysterious Time Tombs on Hyperion and share their stories of how they ended up being a pilgrim. Words escape me - immediately I had to start reading the sequel The Fall of Hyperion! On so many levels this book is a masterwork from a constructed reality that covers universes and eons, through to a cosmos wide legacy, mythology and strategic planning by numerous ...more
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2014
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn.


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
Joe Valdez
The fiction of Dan Simmons reminds me of a sporty and high maintenance dog, a dalmatian or Weimaraner perhaps, the type of athletic breed who walks its owners as opposed to the other way around. Like a canine with stamina to spare, the author's 1989 science fiction epic Hyperion, winner of the Hugo Award, may be the best fit for those who enjoy hours of exercise and mental stimulation in their personal time, a beast as opposed to a buddy. Intensely literary, highly imaginative, mostly capable of ...more
Megan Baxter
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Henry Avila
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 rule ? On th ...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
On the eve of interstellar war between the Hegemony of Man and the barbarian Ousters over the fate of Hyperion, seven pilgrims embark on a journey to the Time Tombs and their mysterious protector, The Shrike, a three meter tall, four-armed monster covered with blades. One pilgrim will have his wish granted and the others will be impaled on the Shrike's Tree of Pain. Only one or more of the pilgrims isn't what he appears to be...

I first read Hyperion almost seven years ago as part of the The Hype
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Wick Welker
Aug 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A science fiction and literary masterpiece.

What was I doing with my life before I read Hyperion? As a huge science fiction and fantasy reader, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what science fiction was capable of but wow did this book completely blow away all expectations.

How does one even begin to talk about this masterpiece? I could start with the masterful and subverting storytelling or the bottomless well of characterization. Or how about the subtle yet overarching world building and d
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I’m about to give up on rereads and my books in general. (Okay, not really) I’m just not liking anything! Okay, a few books but still, the hell is doing on??!! Actually, I do know but that’s my personal issues.

Happy Reading Peeps!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it

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
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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.

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
An interesting book. It has been recommended to me a number of times, and seeing as I had a copy, I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about and read it.
Did I enjoy it, yes, was it what i expected, no, not really. As a book it is basically a scene setter for the sequels, yes a few things happen, but the majority of the book is the back story (and history) of the main characters in the book.
Now this sounds a little boring, BUT, it is in fact a great way to start a wide-ranging space opera seri
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“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
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m finally getting to this sci-fi classic which derives its form from another classic of English literature.

We are in the 29th century and mankind, after spreading to hundreds of different planets, is at war. The Hegemony if facing off with the „Ousters“ (and possible another force behind that but no spoilers) which results, amongst other things, in a planet called Hyperion being threatened. Usually, humanity’s planets are connected by portals but some farther out are not. Hyperion is one such
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, favorites
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.

I thought I was well-read in the genre, having tackled most of the big names in the 80's and early 90's, but somehow I missed out on the saurian in the room. WOW!!! I can't remember the last time I was so amazed at a new series, instantly jumping into the next book a
This is one of my favorite SF novels.

Easily in the top ten. It has just about everything I could want in an SF while also elevating the entire SF conversation at the same time.

And a virtuoso performance is another term I'd use, as if the character of Martin Selinius had popped out of the pages and wrote this very book, wowing the AIs connaisseurs and elevating the very first Literary SF form to do universal justice to the term.

Back when I first read this book, the same year it came out, I was
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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Ciencia Ficción e...: * Lectura julio-agosto clásico: HYPERION, de Dan Simmons 11 44 2 hours, 57 min ago  
Fantastična čitao...: Čitaonica #100 - maj 2022: D. Simons 3 10 May 17, 2022 04:57AM  
The Vampiric Book...: Hyperion by Dan Simmons 1 6 Mar 23, 2022 10:50AM  
How do you think the Tree Ships work? 14 459 Oct 31, 2021 11:55AM  
The Evolution of ...: Hyperion 14 132 Dec 17, 2020 02:37PM  

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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

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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