Sci-Fi Group Book Club discussion

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
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message 1: by Greg, Muad'Dib (last edited Mar 13, 2018 02:39AM) (new) - added it

Greg | 812 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the first book of the month, or group read, for March and it represents one of the two chosen themes for this quarterly themed read (space opera). Please remember to use the spoiler tags where necessary.

The other group read topic for this month (I Am Legend) can be found here.


Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Has anyone in the group read and reviewed Hyperion yet? I'd be interested in seeing some of your reviews.


message 3: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - added it

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Vicky wrote: "Has anyone in the group read and reviewed Hyperion yet? I'd be interested in seeing some of your reviews."

Not yet!


Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Greg wrote: "Not yet!"

No problem. I took the plunge, though I was unsure if I'd like this one. I'm only 2 chapters through and already I'm hooked. This is better than I could have imagined.


message 5: by Thorkell (last edited Mar 16, 2018 10:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Finished The Priest's Tale and just started The Soldier's Tale. The story Father Hoyt tells is amazing. So well written, really original and quite scary. A wonderful way to open this epic tale. It is not often I can't guess what is going to happen. The Priest's Tale was always one step ahead of me. I hope more will be joining us. :)


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments After having also read the The Soldier's Tale and The Poet's Tale I have started to wonder if Dan Simmons is trying to write a new Ulysses ala James Joyce. Like Joyce he works with a lot of classical works and even more like Joyce he keeps changing the style of the story and the main characters. But it is mainly the change in style from one story to the other that reminds me of Joyce. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?


Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments I’ve finished both the Priest and Soldier’s stories. I’ve marked some spoilers here for those who are not there. But, I’m interested in discussing them. This is definitely excellent sci-fi.
He does an excellent job of combat. The theme of bloodlust vs. peace is well presented.

Time tides is an interesting concept the way he presents it. I can’t recall that I’ve seen this idea of time presented in other books.
The Labyrinthine Worlds concept does remind me a bit of Avatar, the movie.

I had a difficult time navigating the section between the stories of the Priest and the Soldier because I was listening to the Audible format. I don’t recommend that at all for this book. I grabbed the Kindle format for whisper-sync, and after re-reading a bit was able to piece together a sequence of events.

One thing that had confused me at first was that the sequence of events was continuing in the interim of the space between the stories. The written text divisions made that clearer.

The character of the “Mystery” was intriguing.
(view spoiler)

I’m still a bit confused by the scene where Father Hoyt discovers…
(view spoiler)

Opinions welcome.


message 8: by Vicky (last edited Mar 18, 2018 12:10PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments I also enjoy finding the many uses of Easter eggs, like the use of famous names such as Hawking, The Butcher of Bresnia is like the Butcher of Baghdad, and the ‘John Carter’ Brigade on Mars I believe it was, is from the ERB books John Carter on Mars.

The use of the word fugue is perfect here for his purposes. I was thinking only of the melody at first, but then realized it could also be used in the psychiatric sense as in a seizure, amnesia, or hysteria.

I enjoyed the French battle in the sim, too. And, later the quicksilver over chrome was an interesting concept of armor. He does weaponry very well. And, the use of cyber warfare was really cool…
(view spoiler)


message 9: by Thorkell (last edited Mar 18, 2018 01:21PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments SPOILERS!!! Regarding the 2nd spoiler Vicky (Father Hoyt and the crucifix). It looks like the crucifixes attached to him when he took them of Dure. As to why he is is not dying. Well, Dure was being killed by the tree he was hanging on. So it was not the crucifixes that were killing him. They were keeping him alive. When Hoyt took them of Dure, Dure could finally die (instead of being revived every time again).


message 10: by Vicky (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Thorkell wrote: "SPOILERS!!! Regarding the 2nd spoiler Vicky (Father Hoyt and the crucifix)
..."


I guess I had jumped the logic train of thought there. I thought he was dying because he was too far from the temple monument. But, I see now that that had been a 1st attempt. The tree was his solution. Your answer about the crucifixes attaching themselves when he removed them cleared it up for me. Thanks.


message 11: by Vicky (last edited Mar 18, 2018 01:54PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Thorkell wrote: "After having also read the The Soldier's Tale and The Poet's Tale I have started to wonder if Dan Simmons is trying to write a new Ulysses ala James Joyce. Like Joyce he works with a lot of classic..."

I haven't read Joyce. Our professors gave us a lot of flexibility over reading choices and I chose Descartes instead of Ulysses for my term paper. Joyce seemed so stilted at the time. :) But, I can see your point about the changing characters. And, he has used many, many literary tie-ins, like Shakespeare and Homer. SO, yeah I can agree. It makes the reading much more enjoyable.


message 12: by Thorkell (last edited Mar 18, 2018 02:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Also each tale is a different genre.


message 13: by Vicky (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Thorkell wrote: "Also each tale is a different genre."
How so? I'm not following you.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Vicky wrote: "Thorkell wrote: "Also each tale is a different genre."
How so? I'm not following you."


The first tale is mostly told in a diary form.
The second tale is told in style of knights' sagas
The third tale reminds me of radical philosophical writings.
I'm not sure what I would do with the fourth one (The Scholar's Tale).
The fifth one (The Detective's Tale) is in fact told like a classical detective story.
The sixth one (The Consul's Tale) is told in the style of a classical tragedy, much like Romeo and Julia.

Anyway, this was a great book. Really look forward to reading the 2nd one.


message 15: by Vicky (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments That is definitely interesting and makes me anxious to read the rest. Congrats on finishing the book. And thanks for pointing the genre shifts out.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments I forgot to say Vicky that I think your theory about “Mystery” is really interesting. I guess we will see better in book to if it plays out like that or not.

Also Vicky, since you love the Bible, look forward to a very interesting Biblical motive later in the book. I'm a theologian so I love when books play with Biblical themes, especially when it is done in an intellectual way (does not have to be respectful, just not stupid). Here the author knows his Bible and does a great job of using there themes.


message 17: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Niedzwiecki | 16 comments Blerk! I might be running a tad late on reading this - I have wanted to read it for ages! I ordered the paperback a couple of weeks ago (sadly, I am not much of a kindle reader) but it still hasn't arrived -- hopefully I can at least make a start on it before the month is out? It certainly looks worth it based on the comments ... (o:


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments I think we can keep the discussion going into the next month. Look forward to your thoughts Karen!


Gerry I read Hyperion and the sequel last year.

They are two of the best sci fi books I’ve read and I can not recommend them highly enough.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Just finished The Fall of Hyperion. I don't see how anyone can read only the first book. It would be like only reading the Fellowship of the Ring.

SPOILERS!!! I loved the fist 2/3 parts of the book and thought it was often even better than the first book but the ending... while not bad, it was a little too sentimental for my taste (and hence, out of style with the rest of the book). I'm also not quite sure I believe that a leader would sacrifice the whole world based on a dream. And if she did then shy was crazy and deserved her fate, even though she was right. Loved the theology in the end, especially the thoughts on Abraham's sacrifice.


message 21: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - added it

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Thorkell wrote: "Just finished The Fall of Hyperion. I don't see how anyone can read only the first book. It would be like only reading the Fellowship of the Ring.."

That's a fair point! That said, I like to take breaks between books in a series so that the over-arching narrative doesn't get stale for me. Anyway, I'm guessing you will be starting Endymion, the third book in the series, shortly?


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Yes. First I have to read 3 other.


message 23: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - added it

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Thorkell wrote: "Yes. First I have to read 3 other."

Ah OK. Sounds like you're taking a break between books in a series as well.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Yes.


message 25: by Phil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Phil Jensen | 10 comments Thorkell wrote: "After having also read the The Soldier's Tale and The Poet's Tale I have started to wonder if Dan Simmons is trying to write a new Ulysses ala James Joyce. Like Joyce he works with a lot of classic..."

I see the parallels you're mentioning, but I don't think Simmons was trying to write like Joyce. His stated influences are The Canterbury Tales and John Keats.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments The 3rd book was almost as good as the first two. It is more streamlined and has a more focused plot. It is also maybe the most cinematic of the three. Almost feels like an Star Wars episode at times. I liked how the 3rd book manages to continue the story but still shake things up enough to keep it fresh and interesting.

Next up, the 4th book.


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Just finished the 4th book. It is a real mind bender. The first half is kind of aimless and I feared that Dan Simmons had screwed it all up in the end but thankfully I was proven wrong. Yes this book could have been shorter (it is the longest of them all) but the twists and turns in the end are quite amazing... and beautiful.

I really enjoyed these books.


message 28: by Vicky (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments I'm a bit behind. Still here though, just engrossed in another book atm. But, seeing that some of you are reading other books in the series, I just saw the Remembering Siri. Did I miss something by not starting there... is it a series you need to start at the beginning?


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments Remembering Siri is included in the first book (very little changed).


message 30: by Vicky (new) - rated it 1 star

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 26 comments Ok. Thanks for that.


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