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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
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Hyperion > Chapter Three: Flashback

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message 1: by aldenoneil (last edited May 04, 2012 09:21AM) (new) - added it

aldenoneil | 1000 comments "Flashback's a hell of a drug." That's a hypothetical quotation, btw.

One of the more intriguing bits of tech from the poet's tale (aside from the portal house) was the drug Flashback, which makes it possible to spend your entire adult life re-living your 11th birthday.

I can't see any way this stuff would be addictive, unless you're going back to visit a lost loved one, but nevertheless the implications of a drug like this are a wonder to ponder.

Your thoughts? Anyone have a summer camp they'd like to go back to or anything?


message 2: by aldenoneil (new) - added it

aldenoneil | 1000 comments And to be clear, my 11th birthday was actually one of my worst. I'd probably check out a day from a long-gone summer vacation or something.


Napoez3 | 158 comments I wasn't to impress by Flashback. First, living in the past, normally, it's bad thing, and second, if we can have "chips" in our brains and thous kinds of enchantments, isn't better to have your good old memories store in your brain's "SSD" and replay them in you dreams?


message 4: by Rik (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rik | 705 comments Simmons actually put out a book last year called Flashback that is about this very drug he first mentions here in Hyperion. The story is set about 30 years in our future and society has crumbled in large part due to the drug and the United States particularly has been hit hard as parts of the country have seceded and other parts are now controlled by Japan. The main character is someone whose wife died and he's become a Flashback addict who spends most of his time reliving happy times with her.

I can see how anyone who is depressed, lonely, etc could easily get addicted to such a drug since it would allow you to relive with perfect clarity a better time in your life. I like my life right now but when reading the book I couldn't help of think of a few certain times, some of them X-rated, that I wouldn't mind reliving over and over again.

Anyway its a good book though its somewhat controversial due to some heavy politics as beyond the drug Flasbhack Simmons will lay a lot of the blame for a massive economic collapse that led to the United States falling on a "hope and change" president. He never names him but he makes it apparent who he's blaming. He actually also blames the president before the "hope and change" one for starting a series of never ending wars that bankrupt the country.


message 5: by Rik (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rik | 705 comments aldenoneil wrote: "And to be clear, my 11th birthday was actually one of my worst. I'd probably check out a day from a long-gone summer vacation or something."

I think most would use the drug for the same thing that most people in Star Trek would actually use a holo deck for. LOL


message 6: by aldenoneil (last edited May 04, 2012 12:15PM) (new) - added it

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Rik wrote: "He actually also blames the president before the 'hope and change' one for starting a series of never ending wars that bankrupt the country."

At least he passes the blame around.

That's interesting to hear that he's expanded the concept into another novel. The first mention of it reminded me of the scene from Minority Report where Tom Cruise's character is watching old holovids of his son.


Patrick | 14 comments Here's what I wondered about Flashback: Would fully reliving any of those moments of our past be anything like as good as the way we remember them now? We all talk about how we remember the good stuff and forget the bad. I'd be curious about a story of a Flashback user who, after repeated Flashback use has taken the rose-colored glasses off his perception of his life, comes to the conclusion that everything he ever did pretty much sucked.


message 8: by aldenoneil (last edited May 04, 2012 01:50PM) (new) - added it

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Patrick wrote: "Would fully reliving any of those moments of our past be anything like as good as the way we remember them now?"

Right - I don't think the reality could measure up.

Also, while on the drug, how much consciousness do you have that you're reliving a memory? Do you have an objective view of a memory while you're reliving it? The poet mentions at one point he couldn't recapture the muse by going back. Does he mean during the reliving of the memory or after the fact?

If you experience a memory subjectively (meaning there's no awareness that you're reliving while you're reliving), there'd be no point, as you'd really just be tarnishing what was a nostalgic memory by having it happen moments ago, and in stark clarity.

If you're experiencing it objectively, from a corner of your own mind, say, then it wouldn't be the same experience anyway, so why bother reliving it?


Suzanne | 40 comments I can see how Flashback would be very tempting to people who have lost something/someone significant. Even without the drug, people with that kind of loss can spend a lot of time reliving the past. However, I can't see Flashback becoming a widespread recreational drug simply because you neet to HAVE awesome experiences in order to relive them.


Seawood | 129 comments It's certainly an interesting idea and I can see it would easily become an escape from the world if you'd lost someone significant. I suspect it would be more attractive to an older or longer-lived user, though...these allusions in Hyperion to being in transport comas for decades; imagine if your family had been lost whilst you were in stasis. Or Lister in Red Dwarf, 3M years into the future - everyone he knew was gone and he did spend time using machines to explore his memories (iirc, it's been a while!). It draws a parallel with other immortalities, like that of the vampire - you might live for hundreds of years but could you bear to watch your loved ones die over and over again?


message 11: by Rik (last edited May 05, 2012 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rik | 705 comments Suzanne wrote: "I can see how Flashback would be very tempting to people who have lost something/someone significant. Even without the drug, people with that kind of loss can spend a lot of time reliving the past..However, I can't see Flashback becoming a widespread recreational drug simply because you neet to HAVE awesome experiences in order to relive them."

In the novel Flashback there are some people who go around killing people just so they can relive the murder over and over again via Flashback. Not what most people would call awesome but to sociopaths it would be.


Alterjess | 318 comments So, nobody here has ever lost half a day to just noodling around the Wayback Machine? I can definitely see how Flashback would be addictive.


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