Simmons, Dan

Book - 1990
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Hyperion is the tale of seven people who make a pilgrimmage to a terrifying creature called the Shrike in an attempt to save mankind. Stunningly written and beautifully crafted, Simmons's Hyperion resonates with technical achievement and the excitement and wonder found only in the best SF.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1990, c1989
Edition: Bantam ed
ISBN: 0553283685
Branch Call Number: SF SIMMONS
Characteristics: 481 p. ;,18 cm


From Library Staff

Seven intrepid (and trepid) interstellar explorers. Seven stories. One monster.

On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each of their stories is told with a radically different style and voice.

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... Read More »

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... Read More »

A group of pilgrims voyage to the planet Hyperion to witness the opening of the Time Tombs. Each recounts a story in a different style and setting that explore the nature of the tombs and their maleficent guardian, the Shrike. Inspired by Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

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Dec 22, 2014

I think this is probably the best story I have ever read in the science-fiction genre, which is quite something. The characters all feel so alive and the pacing is excellent. There is also quite a bit of philosophising in the books, there is much more going on than the actions of the characters on the page.
The book is also chock-full of literary references, most obviously to One Whose Name Was Writ In Water (Keats).

This book is actually the first in a series of four, if you find the ending confusing, follow up with "The Fall of Hyperion."

May 19, 2013
  • oldman74 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well-written piece which does a wonderful job developing the characters and allows us to care for their virtues despite their vices. Won the Hugo Award (Science Fiction). This is the first book in the series.

Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's like reading a collection of short stories that revolve around belief, religion, love, and the mysterious and alien Shrike. Each story tells a piece of the intricate world that Simmons has created as the pilgrims journey on to their final destination. The whole book is a wonderful setup-- an intriguing group of people with intriguing backstories-- and when I get around to the second book, I'll see if he manages to stick the landing.

Oct 16, 2012
  • Gordo81 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

While I found this book quite interesting I really did not appreciate the violence and sexuality included in the book, I am not sure that it really added to the story and I found it quite inappropriate to my sensibilities.

I do like the way the story advances through the tales of each character. I found some of the stories much more engaging, I liked the Priest and Father most.

Aug 21, 2012
  • tabellaria rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Disappointing, as several of my friends were hyping this book and it's apparently won some prestigious awards. I like sci fi in general but not this one. Characters felt like caricatures (flat and unmotivated), dialogue felt clunky and contrived. Writing style is verbose in areas where it doesn't need to be (too many descriptions of landscapes we're seeing just for a moment and not enough coherent description of the world and its technologies and political systems and made-up words). So much random violence that it desensitizes you and you don't really care any more by the end. Awkwardly sexist at times. But if I had just gotten a little bit of plot resolution I could have forgiven most of this. Yes, I know this is setting you up for the sequel, but at least give me a little resolution at the end of ~500 pages! How can I care about the mysteries alluded to in the story if the characters don't even care enough to try to answer them?

Jul 01, 2012
  • LaurenAHHH rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I thought this book was great. It's structured so that multiple short stories are being told as the main characters are traveling to the Time Tombs in Hyperion. It's a very interesting way to structure the book and I really enjoyed it.

May 24, 2011
  • vanravenstein rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The book started-off with great promise. The characters had interesting stories; the story had suspense. But then about half-way through it lost momentum and I lost interest.

Jan 06, 2011
  • SpongeBob_Fishpants rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

After 5 attempts and 10 years I finally finished this book and I STILL don't understand the appeal and the popularity. It's confusing, there is little detail to allow a real understanding of the universe he creates, no serious history and it cuts off after what is essentially nothing more than the back stories of the 7 pilgrims.

Aug 25, 2010
  • TheWhiteAfrican rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best sci-fi books in recent years. Greatly influenced by the Canterbury Tales and the poetry of John Keats (there's even a cyborg clone of Keats featured later!).
The story is centered around seven pilgrims, each who tells his own story and thus the book is in a sense a collection of shorter works, all brilliant, under a larger framework.
The writing is easy to read, yet absorbing. Simmons' characterization is exact and his description of the many wondrous things in his universe are gorgeous.
However, you will have to read the slightly disappointing sequel (fall of hyperion) to find out how the story ends, and if you're still on a Simmons-high by that point, you can check out the next two books in the saga, Rise of Endymion and Endymion.

Dec 16, 2009
  • Badger1492 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is truly one of the great SF classics of the last century. Indeed, it is difficult to call it "SF." It's not all spaceships and rayguns, nor is it the "space-opera" model of something like Dune or Star Trek. The author likes to call it "speculative fiction."

This is the first in 4 books; 2 sets of 2. Hang on!

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Dec 09, 2011
  • Acteon rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

As the entire known universe is torn apart by war, seven strangers travel to Hyperion to make pilgrimage to the Shrike. A creature which, unrestricted by human morality or the limits of time strikes out at humanity, slaughtering its victims in attacks to fast to be seen or understood. Fleeing the confusion on their home-worlds, these individuals share their stories so that they might understand why they were each drawn to seek answers from an inscrutable being whose actions only seem to breed chaos and destruction.


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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

But when the time comes to judge, to understand a betrayal which will spread like flame across the Web, which will end worlds, I ask you not to think of me-- my name was not even writ on water as your lost poet's soul said-- but to think of Old Earth dying for no reason, to think of the dolphins, their gray flesh drying and rotting in the sun, to see-- as I have seen-- the motile isles with no place to wander, their feeding grounds destroyed, the Equatorial Shallows scabbed with drilling platforms, the islands themselves burdened with shouting, trammeling tourists smelling of UV lotion and cannabis.


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