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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Series: Hyperion Cantos (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 481 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (March 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553283685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553283686
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,407 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

A stunning tour de force, this Hugo Award-winning novel is the first volume in a remarkable new science fiction epic by the author of The Hollow Man.

Review

Each of [the pilgrim's] stories would make a superb novella on its own. -- The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas

Customer Reviews

Dan Simmons has written one of the best science fiction stories ever with Hyperion etc.
John F. Nordlinger
The stories they tell also leave many unanswered questions and mysteries that will hopefully leave the reader running to find the second book.
Keith Fraser
Story telling, excellent plot devices, and some really great character development makes these books click.
william spinetti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

432 of 472 people found the following review helpful By Ilana Teitelbaum on June 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though 'Hyperion' is dependent upon its sequel and ends with a tooth-grinding cliff-hanger, it is in its way self-contained. 'Hyperion' is centered on the six pilgrims' tales, their pasts, the terrible needs which drive them to confront what is almost certain death--or worse. Each of the tales is written in a unique style, and each introduces a new element to bind the story as a whole. All are wrenching, even disturbing in their intensity, in their focus on the deepest possible of human suffering.
Do not read this book if you're looking for a light, fun read. In fact, forget it. This book defies all expectations, serves up horrors that were hitherto unimaginable if you are even remotely sane. Dan Simmons is in this book exploring a world that has lost its soul and is decaying by inches. To underscore that decay, the tales focus on the underpinnings of humanity--death, love, parenthood, art--and twist them into the most horrific contortions possible. The tale of the cruciform, for example, investigates with terrifying clarity the possibility of there being a fate far, far worse than death.
As a result, the quest of each pilgrim has a greater significance than being merely a quest; in the empty world which Simmons creates, they are pioneers searching for a depth beyond the tested parameters of their rotting civilization. The atmosphere of the book is overshadowed by the horror of the Shrike, yet does not completely dim the hope of what might be.
Steeped in the tangled sorrows that drive them, the characters do not always engender sympathy. I found Kassad shallow and difficult to relate to, and the explicit sex a turn-off. However, Martin Silenus, Sol Weintaub and the Consul--to name a few--are fully realized, complex characters, and even at their worst moments, still by their very existence encourage the reader to keep reading simply to learn their fates.
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189 of 212 people found the following review helpful By dsrussell VINE VOICE on April 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An account of six tales from seven desparate travelers as they make a pilgrimage to Hyperion to seek out one the most terrifying monster ever created in fiction, the Shrike. They all have various reasons to risk their lives, and all hold the belief that whoever survives the Shrike, one prayer will be granted.
All six stories (novellas in their own right) are brilliantly conceived, and every reader here has his or her own personal favorite. While the priest's tale is one of the most harrowing I've ever read, I was personally moved by the tale of Sol and Rachael. As a parent, I found this tale especially haunting. As another reviewer mentioned, I will not think of the words "...later alligator...'while crocodile..." in the same light ever again.
This is science fiction told in a grand scale. It is sweeping in scope and Simmons' narrative is extremely imaginative, often fanciful, yet sometimes yawn inspiring. It is not an easy read. For those that know little or nothing about the poet, Keats (me included), much of the narrative may become ambiguous or boring. But despite that (or because of that), Simmons spins a masterful tale of the travelers and of the great war against the Hegmony and the Technocore.
Unfortunately, "Hyperion" is only the first part of a two-part story, and ends unfinished. One has to purchase (unknowingly) "The Fall of Hyperion" to complete the story. My suggestion would be to purchase them both at the same time and enjoy--it's well worth the money.
Although this novel won't be to everyones' taste (what novel is?), I thought it to be one of the best novels I've read in many a year. Between 1 and 10, I give "Hyperion" a solid 8. Had the novels been double bound and sold as one (as they should have been), I would have given "Hyperion" an enthusiastic 9.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Keith Fraser on April 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hyperion is truly incredible. As well as being a science fiction version of the Canterbury Tales, it also sets out a breathtaking and at the same time chilling vision of what humanity's future might be like. It creates a spectacular and wonderfully detailed world where citizens step through farcaster portals to have lunch on another planet, mysterious artificial intelligences scheme and plot, so-called 'barbarian' Ousters migrate between the stars, and a terrifying demon-machine called the Shrike stalks the area around a set of mysterious artifacts which appear to be travelling back in time. This world is populated with all sorts of fascinating characters and cultures, such as an artificial recreation of the poet Keats, a girl doomed to age backwards and a planet of peaceful environmentalists crushed for daring to resist modernisation.
This first book of four, consisting almost exclusively of the stories told by seven pilgrims (a priest, a soldier, a poet, a scholar, a detective, a starship captain and a diplomat) as they travel across the planet Hyperion to meet the Shrike, is essentially a gigantic prologue which sets the scene for the tumultuous events of The Fall of Hyperion. It builds up a picture of the Hegemony (the 'established' human grouping) as what I take as being the author's idea of the inevitable product of today's Western civilisation, and establishes the background to the crisis that has brought the seven pilgrims together, which appears at first to be a simple war of aggression by the Ousters but turns out to have much deeper ramifications involving the AI TechnoCore, the Shrike and the future of humanity. The stories they tell also leave many unanswered questions and mysteries that will hopefully leave the reader running to find the second book.
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More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and 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 Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.
Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."
Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.
Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.
In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

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