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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1990
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More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Hyperion is one planet in a large federation of planets which are at their political peak. This book is the story of 7 people picked to go on a pilgramage to the time tombs on Hyperion to see if they can figure out what is happening. The time tombs are guarded by a creature called the Shrike. The Srike can move forward and backward through time at will and seems to be invulnerable to any type of weapon. The 7 people are strangers to each other, but they have on common link, they have all encountered the Shrike before and been allowed to live. There is a legend and even a cult religion that has grown up around the Shrike for hundreds of years. It is said that the Shrike can grant any wish. Pilgrims that go searching for the Shrike must travel in groups of prime numbers or everyone will die. They must approach the time tombs on foot or everyone will die. According to legend, the Shrike somehow interviews everyone in the party if they have followed these rules and one person will have their wish granted and all the other party members will be killed. Also, the time tombs are moving backwards in time, and the fear is that once the time tombs stop that a whole army of tens of thousands of Shrikes will be unleashed. But this is just one thread in the vast tapestry of the story which grows in complexity with each book. What is happening on Hyperion is at the center of the collapse of this federation of thousands of planets that is on the brink of collapse. It is a facinating tale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is banned and carries a death sentence three centuries after you finish it. Go ahead and read all of the Cantos. You risk a fate worse than death. Read morePublished 6 hours ago by D. Allred
I haven't really read much Sci-fi for years, although I was an avid fan in my youth. I tried this book, originally not realizing that it was Sci-fi, and I was very impressed ... Read morePublished 3 days ago by David Whatmuff
The story of Sol and Rachel was the most thought provoking and mind bending thing I have ever read.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
*Spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers*
I was loving this book until the end, I could not put it down. Read more
Canterbury Tales, set in a future apocalypse. Gorgeous writing.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
An exhilarating rollercoaster to nowhere. I am definitely reading book 2. Interesting characters telling fascinating tales. Haunting scenes that left me thinking for hours.Published 9 days ago by Gary Stone