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The Fall of Hyperion Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1995
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The stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion. On the world of Hyperion the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same.
From Publishers Weekly
This densely plotted book concludes the futuristic tale begun in Hyperion . Earth has long since been destroyed, and humans now occupy more than 150 worlds linked by the Web, an instantaneous travel system created and operated by artificial intelligences (AIs--self-aware, highly advanced computers). These worlds are about to war with the Ousters, a branch of humanity that has disdained dependency on the AIs. At risk are the planet Hyperion, its mysterious Tombs that travel backward in time, and the Shrike, its god/avatar of pain or retribution. The narrative focuses on the government of the Web and its leader, Meina Gladstone, as observed by Joseph Severn, a cybernetic re-creation of the poet John Keats, and seven Shrike pilgrims, who may affect the war's outcome. Simmons pits good against evil, with the religions of man and those of the machines battling for supremacy. Despite his grand scale, however, he fashions intensely human individuals whom the reader will take to heart.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Read this, and then the others. You won't regret it.
That said, Simmons' Canterbury Tales-esque structure works well, and the stories that each character tells on their pilgrimage are intriguing and often shocking. And you're certainly left wanting to read book two.
The Fall of Hyperion, on the other hand, is moving, compelling, and thoughtful. It's as if Simmons took the entirety of the first book to set up the payoffs in the second. He's gotten all the cleverness one out of his system and settles down to do what he needs to do: let the characters' stories unfold. And they do so beautifully.
I won't give away any spoilers. However, I'll say that the end is a little mind-blowing and very, very poignant.
After all these years, the books have apparently been optioned for a miniseries. I'll be curious to see how they translate to the small screen.
Unless you posses superhuman willpower, you will buy the next book when you get to the cliffhanger at the end. I just finished reading that sequel, and sadly it really doesn't measure up to this giant of a book. Oh well.
Make sure to listen to Rachmaninoff's prelude in C# minor while you read the prologue!
[This is where I realize amazon forces you to lump reviews of sequels together with the first book!! What is that all about??]
I would give Fall of Hyperion (book 2) 3 stars if I could rate it separately.
In the first book, a character writes a best-seller and then is forced by his publisher to crank out uninspired sequels. I wonder if that's what happened to Simmons, too!
Fall of Hyperion is less about characters, and more about technologies, species, and warfare. Unfortunately, Simmons' strength lies in his ability to write characters. If you are trained as a scientist or engineer you are unlikely to find the technologies in the book convincing or compelling, despite the fact that they are discussed in detail. AI gets involved and Simmons writes a bunch of Tron-like landscapes which didn't really seem to reflect information theory or computer science. There's too much boring poetry. The plot depends heavily on several types of time travel, and the glaring contradictions that arise are ignored.
It does have its moments. I smiled many times and even laughed a little, but it certainly is a pale echo of the first book. The saving grace is that the book ends with an immensely satisfying conclusion which didn't made me feel I needed to read any more of the series.
This being my first Dan Simmons novel, I can confidently say the man can write. Pieces of this book are absolute gold. Touching, full of wonder, and sometimes horrific. This is the kind of science fiction I like. The world isn't fully explained, but you are fed enough information to understand that there is a fully fleshed out world here. Beyond the worldbuilding though, this is very much a story about the characters. And it's a damn good one.
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