The multiple-award-winning science-fiction master returns to the universe that is his greatest triumph - the world of
The Fall ofHyperion - with a novel even more magnificent than its predecessors.
Dan Simmons's Hyperion was an immediate sensation on its first publication in 1989. This staggering multifaceted tale of the far future heralded the conquest of the science-fiction field by a man who had already won the World Fantasy Award for his first novel (Song of Kali) and had also published one of the most well-received horror novels in the field, Carrion Comfort. Hyperion went on to win the Hugo Award as Best Novel, and it and its companion volume, The Fall of Hyperion, took their rightful places in the science-fiction pantheon of new classics.
Here, Simmons returns to this richly imagined world of technological achievement, excitement, wonder and fear. Endymion is a story about love and memory, triumph and terror - an instant candidate for the field's highest honors.
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Part of a great scifi series
This review is for both “Endymion” and “The Rise of Endymion”. They were first published 1997-98 and “The Rise of Endymion” won the 1998 Locus Award in science fiction. (I assume the award was meant to cover both books, since together they are one story). These books are part of a 4 book series:
1 - Hyperion
2 - The Fall of Hyperion
3 - Endymion
4 - The Rise of Endymion
I think if you haven’t read the Hyperion books, the Endymion books will be hard to pick up on.
I didn’t like the Endymion books quite as well as I did the Hyperion books. I found these more predictable and encumbered a bit by repetitive lists of names, equipment, etc. They also feature another of my all-time least favorite stock characters - the precocious, messianic child/adult. The epic romance of these two books is also given away on page 1 - which spoils any tension or surprize that it might otherwise have generated.
HOWEVER - having said that, the books kept me riveted for all their 52+ hours. Heres’ what they’re about, since the iTunes blurb is uninformative .
The Endymion books are set 275 years after the events of the Hyperion books. A few familiar faces from “Hyperion” are still around, thanks to strange time loops or engineered longevity. But our new heroes are Aenea, child of human and machine, and her bodyguard, a somewhat lunkish young buck who’s been plucked from obscurity for the job. The fall of the old Hegemony in “Hyperion” hasn’t worked out as hoped. A new threat to the healthy evolution of the human race has surfaced, using a terrible new doctrine of the Roman Catholic church as its vector. (This part of the story is so grotesque that it’s almost darkly comic, like some gloriously tasteless Monty Python sketch). Aenea may be humankind's best hope for salvation. Her coming is anticipated by both friend and foe, adventures large and small, gentle and violent across dozens of worlds ensue.
Theology, religion and how these things are formed by and reflective of the human condition is an ongoing subtext of the books. Though the lines between good and evil are a bit more black and white here than I found them to be in the Hyperion books, and the characters a bit flatter, Simmons still draws them, and his fantastically familiar universe like a master. I think “Endymion” and “The Rise of Endymion” probably deserve an overall 4-1/2 star rating. If you like the Hyperion books, these are essentials.
Does not work
Don't buy any of the Dan Simmons Audio Books as they malfunction