In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in
Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention.
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.
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Elegant science fiction
This review is intended to cover both “Hyperion” and “The Fall of Hyperion” which together comprise the first half of a 4 book series, but these 2 can stand as one complete story.. ]”Hyperion” is the winner of the 1989 Hugo Award and “The Fall of Hyperion” is the winner of the 1990 Locus and British SciFi Awards.
This is some of the most elegant science fiction I’ve ever read. Characters are lovingly drawn in intimate detail. Their stories and the vast plot arc that they are part of is meticulous and vivid. The universe Simmons creates is both mundane and fantastic and has the feel of a real permutation of our own reality.
“Hyperion” and “the Fall of Hyperion” prominently feature one of my all-time least favorite plot elements - time travel. My blood pressure goes up just thinking about crossing more than one Earthly time zone, so the fact that I still love these books despite their “Your past is my future.” schtick is pretty good evidence of the quality of Simmons’ story telling. And the story is wide-ranging, cyber punks, steam punks, romantics, military aficionados and intellectuals may all find something to love in these books.
Some reviewers have found the Hyperion books inconclusive or ambiguous, I do not find them so. The story IS complex, mystery is also a big plot element. “Facts” change as the characters learn more, disinformation is passed according to the agendas of various interest groups, alliances may seem to shift, ones perception of who the “good” guys and the “bad” guys are may change. All the characters are fallible - the story is a lot like real life in that way. These are books that demand, and I think will get - your complete immersion.
Finally - “Hyperion” and “The Fall of Hyperion” lend themselves really well to an audiobook reading. The attempt to use different readers for “Hyperion” is abandoned in the second book. The main reader, Victor Bevine - is excellent and does the books full justice though. His reading is so evocative - I think it actually adds to the appeal of the books.
Kudos to both Simmons and Bevine.
Part amazing, part confusion
After getting to the end of this book's predecessor, Hyperion, without the characters actually confronting the creature called the Shrike, (the whole reason for the story) I realized that the publisher was just trying to collect twice for one story. But after reading the sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, I was pleased that the story resolved. . . although I am still confused by a lot of elements in the plot. This book is interesting and I was always anxious to find out what happened next. Many parts of the story were very original, especially the mystery around the nature and purpose of the Shrike and the Time Toombs. However, the author is so often vague bringing up things that he doesn't explain, that I often felt confused. Although the endless references to dead poets (especially John Keats) had some value, it was too much. There was an endless stream of philosophising by the reincarnated poet characters which did not ring a bell for my brain, and seemed like nonsense intended to make the book seem "deep." The core story was interesting. It is an intricate book with a lot of interwoven elements. The book resolved most of the questions for the reader, but not all. I was entertained, but I won't read it again. It wasn't quite that good.
Does not work
Don't buy any of the Dan Simmons audio books until they get them to actually work. I have had many problems with them but not other authors' audio books.