Roy Tang

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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Hyperion by Dan Simmons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I randomly decided to start reading a new book the other day and picked up Hyperion completely blind. I knew it was sci-fi, but that was about it

And it turned out to be some really good sci-fi too. Simmons introduces new concepts and the history of his universe and human society quickly and unapologetically. Even the prologue bandies around the terms Hegemony and Ouster with little explanation save what we can glean from context. Most of it is expounded upon and elaborated in the short stories which comprise the majority of the book.

The short stories tell the tales of each of the pilgrims making their way to the far off world of Hyperion to face their death before a time-defying god. It seems that each story follows and develops a different aspect of Hyperion’s universe: the first one tells us about religion and space travel and colonisation, the second talks about military life, and so on. My favorite was the scholar’s story: although the preceding parts of the story make the ending especially predictable, how he gets there is told incredibly well and you can feel the sadness and despair of his situation

The disappointing part of the book however was the ending, which seemingly just drops the story like a rock. The last story to be told doesn’t even explain why the pilgrim wanted to return to Hyperion, and we do not get the climactic meeting the rest of the book has been leading up to. I understand that the story was actually split into two books, and that I would have to read the succeeding book Fall of Hyperion to get any payoff, but I wish it had been handled better

In spite of that, I liked it. And maybe I’ll pick up the sequel too. Some really good sci-fi and world-building and storytelling with a disappointing ending.

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.