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Hyperion, by Dan Simmons May 31, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Brilliant words.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons is the winner of the 1990 Hugo award, and for damned good reasons.  Six of them; each is a story within the framework of a religious pilgrimage.  Being a sci-fi fantasy, there isn’t a religion but unexplained phenomenon (same difference) which is said to kill all pilgrims except the one it grants a wish to.  And the number of pilgrims must be a prime number.

Well, the stories themselves are each a little jewel of their own and full of strangeness and charm (and other quark properties)  and horror.  The audiobook version has both a male and a female narrator, for the male and female voices, but the woman’s voice does a very strange and interesting noir detective bit in her story which works well, if uncomfortably, with role reversal (she defends an exquisitely beautiful man from a conspiracy. Bogart would be proud).

There’s lots of blood and guts and sex and drinkin’ and cussin’, so this must be for the adolescent crowd who probably won’t really appreciate the foul-mouthed poet’s tale as much as I did.  Usually when science fiction writers drop poetry into a work it makes me uncomfortable, as if the writer is trying to live up to some literary pretension (genre fiction writers get no respect from the Ivy League patches-on-elbows crowd;  give it up, fellas.  They aren’t capable of acknowledging that science fiction is where all the creative energy of the last two generations has gone).  This poet just quotes others, mostly, so he’s a great foil for that sort of thing.

Part of at least a trilogy, I haven’t gotten yet to the next book in the series (and actually haven’t finished this one, but I have enjoyed the rhythm and pace of these stories so much I wanted to write about it while still excited), but I expect I will enjoy is as much. The mp3 CD is $14 on Amazon Prime, and the nearly free to download Audible version is $22.  Brilliant marketing, guys.


1. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons | Stuffilike.net - June 13, 2013

[…] priest and a traitorous diplomat telling their incredibly strange stories to each other (I reviewed Hyperion earlier) is, amazingly, fully assembled into a coherent story which is moving, human, funny, […]

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