Jealous? Yep. This was one of the best science fiction books I've read in a while. The story is told through the backstories of six different characters that are on a spaceship destined for the planet Hyperion. each story lays down some of the history this future 300 world hegemony, and also builds on the previous story despite the fact that the stories are largely unrelated to each other. The success of the book comes from the rich, believable characters and the wonderful pacing and interplay of the individual stories. Very similar to the way the Canterbury Tales are told. The underlying story takes a back seat to the individual stories and in fact doesn't even get a resolution. There is a second book that is supposed to finish the story but I have no problem with the story ending as it does (though I do plan to read the next book). In my opinion, good stories don't tell a beginning or an end because on the grand scale, things don't begin or end, everything is constantly moving...
I've been chewing on this review for a little while now. While I wouldn't place Hyperion in the Parthenon of the absolutely greatest, most influential works of the sci-fi universe, it still rates a 5 star review in my book because of it's construction, making for an incredibly page-turning read.
Hyperion is a superb example of a frame story, the literary technique of a story within a story akin to (and most likely derived from) Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. We're first introduced to our diverse band of seven "pilgrims" through their group interactions in the present, but soon begin to learn more about each person and the larger interlocking narrative as each of the characters tells their "story" to the others. This is one part of what makes Mr. Simmon's work great--the sci-fi "bang for your buck" as each of this individual stories are told. One story (The Priest's Tale) is a sort of first contact among mysterious natives on a new planet yarn, while the...
This book came very highly recommended from many sources - I just could not get into it. It had nothing to do with the author's ability to write - the writing was good (with the exception of the dialogue being notably bad at points). The story was well-written and the characters were fully fleshed out and felt like real characters.
The bulk of the story is six "stories within a story." There is an overarching plot of the pilgrims on their way to see the Shrike monster (no spoilers!), and on the way, the pilgrims tell each other their stories about their past troubles. The problem is that I just felt myself not caring about the pilgrims or their stories. It was too long-winded, and while some of the tales were certainly gripping (the priests' tale, in particular, is quite harrowing and gruesome, with a nice twist at the end), overall, I found myself skimming more than reading to see what was next.
I never got "lost" in the book, which to me,...
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