Hugo: Hyperion (1990)

Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Read May 6, 2010 – May 13, 2010

Premise: A mythical creature known as the Shrike on a remote planet named Hyperion is worshiped by suicidal desperate people the universe over for it’s killing prowess and sudden gore-bath strikes. Hyperion is under imminent enemy attack and so a very select few are chosen to make the last pilgrimage to the Time Tombs (home of the Shrike) and ask it to grant their requests. We hear the stories of their connections to Hyperion and the Shrike, and why they are going on this pilgrimage.

Verdict: I just graduated from college this past Sunday. Why does that matter? Well, one of my degrees was in English, and I think that this book is almost as in love with John Keats as I am. That is by no means a bad thing. Keats had an unfinished poem called Hyperion (and if you click on that link read more of his poetry because I adore it and am a little English Romantic nerd.) This is a complexly structured non-chronological novel which uses frame stories to get you to the meat of the thing—sort of like a Romantic or Victorian novel. Gee. I also think that the entire point of this novel is the journey and the stories that led to the journey. I guess I could be disappointed in it and scream and flail, but I really enjoyed it and it still has me thinking about it even after I’ve finished it. And anyway, there are more in the series apparently. Yes, that means there is little to no resolution of the frame story. But the frame didn’t seem to be the point at all. It was getting there that mattered.

I loved the story, plots, and structure of this book and I’m afraid to read the rest of the series because I don’t want to be disappointed. This was highly enjoyable and I recommend it to other nerds of all varieties.

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