Hyperion by Dan SimmonsHyperion by Dan Simmons


byDan Simmons

Mass Market Paperback | February 1, 1990

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A stunning tour de force filled with transcendent awe and wonder, Hyperion is a masterwork of science fiction that resonates with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable epic by the multiple-award-winning author of The Hollow Man.

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Praise for Dan Simmons and Hyperion

“Dan Simmons has brilliantly conceptualized a future 700 years distant. In sheer scope and complexity it matches, and perhaps even surpasses, those of Isaac Asimov and James Blish.”The Washington Post Book World 

“An unfailingly inventive narrative . . . generously conceived and stylistically sure-handed.”The New York Times Book Review

“Simmons’s own genius transforms space opera into a new kind of poetry.”The Denver Post

“An essential part of any science fiction collection.”Booklist
Dan Simmons, a full-time public school teacher until 1987, is one of the few writers who consistently work across genres, producing novels described as science fiction, horror, fantasy, and mainstream fiction, while winning major awards in all these fields. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science f...
Title:HyperionFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 6.86 × 4.15 × 1.1 inPublished:February 1, 1990Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553283685

ISBN - 13:9780553283686


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliantly Creative & Well-written! "Hyperion”, the first novel in Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion Cantos” quartet is a highly inventive, immersive, technologically credible science-fiction story, written in exquisite descriptive prose that borders on poetry. In this Canterburian tale, the reader is acquainted with each of the seven main characters as they while away the long days and nights of their pilgrimage through the companionable act of sharing their personal stories in the hopes they can shine light on the reasons for being divinely chosen to meet a mysterious, morally suspect God on the planet Hyperion. The novel is thus divided into seven parts, each unique perspective building upon the last to form a mosaic of Simmons’ complex, plausible universe. Simmons’ insight into technological trends is astounding and his vast experience as a horror writer adds an element of the macabre in certain tales. His prose is perhaps the best I have ever encountered in any novel! This IS a sci-fi classic but it is the first half of a two-part tale that later branches into a quartet. I awarded “Hyperion” four stars instead of five only because two of the seven perspective stories were – by comparison to their counterparts – a little dry and non-linear. But don’t be discouraged: the ending will leave you hungry for the next installment!
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story, characters and theme I loved this book from start to finish. Each character has a completely different perspective and personality than the others making each chapter refreshing and new.
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Masterpiece of modern science-fiction. Best of the four volumes of Hyperion Cantos. Highly recommended saga for fan of multi-layered fiction.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simmons The amazing first novel in the Hyperion Cantos. Get introduced to some amazing characters in the amazing origin stories.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must-have in your sci-fi collection I own a lot of sci-fi books and I am happy to have added this my collection. It's everything that other readers have described it as: captivating, epic, entertaining, and it will definitely open your curious and imaginative minds. It will leave you wondering because not everything resolves itself too obviously. Dan Simmons did a great job, no wonder Hyperion is known as a classic sci-fi novel.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Brilliant Unbelievably entertaining, humorous, moving, really 5 or 6 novellas in 1 coherent future history. Gives you the best and worst of human nature, and a vision of how tech has changed, not improved, civilization as each character travels a different arc to their humanity.
Date published: 2014-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant An absolute must-read series for scifi fans! The characters, technologies, and reality that Dan Simmons creates with Hyperion will stay with you for quite awhile. A captivating epic tale told from many perspectives -- great read overall!
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant As the entire known universe is torn apart by war, seven strangers travel to Hyperion to make pilgrimage to the Shrike. A creature which, unrestricted by human morality or the limits of time strikes out at humanity, slaughtering its victims in attacks to fast to be seen or understood. Fleeing the confusion on their home-worlds, these individuals share their stories so that they might understand why they were each drawn to seek answers from an inscrutable being whose actions only seem to breed chaos and destruction.
Date published: 2013-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hyper About Hyperion A very interesting read. I love that the bulk of the novel is each character's story about why they are making the final pilgramage to Hyperion to confront the Shrike. The Priests tale actually scared the bejsus out of me, the Scholar's tale made me cry, the Poet's tale made me giggle - each person has something important to tell. I was also fascinated with idea of Farcaster Portals, Hawking mats, the WorldWeb, the AI groups and Templar Treeships. I'll admit, this is a 'heavy sci-fi' compared to the ones I read in the genre, so I did have a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around some of those concepts. Clearly, The Shrike is what may draw people to this book. Don't expect too many answers in this novel - some, but not nearly all, are provided, and from what I've read from other reviews, you must read the sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, to truly udnerstand. This novel, though, was a pretty decent sci-fi with absolutely excellent characters.
Date published: 2013-02-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from How disappointing that nothing is resolved Hyperion by Dan Simmons was this months selection by my in person bookclub. In a far future time on a very distant planet, seven travellers are trying to determine why they have been selected to undertake a very difficult and most likely deadly pilgrimage. The six men and one woman each have very complicated backgrounds and each of them has some sort of tie to the planet Hyperion. Their destination is the mysterious Time Tombs. For centuries, the Tombs have defied explanation and now it is widely believed that the Tombs are opening and that opening could spell the end of worlds and civilizations. The pilgrims are at a loss to explain why they were selected and what is expected of them. They hope that by sharing their stories, they will gain some sort of understanding of what might be expected of them and how they can help each other. Five members of my bookclub were present for our meeting. The other four all said that this book strongly reminded me of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffry Chaucer. Not that the pilgrims stories were alike, rather that they each were told in a different style. One horror, another tragedy, a military/romance etc. I haven't read the Canterbury Tales, so can't comment on that. The six tales that were related to us, were very different from each other. The most moving of them, was that told by Sol Weintraub about his daughter Rachel. None of us were ashamed to admit that we were brought to tears by Rachel's illness and the effect it had on her family. I was once again the standout, when the group was asked who was looking forward to reading the next book in this series, The Fall of Hyperion. I have no interest in reading more. I felt cheated by the end of this story. It was almost 500 pages of introduction and when it was time for the plot to advance, it was done. Nothing was resolved, how disappointing. I feel that I have invested enough time in these characters and don't want to risk reading another book only to have it also with an unsatisfactory ending.
Date published: 2013-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Delve into Hyperion A strong work of science fiction that ties the past history of the main characters to the adventure that lies before them. The story is complex, backed by a great writing style. The only weakness lies in certain transitional moments during the present that don't hold up to the excitement of the flashbacks.
Date published: 2007-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional work of science fiction I picked up this book while waiting in line at a library years ago because of the unique artwork on the cover. I had no idea what was ahead. I started reading this book and did not put it down until I finished it!. It was the most absolutely incredible original work of science fiction I have ever read. This book runs the gamut from science, fantasy, religion, horror etc. This began my deep respect and admiration for such a unique author in this genre. I look forward to every book he puts out. I have given this book as a gift to friends many times and everyone has said thank you for giving me such a wonderful exciting read. Get this book you will thank me
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible! Absolutely astounding! This book is one of the greatest works I have ever read. Similar to Dune in theme, it resounds with a suavier, much more modern feel. Even those who do not read books for their insights can appreciate the authors depiction of civiliation and technology hundreds of years from now. To those that do read the subtext- you may never put this book down!
Date published: 2003-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SF at its brightest This book really blew me away. I read it for an english project at University. I was right in the middle of midterms, at my busiest, and I decided to start reading this book during my study breaks.
Date published: 2001-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfull book A wonderfully imaginative idea of what the future might hold. Dan Simmons has the ability to mix up incredible futuristic worlds, art, poetry, and the real nature of human kind.
Date published: 2000-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book This book was so powerfully written that after I was done reading it I just sat for half an hour thinking about the meaning of its subtle warning: we are our own enemies.
Date published: 2000-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad I have read better books. It took 2 tries to get into this one. The beginning is slow but the story is good. Part 2 is better.
Date published: 1999-05-03

Read from the Book

PROLOGUEThe Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff'sPrelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green,saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below. A thunderstorm was brewing to thenorth. Bruise-black clouds silhouetted a forest 0f giant gymnosperms while stratocumulustowered nine kilometers high in a violent sky. Lightning rippled along the horizon. Closer to theship, occasional vague, reptilian shapes would blunder into the interdiction field, cry out, andthen brash away through indigo mists. The Consul concentrated on a difficult section of thePrelude and ignored the approach of storm and nightfall.The fatline receiver chimed.The Consul stopped, fingers hovering above the keyboard, and listened. Thunder rumbledthrough the heavy air. From the direction of the gymnosperm forest there came the mournfulululation of a carrion-breed pack. Somewhere in the darkness below, a smallbrained beasttrumpeted its answering challenge and fell quiet. The interdiction field added its sonicundertones to the sudden silence. The fatline chimed again."Damn," said the Consul and went in to answer it.While the computer took a few seconds to convert and decode the burst of decaying tachyons, theConsul poured himself a glass of Scotch. He settled into the cushions of the projection pit just asthe diskey blinked green. "Play," he said.'You have been chosen to return to Hyperion," came a woman's husky voice. Full visuals had notyet formed; the air remained empty except for the pulse of transmission codes which told theConsul that this fatline squirt had originated on the Hegemony administralive world of Tau Ceti Center.The Consul did not need the transmission coordinates to know this. The aged but still beautifulvoice of Meina Gladstone was unmistakable. "You have been chosen to return to Hyperion as amember of the Shrike Pilgrimage," contin-ued the voice.The hell you say, thought the Consul and rose to leave the pit."You and six others have been selected by the Church of the Shrike and confirmed by the AllThing," said Meina Gladstone. "It is in the interest of the Hegemony that you accept."The consul stood motionless in the pit, his back to the flickering transmission codes. Withoutturning, he raised his glass and drained the last of the Scotch."The situation is very confused," said Meina Gladstone. Her voice was weary. "The consulate andHome Rule Council fàtlined us three standard weeks ago with the news that the Time Tombsshowed signs of opening. The anti-entropic fields around them were expanding rapidly and theShrike has begun ranging as far south as the Bridle Range."The Consul turned and dropped into the cushions. A holo had formed of Meina Gladstone's ancientface. Her eyes looked as tired as her voice sounded."A FORCE:space task force was immediately dispatched from Parvati to evacuate the Hegemonycitizens on Hyperion before the Time Tombs open. Their time-debt will be a lithe more thanthree 1-lyperion years." Meina Gladstone paused. The Consul thought he had never seen theSenate CEO look so grim. "We do not know if the evacuation fleet will arrive in time," she said,"but the situation is even more complicated. An Ouster migration cluster of at least fourthousand . . . units ... has been detected approaching the Hyperion system. Our evacuation taskforce should arrive only a short while before the Ousters."The Consul understood Gladstone's hesitation. An Ouster migration cluster might consist of ships ranging in size from single-person ramscouts to can cities and comet forts holding tens of thousands of the interstellar barbarians."The FORCE joint chiefs believe that this is the Ousters' big push," said Meina Gladstone. Theship's computer had positioned the holo so that the woman's sad brown eyes seemed to be staringdirectly at the Consul. "Whether they seek to control just I-Iyperion for the Time Tombs orwhether this is an all-out attack on the Woridweb remains to be seen. In the meantime, a fullFORCE:space battle fleet complete with a farcaster construction battalion has spun up from theCamn System to join the evacuation task force, but this fleet may be recalled depending uponcircumstances."The Consul nodded and absently raised the Scotch to his lips. He frowned at the empty glass anddropped it onto the thick carpeting of the holopit. Even with no military training he understoodthe difficult tactical decision Gladstone and the joint chiefs were faced with. Unless a militaryfarcaster were hurriedly constructed in the Hyperion system-at staggering expense-therewould be no way to resist the Ouster invasion. Whatever secrets the Time Tombs might holdwould go to the Hegemony's enemy. If the fleet did construct a farcaster in time and theHegemony committed the total resources of FORCE to defending the single, distant, colonial worldof Hyperion, the Worldweb ran the terrible risk of suffering an Ouster attack elsewhere on theperimeter, or-in a worst-case scenariohaving the barbarians actually seizing the farcaster andpenetrating the Web itself. The Consul fried to imagine the reality of armored Ouster troopsstepping through farcaster portals into the undefended home cities on a hundred worlds.The Consul walked through the holo of Meina Gladstone, retrieved his glass, and went to pouranother Scotch."You have been chosen to join the pilgrimage to the Shrike," said the image of the old CEO whomthe press loved to compare to Lincoln or Churchill or Alvarez-Temp or whatever otherpreHegira legend was in historical vogue at the time. "The Templars are sending their treeshipYdrasi1I," said Gladstone, "and the evacuation task force commander has instructions to let itpass. With a three-week time-debt, you can rendezvous with the Yggdrasill before it goesquantum from the Parvati system. The six other pilgrims chosen by the Shrike Church will beaboard the treeship. Our intelligence reports suggest that at least one of the seven pilgrims is an agent of the Ousters. Wedo not . at this time - . have any way of knowing which one it is"The Consul had to smile. Among all the other risks Gladstone was taking, the 01d woman had toconsider the possibility that he was the spy and that she was fatlining crucial information to anOuster agent. Or had she given him any crucial information? The fleet movements weredetectable as soon as the ships used their Hawking drives, and if the Consul were the spy, theCEO's revelation might be a way to scare him off. The Consul's smile faded and he drank hisScotch."Sol Weintraub and Fedmahn Kassad are among the seven pilgrims chosen," said Gladstone.The Consul's frown deepened. He stared at the cloud of digits flickering like dust motes aroundthe 01d woman's image. Fifteen seconds of fatline transmission time remained."We need your help," said Meina Gladstone. "It is essential that the secrets of the Time Tombsand the Shrike be uncovered. This pilgrimage may be our last chance. If the Ousters conquerHyperion, their agent must be eliminated and the Time Tombs sealed at all cost. The fate of theHegemony may depend upon it."The transmission ended except for the pulse of rendezvous coordinates. "Response?" asked theship's computer. Despite the tremendous energies involved, the spacecraft was capable ofplacing a brief, coded squirt into the incessant babble of FTL bursts which tied the humanportions of the galaxy together."No," said the Consul and went outside to lean on the balconyrailing. Night had fallen and the clouds were low. No stars were visible. The darkness wouldhave been absolute except for the intermittent flash of lightning to the north and a softphosphorescence rising from the marshes. The Consul was suddenly very aware that he was, atthat second, the only sentient being on an unnamed world. He listened to the antediluvian nightsounds rising from theswamps and he thought about morning, about setting out in theVikken EMV at first light, about spending the day in sunshine,about hunting big game in the fern forests to the south and thenreturning to the ship in the evening for a good steak and a cold beer.The Consul thought about the sharp pleasure of the hunt and the equally sharp solace of solitude:solitude he had earned through the pain and nightmare he had already suffered on l-lyperion.Hyperion.The Consul went inside, brought the balcony in, and sealed the ship just as the first heavyraindrops began to fall. He climbed the spiral staircase to his sleeping cabin at the apex of theship. The circular room was dark except for silent explosions of lightning which outlinedrivulets of rain coursing the skylight. The Consul stripped, lay back on the firm mattress, andswitched on the sound system and external audio pickups. He listened as the fury of the stormblended with the violence of Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries." Hurricane winds buffeted theship. The sound of thunderclaps filled the room as the skylight flashed white, leavingafterimages burning in the Consul's retinas.Wagner is good only for thunderstorms, he thought. He closed his eyes but the lightning wasvisible through closed eyelids. He remembered the glint of ice crystals blowing through thetumbled ruins on the low hills near the Time Tombs and the colder gleam of steel on the Shrike'simpossible free of metal thorns. He remembered screams in the night and the hundred-facet,ruby-and-blood gaze of the Shrike itself.Hyperion.The Consul silently commanded the computer to shut off all speakers and raised his wrist tocover his eyes. In the sudden silence he lay thinking about how insane it would be to return toHyperion' During his eleven years as Consul on that distant and enigmati world, the mysteriousChurch of the Shrike had allowed a dozen barges of offworld pilgrims to depart for the windswept barrens, around the Time Tombs, northof the mountains. No one had returned. And that had been in normal times, when the Shrike hadbeen prisoner to the tides of time and forces no one understood, and theanti-entropic fields hadbeen contained to a fewdozen meters" around the Time Tombs. And there had been no threat of airOuster invasion.The Consul thought of the Shrike, free to wander everywhere on, Hyperion, of the millions ofindigenies and thousands of Hegemony citizens helpless before a creature which defied physical laws and which communicated onlythrough death, and he shivered despite the warmth of the cabin.Hyperion.The night and storm passed. Another stormfront raced ahead of the approaching dawn.Gymnosperms two hundred meters tall bent and whipped before the coming torrent. Just beforefirst light, the Consul's ebony spaceship rose on a tail of blue plasma and punched throughthickening clouds as it climbed toward space and rendezvous.

From Our Editors

Hyperion is the tale of seven people who make a pilgrimmage to a terrifying creature called the Shrike in an attempt to save mankind. Stunningly written and beautifully crafted, Simmons's Hyperion resonates with technical achievement and the excitement and wonder found only in the best SF. Reissue

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dan Simmons and Hyperion“Dan Simmons has brilliantly conceptualized a future 700 years distant. In sheer scope and complexity it matches, and perhaps even surpasses, those of Isaac Asimov and James Blish.”—The Washington Post Book World “An unfailingly inventive narrative . . . generously conceived and stylistically sure-handed.”—The New York Times Book Review“Simmons’s own genius transforms space opera into a new kind of poetry.”—The Denver Post“An essential part of any science fiction collection.”—Booklist