HYPERION (1989) by Dan Simmons
This one took some time to finish - because it's really not one story but several interconnected tales, set in the same world.
setting is a future interstellar empire called The Hegemony of Man. It
is beset by war, corruption, power struggles - and a mysterious,
murderous being called the Shrike.
A group of diverse characters
travel to the planet Hyperion to find the Shrike, in the desperate hope
that it might somehow resolve the crises that threaten the Hegemony. (A
very slim hope, partly based on a future religion.)
journey, each of the travelers tell their tale of how and why they
joined this "pilgrimage" to Hyperion. These tales make up the main body
of the book.
As I came to the end of HYPERION, I realized that
it wasn't a complete novel but actually the very long Prologue to a
novel. But now the author has got me hooked, so I guess I'll have to
plow through the whole series to see how it ends. (Damn you, Simmons!)
a few flaws (you'll notice them), and the fact that it's not a complete
novel, HYPERION is an excellent first part of an epic space opera
series. It builds and builds to a tense climax - and then abruptly ends
just before the anticipated climax can occur.
If this had been a badly written book, the author couldn't have gotten away with that.
also contains some very graphic scenes of sex and gruesome violence. I
recommend HYPERION for adult, patient readers who enjoy big books with great amounts of plot, characters, worldbuilding - and sequels.
Fans of DUNE
should find a lot to like here.
(Disclaimer: I haven't read the
sequels yet, so I cannot say anything about them or what they add
to/subtract from this first book.)
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