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Dan Simmons - Hyperion
Posted: Posted January 4th
Edited January 4th by nullfather

This is the best novel I've read in a long time - and possibly the best sci-fi that I've ever read outside of the old masters.

It's sci-fi, but the kind of sci-fi that gets called "literary science fiction". It's a frame narrative where seven people are randomly chosen by a dark, dying religion to make a final pilgrimage and face a mysterious, murderous, god-like entity known as "the Shrike". On their journey to the Time Tombs (strange structures that move backwards through time, the home of the Shrike), they decide to share their respective backstories in order to try to piece together why they were chosen, why they accepted and what they can do to try to complete the journey and get out alive.

Intertextual genre-hopping, brutal emotional hypotheses and fundamental questions about human concepts like religion, parenthood, art and violence are placed against a backdrop of interstellar war and technological singularity. I find it intellectually stimulating as well as emotionally resonant, while also providing some good old-fashioned space adventure spiced up with some occasional murder.

Anyone else read this? If you're interested in sci-fi at all, I highly recommend it. EDIT: with the caveat that you are prepared to buy and read the subsequent book, The Fall of Hyperion. Originally, these two books were written as one, but the limitations of physical publishing required them to be split into two.

I am the mighty Sun-Column.
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