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Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Hyperion by Dan Simmons takes place some 700 years in the future of Human History and centers around a group of seven strangers. These seven are to be the last pilgrimage to an enigmatic place called the time tombs on the fringe world of Hyperion. The Time Tombs are known to house a mysterious being known as the Shrike, about whom little is known. Some worship the Shrike as a God, some fear it as a killing machine. Whatever the case, these seven people have apparently been chosen by the Church of the Shrike to undertake this expedition at a time when the leadership of civilization, known as the Hegemony, is potentially going to war.

Many have compared this book to the Canterbury Tales written by Chaucer in the Middle Ages and that comparison is apt, as each member of this group of pilgrims tells their tale. Something strings these people together and perhaps in the telling of these tales, their reason for being chosen will become clear. It is this style where the brilliance of this book is revealed. Each tale is told with a perceptibly distinctive voice and style. Each character actualized and appointed as a perspicuous individual. Each tale is compelling and epic, some are heartbreaking, some riveting, all are captivating.

Simmon's has created a world that upon first glance would seem so imaginative, so surreal,yet is grounded so deeply in physics, science and human nature that it could be history some day aeons from now.

Science Fiction is far too limited a term to describe a book that is equal parts science fiction/mystery/adventure/fantasy/theology and even romance. It is these elements, along with Simmons obvious literary knowledge that put this novel into classic territory. Simmons is a consummate writer, who obviously has a keen insight into literature.

This book has the rare power to move the reader not only emotionally, but to elevate one beyond the narrative and into contemplation of the human condition.

This book is a rare gem, an almost perfect novel. As has been stated on other reviews, there is a follow up to this book, The Fall Of Hyperion. I recommend getting the second book, but this work does stand alone if not for its absorbing set of tales, then for the consequence on your consciousness.

(from an Amazon.com review by James M. Pitzner "jpitzner")
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  Hyperion
     
Doubleday 1st Hardcover edition, Date published 1989, ISBN 0-385-24949-7, 482 pages
First hardcover trade edition. Copyright page contains text "First Edition", priced at $18.95. An initial print run of only 2000 copies makes this a rare classic indeed! Search for other copies
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  Near fine copy in Near fine dust jacket   Near Fine $ 275.00 Add to cart
     
Doubleday 1st Trade Paperback edition, Date published 1989, ISBN 0-385-26348-1, 482 pages
First Trade Paperback edition, copyright page contains notations June 1989 and "First Edition" Search for other copies
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