Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

March Books 10) Hyperion, by Dan Simmons

Latest in my run of reading Hugo-winning novels that I haven't written up elsewhere. Here, a group of seven pilgrims - priest, soldier, poet, scholar, captain, investigator, diplomat - are called to undertake an interstellar pilgrimage to the shrine of a mysterious violent deity known as the Shrike. Six of them tell their stories in the framing narrative of their journey, which ends in media res as they approach their destination. It is a format which has been used by others (notably Chaucer, who is referenced on several occasions), but Simmons does it very well: each of his pilgrims has a distinctive voice, even as they are also archetypes, and he has successfully imported into sf a lot of tropes more often associated with horror (particularly the nature of the Shrike). It is an intense read, and I found the 500 pages fairly flew by.

There is one passage that particularly affects me: "The Scholar's Tale", which is actually more a parent's tale, where one of Simmons' protagonists has to deal with the physical and psychological regression of his daughter from the age of 27 to babyhood. This is uncomfortably close to my own family situation.

The other novels shortlisted for the Hugo in 1990 were Poul Anderson's The Boat of a Million  Years, George Alec Effinger's A Fire in the Sun, Sheri S. Tepper's Grass and Orson Scott Card's Prentice Alvin. I have read the last two of these, and Hyperion is better than either (though I enjoyed both books). I thought I had read the Anderson as well but the synopses I find online don't ring any bells.
Tags: bookblog 2010, rereads, sf: hugos, writer: dan simmons
Subscribe

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • 550 days of plague

    I've been thinking about how long I'll keep up this series of ten-day check-ins. On the one hand, regular writing is good discipline in…

  • My tweets

    Fri, 18:04: Friday reading https://t.co/KOqinxGf2c Fri, 18:07: RT @ benphillips76: Break through the tired old metric vs imperial…

  • February 2013 books

    This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 14 comments

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • 550 days of plague

    I've been thinking about how long I'll keep up this series of ten-day check-ins. On the one hand, regular writing is good discipline in…

  • My tweets

    Fri, 18:04: Friday reading https://t.co/KOqinxGf2c Fri, 18:07: RT @ benphillips76: Break through the tired old metric vs imperial…

  • February 2013 books

    This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every…