Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion
by Dan Simmons

Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, a two-volume novel by Dan Simmons, is a medium-range-future (28th century) sf novel set on the outskirts of a wide-spanning human civilization, primarily on the frontier planet Hyperion. The Time Tombs, mysterious alien artifacts found on Hyperion when it was first discovered, are beginning to open. The Shrike, a mysterious killing machine long associated with the Time Tombs, is wandering farther from them, killing people all over Hyperion. The Ousters, "barbarian" humans descended from the Belters and orbital colony folks of the early days of space colonization, are moving towards Hyperion with a view towards capturing the Time Tombs. Seven pilgrims, some of whom have been to Hyperion before, are sent to visit the Shrike and the Time Tombs in what may be the last such pilgrimage. (This much is known by the end of the prologue, so no spoilers.) The story gets more complicated from there, but, except perhaps for a few spots in the middle of The Fall of Hyperion, isn't confused or hard to follow. The writing is good, the characterization excellent, the ideas iffy but certainly thought-provoking. (3/1995)

Endymion and The Rise of Endymion follow the events of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. There are several interesting characters, and they visit some amazing planets in their travels, but the incessant bashing of the Catholic Church made this sequel an unpleasant read. I nearly didn't finish it, and when I finally did I regretted wasting my time on it. (2001)
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