Fall of Hyperion

Simmons, Dan. The Fall of Hyperion. New York: Bantam Books, 1991.

Reason read: to continue the series started in January in honor of science fiction month.

The Fall of Hyperion is a sequel to Hyperion. We return to the world of Hyperion where seven pilgrims and an infant are seeking an audience with the Shrike, a creature rumored to grant only one wish. In Hyperion the pilgrims and their life stories are laid out, allowing for the plot in The Fall of Hyperion to concentrate on the politics (the Time Tombs are opening; there is a war going on). Taking place in the 29th century and mostly in the Valley of the Tombs, each pilgrim encounters a personal struggle. We finally are introduced to the Tree of Pain where individuals are long suffering; impaled on thorns of steel and left writhing. Strange. No one is dead on the Tree of Pain. The point is they are supposed to suffer a fate worse than death. One pf the seven pilgrims end up here, but I haven’t given away his fate.
[To be honest, I had trouble knowing if and when someone actually died. I don’t think it’s a spoiler alert to say that “everyone” dies because most of them come back again, one way or another.]

As an aside – I don’t know why this matters to me, but it does. According to the written description of the Shrike the creature supposedly has four arms. Four. The Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion and even the Endymion covers show the Shrike looking more human with only two arms. What gives? Is the second set of arms retractable?

Disclaimer: I am still not a huge fan of sci-fi. I wanted to quit this one a few times over. The Fall of Hyperion wasn’t grabbing me like I thought it would. To make matters worse, judging by the awards, I read the best one first. The sequels aren’t as popular. I’m a little afraid of the next one, Endymion, because it’s even longer than The Fall of

The one quote I liked, “It was now my name but never my identity” (p 3).

Author fact: Simmons won the Locus Award for The Fall of the Hyperion.

Book trivia: Fall of Hyperion was heavily influenced by the works of John Keats (for whom the book was dedicated) and John Muir.

Nancy said: nada

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the obvious chapter called “Space Operas” (p 211).


Birthday Books of February

Happy birthday to me & moi. This month we celebrate…everything. Here are the anticipated books:

Fiction:

  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J Gaines ~ in honor of February being Black History Month (AB).

Nonfiction:

  • An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale ~ Nancy Pearl said to read this after Puka-Puka. So I am.
  • Travels with Tangerine by Tim Macintosh ~ in honor of Feb being exploration month
  • Song of the Dodo: Island Biography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen ~ in honor of Quammen’s birth month
  • Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende ~ in honor of February being national science month.
  • Antarctic Destinies b y Stephanie Barcweski (also in honor of exploration month…it’s a long story).

Series (continuations):

  • Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of January being Sci-Fi month
  • White Nights by Ann Cleeves ~ in honor of January being the month of Up Helly Aa fest in Shetland

For fun:

  • Wonder by RJ Palacio ~ ever since Natalie explained the premise of this book as being based on her song, “Wonder” I have wanted to read it.

Early Review:

  • Supposedly, the January book is Ma Speaks Up by Marianne Leone (LT spells it ‘Leonne’). Since half a dozen ER books have gone missing or  never mailed I’ll wait until it is in my hands before I announce I’m officially reading it.

 


January’s New Reads

A little something about the new year. I have absolutely no expectations of the year to come. No list of things I must pretend to accomplish. No run numbers, real or imagined. There has been an end to so many things. As a result I’m in day-by-day mode. Or, in the case of this entry, book-by-book. Here’s what I finished:

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero
  • Any Human Heart: a novel by William Boyd (AB + print)

Nonfiction:

  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black
  • Another Life by Michael Korda
  • Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie. (I am now reading An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale as a continuation to Puka.)

Series:

  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright (finished the series)
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons (started the series). (I’m now reading Fall of Hyperion as a continuation.)

LibraryThing:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston. NOTE: I was supposed to receive this as an Early Review in 2014. When it didn’t arrive I borrowed it from a library two years later.
  • You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden (December 2016 batch)

For Fun:

  • Island Voices II by Poets of Monhegan Island ~ a gift from my mother.

Hyperion

Simmons, Dan. Hyperion. New York: Bantam Books, 1989.

Reason read: January is National Science Fiction Month.

A group of seven individuals are recruited to embark on a pilgrimage. Each of the seven, a priest, poet, soldier, captain, detective, consul and scholar have a story to tell. All stories relate back to their interactions, direct and indirect, with a creature called the Shrike on the planet of Hyperion. Simmons does an okay job at making each storyteller’s voice unique but I feel that was the weakest element to Hyperion. In an attempt to make each voice different some characters are exaggerated and come across as dramatic caricatures while others blend ho hum into the woodwork.
The plot itself is convincing. Each pilgrim has something to accomplish on this journey to Hyperion and this first book is the foundation for subsequent sequels. The hook is, if you want to know more, you need to keep reading.
As an aside, even sci-fi stories have to have some element of familiarity and/or reality so that it’s relate-able to readers. Simmons includes warring New Order Shi-ites and Suni shopkeepers along with some Hegemony infidels.

No quotes. But, I can say this. The story of Rachel is the most intriguing, ansd she never says a word in the present day story.

Author fact: I have six Dan Simmons books on my list. Five are in the Hyperion series.

Book trivia: Hyperion is the first book in a series.

Nancy said: not much, just the basic plot.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Space Operas” (p 211).


2017: a new dawn

What can I tell you about the new year? Not much. I can tell you about the Challenge books! Here’s what I have planned:

Nonfiction:

  • The Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie ~ in honor of National Geographic Travel Month
  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black ~ in honor of travel and a personal resolution to see Italy some day
  • Another Life by Michael Korda ~ in honor of the selfishness of resolutions (it’s all about me).

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero ~ in honor of Hostos Day in Puerto Rico
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of Science Fiction month
  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright ~ to continue the series started in September (no I didn’t finish this last month like I thought I would)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd ~ in honor of the month most people start a journal

Early Review:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston (NOTE: I didn’t actually receive this as an Early Review. I was supposed to back in 2014. I just decided to borrow it from the local library & read it anyway).