Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Review: Hyperion

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hyperion is an epic sci-fi novel; it has everything one is looking for: space battles, time travel, a background future-history, a boogeyman (and boogey-race), androids, super-powerful AI, political intrigues, a rag-tag group of thrown together characters with slowly revealed backstories, and so on. Many of the technologies and sci-fi elements are familiar: it is a kind of mash-up of bits from Bladerunner, The Matrix, Terminator, (New) Battlestar Galactica, Tron, Firefly, and Stargate (though predating many of these). It is original in the way all these elements come together and the story being told. There is a fascinating interweaving of questions about religion, faith, and ethics. It draws in poetry (suggested by the title itself) and other cultural elements from “Old Earth”.

The one sour note is that the ending falls a little flat for me. (Possible spoiler alert!!) Partly this is the “to be continued” element. Partly it is too anti-climactic with the book building to a confrontation that doesn’t happen. Partly it is a little cheesy. Nevertheless, I will definitely pick up the next in the series and recommend it highly to anyone who likes sci-fi.

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