Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book #13 - Hyperion

Not the book I’d normally read, but someone put a book club challenge up on Facebook and Hyperion was the book, so I grabbed it. It started slow, but as I got into it, I could hardly put it down.

A future world, where planets are connected by Farcasters, devices that are portals allowing you to step instantly to another place. The rich have houses that are interconnected rooms, with each of them literally on another planet. It’s amazing to think about, and fascinating.

Despite all this, there are 7 pilgrims on a journey to Hyperion, a planet not yet connected to the Farcaster network, and home of a mysterious creature called the Shrike that kills many and grants the wish of one pilgrim. Apparently a group of humans, the Ousters, grew apart from the rest of humanity centuries ago and are coming back to wage war on Hyperion. As both sides gather, these pilgrims were chosen to journey across Hyperion to the Time Tombs, a series of structures that appear to be moving backwards in time, and confront the Shrike. They can’t fly because when ships approach the Time Tombs, they arrive, but without crews. So they must make the journey across the land, using more primitive transports.

It’s slow to start, and we don’t’ know much about the era or technology, or even social conventions. However as they travel, reluctantly and not necessarily friendly, each tells their story of why they think they were chosen for this journey. As they do, the stories are fascinating and we learn about the universe of the book.

What’s amazing is that the book ends just as they are getting near the Time Tombs. I had to hurry up and go by The Fall of Hyperion to continue the story.

1 comment:

K. Brian Kelley said...

I read most of the way through, and then skimmed the rest of it. Didn't like the way the story was unfolded, because it is hurky-jerky. Then again, I felt the same way about Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, of which this one's format is modeled.