The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #2)

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"Nurse, this patient's chart is very confusing."

"Which patient, Doctor"

"Uh..Mr. Kemper. He's the one in the vegetative state."

"Oh, that's a very sad and odd case."

"According to the patient history, he was admitted a few weeks ago with cerebrospinal fluid leaking from his nose and ears, but it seemed like he should recover. But yesterday he was brought in again, barely conscious and then he lapsed into a coma. The really odd thing is that I see no signs of injury or disease."

"That's right, Doctor. It was a book that did this to Mr. Kemper."

"A book How is that possible"

"From what we can figure out, the first incident occured after he read Hyperion by a writer named Dan Simmons. I guess it's one of those sci-fi books and apparently the story is quite elaborate. Anyhow, Mr. Kemper had read Simmons before and knew he likes to put a lot of big ideas in his books. But this time, apparently Simmons broke into his house and managed to directly implant much of the book directly into Mr. Kemper's brain via some kind of crude funnel device."

"I find that highly unlikely, Nurse."

"Most of us did, Doctor. But Mr. Kemper kept insisting that Simmons had some kind of grudge against him. He even had a note he said Simmons had left that said something like 'Don't you ever learn If you keep reading my books, I'll end you someday.'"

"Assuming that I believed this story, I guess that Kemper's current state tells us that he didn't heed the warning"

"Apparently not, Doctor. His wife said she found him having convulsions and leaking brain matter out his nose and ears again. A copy of the sequel, The Fall of Hyperion was on the floor nearby."

"I can't believe that reading a silly sci-fi book could turn an healthy man into a turnip, Nurse."

"Well, when they brought Kemper in, he was semiconscious and muttering. Someone wrote it down. Let see, he kept repeating words and phrases like: Shrike, Time Tombs, the Core, God, uhno, two gods actually, farcasters, Ousters, religion, pope, death wand, space battles, interplanetary trees, old Earth, AI, mega sphere, data sphere, The Canterbury Tales, poetry, John Keats, Tree of Thorns, and Lord of Pain."

"Jesus! What does all that mean"

"Someone looked it up on the web and all of that is actually in the book."

"That poor bastard. No wonder his gray matter is fried. No one could absorb all that without permanent damage."

"Yes, I'd think that book should have some kind of warning sticker or something on it."

"One thing I still don't understand, Nurse. If Kemper knew that this book would probably do this to him, why did he still read it"

"I guess he had told several people that Hyperion was just so good that he had to know how it ended, even if it killed him."

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I think the word 'epic' was invented to describe this book.

What Simmons began in Hyperion finishes here with a story so sprawling and massive that it defies description. In the far future, humanity has spread to the stars, and maintains a web of worlds via 'farcasters'. (Think Stargates.) On the planet Hyperion, mysterious tombs have been moving backwards in time and are guarded by the deadly Shrike.

Seven people were sent to Hyperion on a 'pilgrimage' that was almost certainly a suicide mission, but the Ousters, a segment of humanity evolving differently after centuries spent in deep space, are about to invade. The artificial intelligences of the Core that humanity depends on for predictions of future events and management of the farcaster system can't tell what's coming with an unknown like the Shrike and Hyperion in play.

Battles rage across space and time and the virtual reality of the data sphere as varying interests with competing agendas maneuver and betray each other as the pilgrims on Hyperion struggle to survive and finally uncover the secrets of the Shrike. But the real reasons behind the war and it's ultimate goal are bigger and more sinister than anyone involved can imagine.

I can't say enough good things about the story told in these first two Hyperion books. This is sci-fi at it's best with a massive story crammed with big unique ideas and believable characters you care about. Any one of the pieces could have made a helluva book, but it takes a talent like Simmons to pull all of it together into one coherent story.


In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. On the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing–nothing anywhere in the universe–will ever be the same.

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