Thursday, 6 January 2011
Dan Simmons, Hyperion (1989)
I'm writing an introduction for the forthcoming Gollancz Masterworks edition of this classic title, so I re-read it earlier this week -- it's considerably better, actually, than I remember. (I'm presently barrelling through the three sequelae, and none of them are anywhere near as accomplished). The six embedded tales are all good, and two or three are genuinely outstanding. Plus I like the way the novel deconstructs its narrative as it goes along, refusing many of the more facile plot-driven satisfactions of SF-blockbusterism, not least in its splendid non-ending. This latter in particular annoyed a number of Amazon.com readers, of course: 'at last I abandoned this novel, hiding it under a car seat because I could not bear to look at it.' Now that's what I call a reader response!
I can only hope that the new Gollancz edition copies over the blurb from the older Future Classics edition I've just re-read, reproduced up-top of this blog-post (you can click it for a larger view). 'Seven pilgrims set fourth on a final voyage to Hyperion.' I daresay this is a simple typo, and the sentence ought to read: 'seven pilgrims set eighth on a ninth voyage to Hyperion. Tenth.' Yeah. That must be it.