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 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.


Megan said...

I remember the story of "the wandering jew" and his daughter left me feeling just really, deeply sad, in a way no other book has ever made me feel. For that alone this book will always stand out for me.

todd said...

yeah that story struck me as being very sad as well.

Adam Roberts said...

The edition is out now. Sadly they didn't just copy across the blurb. Still worth buying a copy, though.

fzort said...

I'm looking forward to your review of Simmons' "Flashback".

(No, seriously, I am.)