Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Fall of Hyperion (Book)

Sol realized that he had responded to a force more basic and persuasive than the Shrike’s terror or pain’s dominion. If he was right—and he did not know but felt—then love was as hardwired into the structure of the universe as gravity and matter/antimatter. There was room for some sort of God not in the web between the walls, not in the singularity cracks in the pavement, not somewhere out before and beyond the sphere of things…but in the very warp and woof of things. Evolving as the universe evolved. Learning as the learning-able parts of the universe learned. Loving as humankind loved.
In The Fall of Hyperion, winner of the 1991 British Science Fiction and Locus Science Fiction awards, Dan Simmons concludes the story he began to tell in Hyperion. If reading Hyperion was like opening a box full of puzzle pieces without knowing what the picture looked like, The Fall of Hyperion is like slowly putting the puzzle together, finding an edge here, matching a bit of graphic there.

The Hegemony of Man is at war with the Ousters. Factions of artificial intelligences within the TechnoCore are at war with one another. Humans are at war with the TechnoCore. Both humans and Artificial Intelligences are looking for the Ultimate Intelligence. Page by page we discover that the role of the Time Tomb pilgrims in this larger context is to be the only unpredictable factor in the outcome of events.

I liked The Fall of Hyperion much more than Hyperion. Although The Fall of Hyperion contains more violence and horror than I prefer, I now understand their purpose in the context of the larger plot. The book is philosophical—it referred to Teilhard a number of times—as well as full of action and adventure. While this book brings closure to the tale of the Time Tomb pilgrims, Dan Simmons continued the storyline in two subsequent books, creating the Hyperion Cantos.

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