Hyperion (1989), Dan Simmons. Paperback, 482 pages.
Awards: Hugo Award winner (1990), Locus Award winner (1990), British Science Fiction Award nominee (1990), Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee (1992)
Summary: A group of pilgrims journeys to confront a mysterious, remote, but terribly dangerous killing machine that has shaped each of their lives in profound and horrible ways. For a more detailed summary, click here.
First Sentences:The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below. A thunderstorm was brewing to the north. Bruise-black clouds silhouetted a forest of giant gymnosperms while stratocumulus towered nine kilometers high in a violent sky.
Each morning Sol sat by his daughter's bed until she awoke. The first minutes of her confusion were always painful to him, but he made sure that he was the first thing Rachel saw each day. He held her while she asked her questions.
"Where are we, daddy?
"In a wonderful place, little one. I'll tell you all about it over breakfast."
"How did we get here?"
"By 'casting and flying and walking a bit," he would say. "it's not so far away . . . but far enough to make it an adventure."
"But my bed's here . . . my stuffed animals . . . why don't I remember coming?"
And Sol would hold her gently by the shoulders and look into her brown eyes and say, "You had an accident, Rachel. Remember in The Homesick Toad where Terrence hits his head and forgets where he lives for a few days? It was sort of like that."
"Am I better?"
"Yes," Sol would say, "you're all better now." And the house would fill with the smell of breakfast and they would go out to the terrace where Sarai waited.
Writing Quality: 7/10
Depth of Concept: 8/10
Rounded Characters: 7/10
Well-Developed World: 8/10
Page Turner: 8/10
Kept Me Thinking: 9/10
Overall Recommendation: 8/10