A reading club with a view to the future

579 Dan Simmons: Hyperion

“Hyperion” weaves together the stories of seven pilgrims on a journey to the mysterious and enigmatic world of Hyperion.



"Hyperion" is the first book in the science fiction series "Hyperion Cantos" by Dan Simmons. Set in a distant future, the novel follows seven pilgrims who embark on a journey to the distant planet of Hyperion, home to the mysterious Time Tombs and the terrifying creature known as the Shrike. Each pilgrim shares their personal tale, revealing their unique perspectives, struggles, and motivations for undertaking the perilous pilgrimage. The travelers come from diverse backgrounds, representing various aspects of the complex society and politics in the Hegemony of Man. As their stories unfold, a deeper narrative emerges, linking them to a larger cosmic conflict and the enigmatic forces at play. The novel is a masterful blend of science fiction, mythology, and speculative fiction, captivating readers with its rich world-building, intricate plot, and unforgettable characters.


  1. Title: Hyperion 
  2. Author: Dan Simmons 
  3. Publishing Year: 1989 
  4. Publisher: Doubleday 
  5. Length in Hours: 20 hours and 44 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The Pilgrimage to Hyperion: The novel revolves around the pilgrimage undertaken by seven diverse individuals to the mysterious planet of Hyperion.
  2. Interwoven Tales: Each pilgrim recounts their unique story, exploring themes of loss, redemption, love, and sacrifice.
  3. The Time Tombs and the Shrike: The enigmatic Time Tombs and the terrifying Shrike hold the secrets of Hyperion and play a central role in the pilgrims' journeys.
  4. A Collage of Perspectives: The narrative unfolds from multiple points of view, providing a multifaceted understanding of the universe and its complexities.
  5. Cosmic Themes: "Hyperion" delves into cosmic-scale conflicts, ancient mysteries, and the intertwining of mythology and advanced technology.

5 funny quotes

  1. "After all, what is real anyway? If you can fake sincerity, you can fake pretty much anything."
  2. "The poet refuses to be an accomplice to these common, fallible men. He'd rather be a hero. So he rants on and on in the old-fashioned way about honor and love and the sacrosanct institution of marriage."
  3. "They appeared to be mother and son. It must have been Mother's Day or something."
  4. "The bartender smiled and filled the glass with draft beer as if he hadn't even noticed the ghastly death scenes that had just been playing behind him."
  5. "Somehow, I suspect there's more to it than that." "Not really. He was a poet.

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated."
  2. "The trees on Hyperion are tall, and dense, and maddeningly indifferent to the passage of human beings through their sprawling cities of green."
  3. "The hand that held the knife had thrown it away at the culmination of its mission."
  4. "We are each the love of someone's life."
  5. "Time does not give a fuck. Time does not get spent, wasted, or lost. Time accumulates."

5 dilemmas

  1. The moral dilemma of choosing between personal desires and the greater good, as each pilgrim grapples with their motivations for undertaking the dangerous pilgrimage.
  2. The existential dilemma of confronting the enigmatic Shrike and the mysteries of the Time Tombs, raising questions about the nature of time and reality.
  3. The political dilemma of navigating the complexities of the Hegemony of Man and its influence on individual lives and society.
  4. The emotional dilemma of dealing with loss, regret, and redemption, as the pilgrims' pasts come to the forefront of their narratives.
  5. The philosophical dilemma of reconciling the intertwining of ancient mythology and advanced technology, blurring the lines between science and spirituality.

5 examples

  1. Sol Weintraub, a Jewish scholar and father on a quest to heal his daughter's rare disease.
  2. Brawne Lamia, a private detective with a tragic past and a complex relationship with her AI companion, Johnny.
  3. The Hegemony of Man, the vast interstellar government that rules over human-occupied space.
  4. The Consul, an enigmatic diplomat with ties to the Time Tombs and the Shrike.
  5. Hyperion, the mysterious and ancient world at the center of the pilgrims' journey, shrouded in secrets and danger.

Referenced books

  1. "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer - Inspirational source for the novel's structure, with each pilgrim's tale mirroring the format of Chaucer's work.
  2. "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley - Referenced in the novel, reflecting on themes of creation, identity, and the consequences of scientific advancements.
  3. "Keats" by John Keats - Allusions to the poet's works and themes, such as "Ode to a Nightingale."
  4. "Wagner's Ring Cycle" - Referenced in the novel as an epic story with parallels to the grand scale of the pilgrims' journey.
  5. "The Book of the Lamia" - A fictitious book mentioned in the novel, contributing to the world-building and mythology of "Hyperion."

Share a quote

"After all, what is real anyway? If you can fake sincerity, you can fake pretty much anything."

Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.