A review by tofutofutofu
Hyperion, by Dan Simmons

adventurous dark emotional mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


For the first few tales, I really couldn't tell if we were supposed to sympathize with these characters. I thought, maybe this is horror told from the perspective of the monster, and each of these characters is terrorizing the people of hyperion and then being punished for their sins of misogyny, homophobia, colonialism, racism, greed... but then we got to the scholar's tale, which was beautiful and sad and sympathetic. It got me to wonder if we're actually supposed to relate to the priest who treats the people he meets as subhuman and the soldier who doesn't even ask the woman he's having sex with her name. Maybe she conveniently never speaks not because she is inside a parody but because the author is vile. I was expecting them to all die at the end, but unfortunately we are given no such satisfaction, only a cliffhanger. Without a resolution, it really seems that all of the specific 20th century bigotry that the characters have somehow preserved in the far distant future is just... 20th century bigotry.

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