May 27, 2012
A Pilgrims Tale
This is a great book. I read it a long time ago, back in the nineties I guess and I loved it then. I always try to keep up with whatever Dan Simmons publishes but I don't often get to go back and read his older stuff. I amanged to get myself a copy of this recently and I devoured it. I think it is fairly loosely based on the structure of the Canterbury Tales in that it is the collected and interwoven tales of a group of pilgrims on the road. It is set in an almost dystopian future where mankind has travelled and colonised the stars. The fractionalism that existed on old Earth still exists to an extent although most of the planets belong to the homogeneous hegemony. The pilgrims are all tied somehow to a small backwater colony of Hyperion and this book tells of those ties in the form of each travellers tales. The book doesn't answer many of the questions it poses however. For that you need to read the second canto The Fall of Hyperion. I really like the structure as it does allow you to digest the book in smaller doses if you want. It also reels you in as the pacing is well constructed. So no spoilers here, just my recommendation. If you enjoy Science Fiction and haven't read this yet you are in for a treat. If you are considering dipping your toe into the genre then this is a good place to start.