The trouble with reading a book like The Fall of Hyperion
is that whatever book I read next will likely seem like a load of ol' crap. In fact, in a Shrike-like manner this book traveled back in time and slashed my opinion of the book I read prior to this one which now looks shabby by comparison.
The first [b:Hyperion|77566|Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1405546838s/77566.jpg|1383900] book ends on a (musical) cliff hanger, The Fall of Hyperion
carries on from there though the first chapter is narrated in the first person by a "new" cybrid
protagonist Joseph Severn. While he is not in the previous book he is derived from the same John Keats template as "Johnny", the wavy hair cybrid and lover of the bad-ass Brawne Lamia P.I., one of the seven pilgrims who traveled to confront The Shrike (a real cutting edge guy possibly descended from Freddy Krueger). The wonderful world building from the previous book is further developed in this book, we get more expositions about the Hegemony, the TechnoCore and a little more about The Shrike, not to mention the further adventures of our favorite pilgrims. The Fall of Hyperion
is structurally different from its predecessor, it is entirely linear though narrated from several different points of view. While I enjoy the way the first book is structured ([b:The Canterbury Tales|2696|The Canterbury Tales|Geoffrey Chaucer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1261208589s/2696.jpg|986234] style), where the stories are very strong on their own this more conventional structure also works well for me, it is nice and cohesive and a pleasure to follow.
The Hegemony and the TechnoCore remind me of [a:Iain M. Banks|5807106|Iain M. Banks|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1352410520p2/5807106.jpg] Culture society and the AIs that mess about with the poor humans living in these societies. The citizens of the Hegemony are similarly pampered but are not watched over with paternal fondness by the AI like in Banks' books. The Hegemony government is done by human politicians with an AI representative, led by the awesome Meina Gladstone who I picture as resembling actress Maggie Smith at her sternest. The high technology tend to be of the more handwavium variety with FTL travel achieved by "Farcaster" portals, and instant Fatline (FTL) communication, all compliments of the TechnoCore. The social ramification of this technology is very well thought out, the novel is to some extent a cautionary tale about over reliance on technology.
Dan Simmons' prose is deservedly lauded as one of the most literary best in the scifi business, at times lyrical, often witty and evocative. Most of the central characters are already well established in the first book, they are further developed here and the relationship between the pilgrims are much strong stronger. Their loyalty to each other, which slowly developed in the first book, make them much more appealing, even the two that don't get along like Brawne Lamia and Martin Silenus (though the "mouthing off / shut up" running gag gets a little old after a while). The back story of each of the five Pilgrims form plot strands that converge and then beautifully woven together by the epic conclusion. My favorite section of the first book, the poignant story of Sol Weinthrob and his backward aging daughter is particularly well concluded. I am also glad to see my favorite character Brawne Lamia get spend more time on the centre stage.
I love the literary and pop culture references. To be honest what I know about John Keats and poetry can be written on a postage stamp and leave enough room for the Queen's entire head, but things like The Wizard of Oz (movie) references are more my neck of the wood and I find them very amusing.The Fall of Hyperion
is an entirely satisfactory conclusion to the classic [b:Hyperion|77566|Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1405546838s/77566.jpg|1383900]. I look forward to reading [b:Endymion|3977|Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3)|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329611385s/3977.jpg|1882574] and [b:The Rise of Endymion|11289|The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4)|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329609799s/11289.jpg|13799] in the near future.