Endymion (Hyperion Series #3)

Endymion (Hyperion Series #3)

by Dan Simmons

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553572940
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1996
Series: Hyperion Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 59,482
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.21(d)

About the Author

Dan Simmons, a full-time public school teacher until 1987, is one of the few writers who consistently work across genres, producing novels described as science fiction, horror, fantasy, and mainstream fiction, while winning major awards in all these fields. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. His other novels and short fiction have been honored with numerous awards, including nine Locus Awards, four Bram Stoker Awards, the French Prix Cosmos 2000, the British SF Association Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. In 1995, Wabash College presented Simmons with an honorary doctorate in humane letters for his work in fiction and education. He lives in Colorado along the Front Range of the Rockies.

Read an Excerpt

You are reading this for the wrong reason.

If you are reading this to learn what it was like to make love to a messiah--our messiah--then you should not read on because you are little more than a voyeur.

If you are reading this because you are a fan of the old poet's Cantos and are obsessed with curiosity about what happened next in the lives of the Hyperion pilgrims, you will be disappointed.  I do not know what happened to most of them.  They lived and died almost three centuries before I was born.

If you are reading this because you seek more insight into the message from the One Who Teaches, you may also be disappointed.  I confess that I was more interested in her as a woman than as a teacher or messiah.

Finally, if you are reading this to discover her fate or even my fate, you are reading the wrong document.  Although both our fates seem as certain as anyone's could be, I was not with her when hers was played out, and my own awaits the final act even as I write these words.

If you are reading this at all, I would be amazed.  But this would not be the first time that events have amazed me.  The past few years have been one improbability after another, each more marvelous and seemingly inevitable than the last.  To share these memories is the reason that I am writing.  Perhaps the motivation is not even to share--knowing that the document I am creating almost certainly will never be found--but just to put down the series of events so that I can structure them in my own mind.

"How do I know what I think until I see what I say?" wrote some pre-Hegira writer.  Precisely.  I must see these things in order to know what to think of them.  I must see the events turned to ink and the emotions in print to believe that they actually occurred and touched me.  If you are reading this for the same reason that I am writing it--to bring some pattern out of the chaos of the last years, to impose some order on the essentially random series of events that have ruled our lives for the past standard decades--then you may be reading this for the right reason, after all.


WHERE TO START? With a death sentence, perhaps.  But whose--my death sentence or hers? And if mine, which of mine? There are several from which to choose. Perhaps this final one is appropriate.  Begin at the ending.

I am writing this in a Schrodinger cat box in high orbit around the quarantined world of Armaghast.  The cat box is not much of a box, more of a smooth-hulled ovoid a mere six meters by three meters.  It will be my entire world until the end of my life.  Most of the interior of my world is a spartan cell consisting of a black-box air-and-waste recycler, my bunk, the food-synthesizer unit, a narrow counter that serves as both my dining table and writing desk, and finally the toilet, sink, and shower, which are set behind a fiberplastic partition for reasons of propriety that escape me.  No one will ever visit me here.  Privacy seems a hollow joke.

I have a text slate and stylus.  When I finish each page, I transfer it to hard copy on microvellum produced by the recycler.  The low accretion of wafer-thin pages is the only visible change in my environment from day to day.

The vial of poison gas is not visible.  It is set in the static-dynamic shell of the cat box, linked to the air-filtration unit in such a way that to attempt to fiddle with it would trigger the cyanide, as would any attempt to breach the shell itself.  The radiation detector, its timer, and the isotope element are also fused into the frozen energy of the shell.  I never know when the random timer activates the detector.  I never know when the same random timing element opens the lead shielding to the tiny isotope.  I never know when the isotope yields a particle.

But I will know when the detector is activated at the instant the isotope yields a particle.  There should be the scent of bitter almonds in that second or two before the gas kills me.

I hope that it will be only a second or two.

Technically, according to the ancient enigma of quantum physics, I am now neither dead nor alive.  I am in the suspended state of overlapping probability waves once reserved for the cat in Schrodinger's thought experiment.  Because the hull of the cat box is little more than position-fused energy ready to explode at the slightest intrusion, no one will ever look inside to see if I am dead or alive.  Theoretically, no one is directly responsible for my execution, since the immutable laws of quantum theory pardon or condemn me from each microsecond to the next.  There are no observers.

But I am an observer.  I am waiting for this particular collapse of probability waves with something more than detached interest.  In the instant after the hissing of cyanide gas begins, but before it reaches my lungs and heart and brain, I will know which way the universe has chosen to sort itself out.

At least, I will know so far as I am concerned.  Which, when it comes right down to it, is the only aspect of the universe's resolution with which most of us are concerned.

And in the meantime, I eat and sleep and void waste and breathe and go through the full daily ritual of the ultimately forgettable.  Which is ironic, since right now I live--if "live" is the correct word--only to remember.  And to write about what I remember.

If you are reading this, you are almost certainly reading it for the wrong reason.  But as with so many things in our lives, the reason for doing something is not the important thing.  It is the fact of doing that remains. Only the immutable facts that I have written this and you are reading it remain important in the end.

Where to begin? With her? She is the one you want to read about and the one person in my life whom I wish to remember above everything and everyone else. But perhaps I should begin with the events that led me to her and then to here by way of much of this galaxy and beyond.

I believe that I shall begin with the beginning--with my first death sentence.

Customer Reviews

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Endymion (Hyperion Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
DaveG_GA More than 1 year ago
I heard about the Hyperion series from Slice Of Sci-Fi. This is a must read series. I have all but absorbed the first three books in this series and am currently getting through the 4th in the series. Excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hyperion was good by itself, I would have been satisfied with it alone. The story continuing after the Fall of Hyperion further elaborates upon the nature of the antagonists in humanity's struggle to reconcile itself after The Fall. Events from the first two books that seemed to stand alone (and could in their own right) begin to have greater meaning. Good read. The Church's role in this part of the story stands to point out the dangers that can be found in extremist beliefs and the possibility of stagnation through complacency, both physically and spiritually.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though not nearly as entertaining or thought provoking as the previous two books in the Hyperion Cantos, this is still a great book. Raul Endymion is a nice addition to the tapestry of characters, as is Aenea, and the changes in the overall setting are chilling. The Shrike in this book, while still a menacing figure, seems more heroic than before.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Well writtenm fun scifi.
Skribe on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Dan Simmons' classic Hyperion Cantos takes a new direction in this third book. Adopting a stripped-down narrative structure that feels more like a thriller than a science fiction novel, it gains in emotional involvement what is loses in mind-blowing conceptualization. The first two novels felt like mental fireworks, the galaxy-spanning ideas bursting fast and furious. This plot, those concepts set firmly in place, concerns a chase and two perspectives, shifting back and forth between pursuers and pursued. Characters have a chance to become well-liked or loved, and even funny. There are extended cinematic action scenes that had me on the edge of my earbuds. I liked it a lot, and look forward to the conclusion in Rise of Endymion.
millata on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The third book in the Hyperion Saga is not quite as flashy or full of surprises as the previous two but it still manages to entertain. It is probably the combination of adventure, philosophy, real references and science fiction which makes the series so unputdownable. I would definitely recommend this book -- but of course you should read Hyperion and the Fall of Hyperion first.
stpnwlf on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Dan Simmons series - very good SF and well written.
Karlstar on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The third book in the Hyperion saga. It is quite a bit in the future, after the Fall, and the loss of the transport portals. There's a lot going on in this book, some of it science fiction, some more resembling mysticism. It is still vast, very imaginative, and well written. I did not get a sense that the series was winding down, or should.
edgeworth on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I¿d heard that the latter books in Simmons¿ Cantos series weren¿t as good as the first two (the excelllent Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion) so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself thoroughly drawn into this book, reading huge stretches at a time and finishing it in a few days.Endymion takes place 274 years after The Fall of Hyperion. Following Gladstone¿s destruction of the farcaster (teleporter) network, the hundreds of planets of the Hegemony were cut off from each other and plunged into a new Dark Age. Only recently has the ¿Pax,¿ a Catholic Church theocracy, begun to once again unite the scattered worlds. The story begins with Raul Endymion, a 27-year old hunting guide on the familiar world of Hyperion, killing a man in self-defence and being sentenced to death for it. Mysteriously rescued and taken to a different continent, he is charged by his benefactor (a returning character from the previous books) with rescuing Aenea, a foreshadowed messiah who will be emerging from the Time Tombs in two days.The thing about the Cantos is that it has a very complex higher plot, involving AIs and time travel and fate and destiny and all that jazz. Which I never really grasped ¿ like the climax of Neuromancer, I didn¿t quite wrap my head around what happened at the end of The Fall of Hyperion. But, again like Neuromancer, I didn¿t really care, because the ¿lower¿ plot is very enjoyable and comprises the vast majority of the book. Endymion has a few sections talking about the ¿Godhead¿ and the Machine God and the role of love and belief and the nature of the universe, etc, but for the most part it¿s a fantastic science fiction adventure tale. The bulk of the story involves Raul, Aenea and their android companion A. Bettik (almost a Jim the Negro analog) escaping from their Pax pursuers by rafting down the River Tethys, a river that once ran through two hundred worlds thanks to the farcaster portals (which Aenea can somehow reactivate). Since the Hegemony is one of the most awesome science fiction universes ever written, in my opinion, I was more than happy with this story of high adventure on a dozen different worlds. Half the book is told from Raul¿s perspective, and the other half from Father de Soya, a Pax warrior-priest charged with capturing them, who has his own companions in the form of a few surviving spec ops troops from the failed capture attempt on Hyperion. Simmons writes de Soya not as a heartless antagonist, or a demonised religious caricature, but a believable and sympathetic character ¿ in fact, while reading the Raul sections I was rooting for him to escape, and while reading de Soya¿s sections I was rooting for him to capture them. If you can make a reader do that, you¿re doing something right.My favourite book, on the whole, is still The Fall of Hyperion ¿ a brilliantly conceived and executed brink-of-war, end-of-the-world, high stakes space opera. And if I had to pick, I¿d probably say Hyperion is slightly better than Endymion. But it¿s still a great addition to a great series, and I look forward to reading the final book.
LastCall on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Part of series so please read the pervious books first. This is a great book in a great series. Possibly the best SF series ever. Dune is the classic SF series, but this surpasses even that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See for yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will go here
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matt1066 More than 1 year ago
The entire Hyperion series is fabulous. It is a non-stop story, that has you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride. Dan Simmons imagination is seriously brilliant. I am just sorry that the story came to an end; I got used to all the characters, and found them brilliantly cast. This is a mist tread for any person who enjoys hard SciFi, I can't say enough about the Hyperion series.
acronos More than 1 year ago
Endymion is set well into the future from the Fall of Hyperion. Most of the characters from the first book are gone. If anything I find the new characters even more interesting. The constant question of "who is the one who teaches and what does she teach?" is slowly explored. The answer offers an insight into the building blocks of the universe. I don't think it's accurate, but it's interesting. As with the previous books, I think this one should be a solid 4.5, but that isn't an option in the selection. It's not the best book I've ever read, but it’s very good.
IRtheWOLF More than 1 year ago
Beginning with "Hyperion" then "The Fall of Hyperion". How does he do it? Simmons I mean. The mix of classical writing and prospective science is mind-bending. Tolkien got my attention 40 years ago, and I've read the "Trilogy" 9 times since. The Hyperion/Endymion series rivals. I was prepared; I bought all four books, and read them sequentially. What a trip! Perhaps there are critics out there who would find minor faults. So be it! Simmon's mind is a force to be appreciated and enjoyed.
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