REIGN of Books Ep. 7: As Good as it Gets (Hyperion pt1)

 

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Hyperion is insanely good. It’s thought provoking, fast paced, mysterious and engrossing from page one. Don’t miss this ride if you are a true scifi fan. Dan Simmons‘ Hugo Award-Winning Novel is a masterful read that reminds me of Games of Thrones with its raw brutality of human conflict but with the unyielding conviction of hope and deliverance. We dissect the first third of the book in this podcast. Here’s my synopsis on the first part of this unforgettable tale:

Hyperion is a science fiction drama set in the distant future when man has conquered the stars and is the dominant sentient lifeform in the known galaxy. But our sins and fears have followed us into space. Hyperion starts off as an interstellar mystery where the ruling empire – called the Hegemony of Men – is on the edge of potentially their biggest war with space barbarians known as the Ousters. But the heart of the story is a group of seven who converge on the planet Hyperion where the coming war in space is preceded by martial law on the surface and a population on edge waiting for evacuation. And there is another danger that lurks on the planet – thousands have been killed by a mythical creature, called the Shrike, which is now venturing further from its northern hiding place, the mysterious Time Tombs. The seven characters are fascinating and flawed and they each keep secrets of why they accepted to come on this perilous journey. It’s a fascinating read so far and a compelling look at a fictional future for mankind.

The story unfolds through the characters’ experiences in this world. There is some very entertaining dialogue by group members, who are forced together and would never socialize or be in the same world or place otherwise. We’re pulled right into their environment and come to care about these characters, or at least have a strong need to know what happens to them. All of them have a connection to Hyperion and reasons for returning. As far fetched as it seems that each would invite probable death by going to the Shrike’s domain where few have returned, we see in the first part of the book, the motives for each pilgrim is powerful and will leave you reeling after they are revealed.

News headlines in episode:

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On The Books: Soon you can read Tolkien’s ‘Beowulf’

Publishers Are Warming to Fan Fiction, But Can It Go Mainstream?

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