Last night, I finished Dan Simmons' Hyperion. I must confess, for the hype around the book (considering it won the Hugo Award) and for how interesting it was when I started reading it, I was pretty disappointed by the book. Maybe I just didn't get it fully; after all, it was pretty late at night when I finshed reading it. It just felt to me that Hyperion was half of a book. Through the course of the book, you're introduced to each character a chapter at a time, and get to know what has brought them on the pilgrimage to Hyperion. At the end of the book, I had a good idea of who everybody was, but I had no idea if their pilgrimage was successful, or what happened. For example, there was one character in the book whose daughter was getting younger every day. He believed that the pilgrimage (and possibly making an offering of her or himself) would cure her of the time disease she suffered. Yet at the end of the book, I had absolutely no idea if she was cured. I have a feeling that the rest of the story goes on in The Fall of Hyperion, but if this was really only half of the book, why on EARTH did it get the Hugo Award?
Alas. Maybe one day I'll read The Fall of Hyperion, but for now I'm working on Gregory Benford's Timescape. It is book number 92 in the list of "Sci Fi Books You Must Read," the list I narrowed down to about 56 in this previous blog entry. Timescape, I think, is about an impending ecological disaster that could mean the end of the Earth. However, a scientific discovery of how to communicate with the past may make it possible to live in 1998 and communicate with 1963, to give instructions to the past to avoid the problems faced in 1998. Of course, that is pure supposition...I've only read the first chapter so far. Either way, this one is starting off promising, I hope it doesn't end as disastrously as Hyperion did.