Monthly Archives: November 2010


Recently I read the first book of the Hyperion Cantos, Hyperion. One of my managers at Barnes & Noble recommended it to me after I mentioned liking sci-fi. It’s an excellent book! It follows a group of pilgrims traveling to the world of Hyperion. On the planet there allegedly exists a creature called the Shrike. This creature is feared by some and worshiped by others and supposedly brings death to those it encounters.

One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is that each of the pilgrims tells a story about his or her past. Each of these is a fantastic short story and have nothing to do with each other besides taking place in the same universe. After reading each one, I was sad that it ended and resigned to the fact that the next couldn’t live up to the last. Lucky for me and all readers that I was wrong. Every one is great. Of course, as the first book in a four-part series, there are still lots of unanswered questions. I can only hope that each of the characters’ stories is revisited in the later books.
There was also very interesting use of portals in the novel. Civilized planets were referred to as part of the WorldWeb in the novels. This concept isn’t explained until later in the novel. Although I wouldn’t think of this as a spoiler, I am going to explain something that they reveal slowly during the book. Farcaster portals are expensive and take a long time to build but allow for instant transportation. As such, newly colonized worlds don’t have them, but established worlds do. Worlds connected by Farcaster portals are part of the WorldWeb because they are effectively one world. A person could live on one planet and work on a far away planet, walking daily through a Farcaster portal to get to work. In addition, the very wealthy have houses that exist on multiple planets. Rather than having normal doors, they have Farcaster portals that allow each room of the house to actually exist on a different planet. I found this pretty fascinating.
Hyperion was a great book and won the Hugo in 1990!