Hyperion, by Dan Simmons, is a Hugo award-winning novel about humanity on the precipice. People have colonized the stars, establishing an empire that spans the galaxy called the Hegemony. But though it appears that humans have achieved the greatest moment in their history, they are on the verge of apocalypse. A collective of AI, allied with the Hegemony, plan and scheme toward their own unknowable goals. The Ousters, humans who severed ties with society and left for deep space, have returned like the vikings of Old Earth to pillage Hegemony colonies. And in the middle of this, all eyes converge on the fringe planet, Hyperion.
A purely alien entity known as the Shrike lives on Hyperion. Some fear its often brutal and violent appearance. Others worship it as the herald of the End. But everyone, Ouster, AI and Hegomony, wish to discover the secret behind this creature of immeasurable power. What does the Shrike mean? And what does it mean for human civilization?
Hyperion, the first book in the Hyperion Cantos, emulates The Cantebury Tales in its reading style. The story follows seven pilgrims on the planet Hyperion as they travel to come face to face with the Shrike. Legend has it that if seven pilgrims seek an audience with the creature, it will grant one of their wishes, and kill everyone else. As the plot progresses, the pilgrims share their own reasons for attempting the pilgrimage. Each character on the journey has a rich and exciting tale to tell. Readers who are looking for high-concept, speculative fiction with prose bordering on poetry will be instantly drawn into Dan Simmon's world of Hyperion.
If you enjoyed this book, try out Peter Hamilton's Void trilogy.