Hyperion - Dan Simmons

One of the most exciting things to read is an outrageously ambitious science fiction novel, full of creative touches and clever plotting. Dan Simmons provides all of this in Hyperion. Hyperion deservedly won the Hugo and Locus awards in 1990, and does such a clever job of worldscaping its setting that a wiki has popped up on the internet to catalog its contents. You know you've made it as a sci-fi/fantasy series when you get your own wiki. The story ends up taking its organizational blueprint from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in that seven "pilgrims" are given an opportunity to share a story with the other members of the group. Of all these excellent stories, two stand out to me as really compelling, and one other as ridiculously well told. The two really good ones are "The Priest's Tale," and "The Poet's Tale." The latter made me laugh out loud several times as Simmons allows his poet character to detail the sad events of his publishing history. The story that is ridiculously good is "The Scholar's Tale." I won't dare breathe a hint of what this story involves, but will only say that the central premise to it is so elegant and yet so terrifying - it's nothing I'd ever read about before. After reading that portion of the novel last night, I put the book down and shook my head in complete admiration for Dan Simmons. I went onto Amazon and added a couple of his books to my wishlist. I will definitely be reading the second book in this series before too long, as this novel leaves us readers in a great deal of suspense!