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Old 05-07-2008, 09:30 AM   #46
tompe
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The story had no ending really, I was curious what the Shrike was. I was hoping for some conclusion in the sequel, but in Fall of Hyperion, it just drags on and on and on.....
I heard that things are explained in the last book The Rise of Endymion but that thw two last books was not worth reading.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #47
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I heard that things are explained in the last book The Rise of Endymion but that thw two last books was not worth reading.
You know, I honestly can't remember at the moment. It sounds right - about the "explanations" - but it's been a while.

This is one of those books/series that I'm surprised to see amongst the disliked, because I enjoyed it so thoroughly (his Ilium and Olympos...not so much, though still a satisfactory read for me).

I do absolutely love the fact that people can call "boring" what others call "brilliance", and vice versa, and all the shades in-between. It's not the disagreement, but the individuality that I like (perhaps it's because it stops me feeling like there's something wrong with me because I didn't much like Perdido Street Station).

One of the books that has a popularity that leaves me wavering as to whether to read it or not is Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. Some folks enthuse about it (including some folks that I "know" to some degree, and can therefore make better guesses as to whether I might enjoy it), but I get put off worrying about the Perdido-effect.

If I had to list the one SF novel that "changed my life", it would probably be Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren. It's one I need to read again, but it's a book that, as a teenager, resounded amongst the chaos of hormones, identity and sexuality that I swam in, and it continues to echo down the years. Yes, I must read it again.

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Old 05-07-2008, 08:20 PM   #48
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I agree with you Mark on Hyperion and Endymion. The first book of the series began quite wobbly and felt like the author had no idea where the story would go. But he kept at it and went ahead splendidly.

As for this thread, the book that impressed me the most is the first one I ever read at 11 years old. Robinson Crusoe. I think this is the reason behind my love of this planet and its preservation and my jack-of-all-trades mentality.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:23 PM   #49
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I heard that things are explained in the last book The Rise of Endymion but that thw two last books was not worth reading.
I read all four and found them absolutely worth reading.

Hyperion was a tour de force, with an inspired reworking of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as the various folks on the way to see the Shrike tell their stories.

And Simmons structures his books like layers of an onion: as you read them, layers are peeled away, and you discover things aren't at all what you thought they were.

Every few years, SF seems to manifest a big series chock full of ideas that become a high water mark. Back in the 70's, that accolade went to William Gibson's "Sprawl" series, _Neuromancer_, _Count Zero_, and _Mona Lisa Overdrive_. I'd call David Brin's "Uplift" series another such, with Simmons' Hyperion and Endymion next, and Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy following that.

I'm way behind, so I'm not sure what is out there currently that might fall into that category. Nominations, anyone?
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:42 PM   #50
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I tend to disregard nominations as a sign of quality as it seems to me anyone could nominate anything. And people could have many motives to make a nomination.
Anyone can nominate anything (with the caveats listed below). But to make the nominees list, many "anyone's" must nominate the same book.

The fact that many people liked it well enough to nominate it is no guarantee of overall quality or that you'll like it, but it does provide a decent pointer to things worth looking into.

The Hugo Awards are nominated by and voted upon by members of the World SF Convention. Anyone can become a member of the Worldcon, and nominate and vote upon titles, though it does cost money. Nebula Awards are nominated by and voted upon by members of the SFWA, and you need actual sales to recognized paying markets to qualify for membership. Much powder has been burned over perceived flaws in the process on both the Hugo and Nebula sides (and with SFWA, you have the organization's internal politics in the mix, too), but in general, works nominated for and works actually winning the various awards tend to be worth a look.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:13 PM   #51
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I agree with you Mark on Hyperion and Endymion. The first book of the series began quite wobbly and felt like the author had no idea where the story would go. But he kept at it and went ahead splendidly.
We had a book discussion about Hyperion recently and of the people that had read all the books they all thought that only the first two was worth reading. Peoples taste differ...
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:16 PM   #52
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One of the books that has a popularity that leaves me wavering as to whether to read it or not is Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. Some folks enthuse about it (including some folks that I "know" to some degree, and can therefore make better guesses as to whether I might enjoy it), but I get put off worrying about the Perdido-effect.
I liked Eastern Standard Tribe much better then Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. And I would really recommend Little Brothers which is recently out and availables as CC.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:18 AM   #53
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Stranger in a Strange Land. Some folks really don't dig Heinlein, but reading that book opened up a channel in my brain. Religion has nothing to do with ghod and all to do with money. How we see the world is not necessarily how the world sees us. I came away from that read a changed boy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:57 AM   #54
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Stranger in a Strange Land. Some folks really don't dig Heinlein, but reading that book opened up a channel in my brain. Religion has nothing to do with ghod and all to do with money. How we see the world is not necessarily how the world sees us. I came away from that read a changed boy.
A classic...
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