What I’m reading

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A couple of weeks ago I finally finished reading the four book Hyperion/Endymion series by Dan Simmons:

Hyperion book cover

  1. Hyperion
  2. The Fall of Hyperion
  3. Endymion
  4. The Rise of Endymion

At well over 2000 pages total, this was an undertaking but well worth it. Of the four, I think The Fall of Hyperion was the weakest in that I thought it wrapped up the story line too quickly. It also didn’t so much leave things open for a sequel, but left me confused. In the midst of reading Hyperion, I bought both numbers two and three and so forged on to Endymion. I’m glad I did, because the last two are the best written. I thought the last book relied a bit too much on the “what they told you before was a lie” trick, but overall things wrapped up well and completely.

Hiding in the Mirror book cover

If you enjoy good old fashioned future world science fiction with some AI, hyperspace and time travel thrown in, you’ll like these. Note, however, that at times the language is vulgar and there are some adult scenes, shall we say.

That’s a shame, in my opinion, because when I was a teen I enjoyed reading scifi series like Asimov’s Foundation series, and I really couldn’t recommend these Hyperion/Endymion for anyone younger than an adult.

Incidentally, I’m looking for a new scifi series to start reading over the December holidays. I welcome your suggestions, though I would prefer to skip the wizards, dragons, and medieval supernatural church sagas. In any case, I would like to assemble a list of such series. Incidentally, I consider Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials some of the best literature I have ever read, scifi/fantasy or otherwise.

On the non-fiction front, I just started reading Hiding in the Mirror: The Quest for Alternate Realities, from Plato to String Theory (by way of Alicein Wonderland, Einstein, and The Twilight Zone) by Lawrence Krauss. I’m only about 20 pages into it, but so far, so good.

One Comment

  1. Anything by Greg Egan. I’ve read most of his fiction, and he doesn’t seem to be able to put a foot wrong. Stephen Baxter’s Phase Space series – Time, Space, Origin and Phase Space. China Mieville’s The Scar and The Iron Council – okay, you did specifically say you didn’t want fantasy, but this is a rather new and different take on fantasy. I am allergic to assembly-line fantasy, examples of which I will not mention because I think you could outdo me without turning a hair. But a floating city drawn by a huge fish from a slightly different world, and pursued by a vengeful trio of monsters, the grindylows? The Malarial Queendoms? Color bombs? There are very few authors I have enjoyed so much from the first pages as I have enjoyed The Scar and The Iron Council.

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