Dan Simmons
Background Information:

Wikipedia Bio

Reader's Thoughts:

Hyperion Cantos - One of the best written works of science fiction around - less because of technological marvels (althought there are those too) as for the human depth of the characters. This is actually three volumes in one - the first, Hyperion, is a sort of rehash of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" as seven travellers embark on a journey to gain an audience with a menacing superhuman being (I would be tempted to say a transapient or even a minor AI God, although nothing resembling those concepts appears in this work) called the Shrike, the second, The Fall of Hyperion concludes that part of the story, while a third, Endymion, is set two hundred and seventy-four years after the events of the Fall of Hyperion.

The story is set against a wider backdrop of an interstellar civilization bound together by a nexus of artificial wormholes, and overseen by superhuman AIs that are themselves divided into factions. Actually Hyperion was the book that provided me with the seed inspiration for the basic setting of Orion's Arm. Things have developed a great deal since then, and much of Simmon's opus, while enjoyable to read, is not very pertinant to our current project.

Update: The Hyperion Cantos now runs to four books with the publication of The Rise of Endymion ((He is also writing a new SF series based on the Iliad called Olympus(?). Due for publication next year (2004)).

M Alan Kazlev; update by James Targett