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Hyperion Cantos Books In Order

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Publication Order of Hyperion Cantos Books

Hyperion (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fall of Hyperion (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Endymion (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rise of Endymion (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Orphans of the Helix (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Hyperion Cantos is the name given to a series of science fiction novels written by Dan Simmons. Hyperion Cantos is also the name of an epic poem in the first book.

+The Story

The Hyperion Cantos series began publication in 1989. In the beginning, the term ‘Hyperion Cantos’ was primarily used to refer to ‘Hyperion’ and ‘The Fall of Hyperion’, the first two books in the series.

Dan Simmons created the idea of the Hyperion Universe during his days as a teacher at an elementary school. During those days, all Simmons had on his hands was a simple tale that he told to his young students in intervals.

But as he proceeded to narrate this tale, it grew in scope until the author decided to put it on paper and publish it. The books tell stories that revolve around two particular elements, namely: Hyperion and The Shrike.

A long time ago, the earth was accidentally destroyed by an artificially created black hole. Humankind took to space and conquered new worlds, creating colonies and allowing their species to thrive.

Over time, those colonies united to form a singular society of planets ruled by a powerful government. The governance of these planets was only made possible by a special network that availed faster than light communication and travel.

The planet Hyperion is a critical aspect of the Hyperion Cantos Universe. An alien world with only 1/5th of Earth’s gravity and a distinct landscape of animals and plants, Hyperion is a labyrinth, constituting a layout of subterranean tunnels and pathways of unknown purpose.

Though, even these labyrinths pale in comparison to the Time Tombs when it comes to intrigue. By the time the Hyperion Cantos series kicks off, humanity is still confounded by these artifacts which are surrounded by special fields that compel everything to move backward in time.

It is within the region of the Time Tombs that the 4-armed partially mechanical being known as the Shrike is found. The Shrike remains an enigma throughout the Cantos books, feared, hated, and worshiped in equal measure.

The Shrike is first introduced to readers at a time when humanity has gone to war with itself. The Ousters are a section of Mankind who broke away, grew isolated, and took extreme measures to adapt to the harsh realities of space.

Their evolutionary path transformed them into a hostile species that eventually wage war on Mankind’s web of planets. The resulting conflict is so vast that it threatens to destroy modern society as people know it.

Hyperion comes into the picture when seven pilgrims are sent to the planet to consult the Shrike, a killing machine whose technology they believe could save them from potential destruction.

The Shrike, which looks like an amalgam of thorns, blades, and razor wire, can control time and space, and it becomes the target of a faction that would rather see it destroyed than be used.

The first two books in the series focus primarily on the battle against the Ousters. The second set of novels takes readers more than two centuries into the future. In that era, the Catholic Church has arisen to become a dominant force in the universe.

Aenea is a messiah from the past. The Catholic Church deems her to be a threat to their power and, thus, set out to crush her.

Dan Simmons has received Hugo and Locus Awards, not to mention British Science Fiction Association prizes for his work on the Hyperon Cantos series.

Names like Bradley Cooper and Todd Philips have been associated with a potential television and movie adaptation of the Hyperion books.

+The Author

Dan Simmons is an American author born in 1948 in Peoria, Illinois. Simmons traveled a lot as a child and he had the opportunity to live in various cities. A former student of Washington University in St. Lois from where he acquired his Master’s in Education, the author spent nearly two decades teaching at an elementary level.

He took to writing in the late 1980s, dabbling in horror, fantasy and science fiction, and eventually winning numerous awards for his literary works.


Hyperion is a mysterious world that exists outside the confines of the Hegemony of man. Hyperion plays host to the Shrike, a creature that some worship, a few fear, and others hate and seek to destroy.

The Shrike is situated in the valley of the Time Tombs, a place where time moves backward. The Shrike is a frightening entity. However, it might be the only hope for mankind as Armageddon approaches.

The galaxy is on the verge of a war that could destroy everything. Seven pilgrims have been charged with saving the future. They must go to Hyperion, discover the secrets of the Shrike and hope that it can avail them the ability to fight their foes.

As these seven travelers undertake their perilous journey, they share their life stories with one another.
The first novel in the Hyperion Cantos series, Hyperion always confounds readers in the beginning. This is because Dan Simmons starts his story by throwing readers into the deep end of his universe.

He tells his story as though his readers are already familiar with his world. And as one progresses through the various chapters, Simmons slowly but surely unravels the mystery of his universe.

As each of his seven pilgrims tells their story and reveals their connection to the planet of Hyperion, Simmons shines a light upon all the hidden corners of Hyperion Cantos.

+The Fall of Hyperion

This sequel to ‘Hyperion’ takes readers back to the planet of Hyperion where seven pilgrims went in search of the final hope for mankind. Hyperion is home to the Shrike, a creature located in the valley of the Time Tombs.

The Time Tombs are a mystery that has confounded humanity for ages, artifacts that generate a special field within which time moves backward. However, it looks like that mystery might finally be at an end.

The Tombs are opening and the secrets they possess have the potential to change the universe.

Dan Simmons continues to explore the war with the Ousters. The Ousters are humans who evolved differently and have since engaged in hostilities that threaten the survival of the galaxy.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Hyperion Cantos

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