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Amadan na Briona

Currently reading

Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Hyperion - Dan Simmons This is a classic space opera tale, though most of it takes place on the planet of Hyperion, except in flashbacks. Seven travelers are on a pilgrimage to see the Shrike, a godlike alien being who apparently has a habit of going on bloodthirsty killing sprees and carving up most of the travelers who come to visit it. But if it doesn't kill you, it grants you a wish, or something like that. Our not-so-merry band of travelers is a diverse cast, each of whom has their own story to tell, and a dark secret. It turns out that this pilgrimage could spell the beginning of Armageddon.

An entertaining tale, though already a little dated, it's got all the elements of classic sci-fi: interstellar conspiracies, a fleet of space "pirates," AIs debating whether or not to exterminate humanity, time travel, ancient ruins guarded by an alien god, a mystery, a lot of second-guessing about who's a traitor, and a cliffhanger ending. I wish I'd known when I started listening that it was written as the first in a series and ends with a "To be continued."

Overall, a good epic space opera, grand in scale and full of big ideas, though it is not particularly cerebral. It reminded me a bit of Chalker, Varley, or Alan Dean Foster.