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"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Rise of Endymion

This is the last book of Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and arguably, the most moving. Raul, Aenea and A. Bettik have settled on Old Earth for the last four years but young Aenea knows it is time to leave and they must part ways. Raul is sent on a mission to retrieve the Consul's old spaceship (probably one of my favorite "characters" in the entire series) and Aenea and A. Bettik journey on so that the girl can spread her wisdom, so to speak, and to continue constructing her architectural wonders on a score of different worlds. The Pax is still in hot pursuit and eventually, things come to a head and Aenea and Raul and many others must meet their fate.

While reading this novel, I was pleasurably stunned at the depth and richness of this story. Dan Simmons must have spent years concocting this fantasy of far-future science fiction, incorporating the elements of quantum physics, morality, religion, love, architecture, geography, history...However, this specific book dealt foremost in the necessity of humankind's ability to evolve. In short, DS's message is: change is good. It is assumed that eventually, mankind will travel to and even live on other planets. In this book, you see that people have mastered space travel but only to conform the planets to Earth standards. What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, look what a pig's ear we've made of the one planet we have available to us so far. Since evolving to homo erectus, man hasn't changed in a millenia. We've just used our intelligence to make our planet conform to our needs. It's an unsettling thought. As Aenea says so poignantly... "choose again." We should all feel the urge, the desire, the need to be more, to be different and most importantly, to respect and to change with nature.

All preaching aside...the love story in this novel moved me to no end. Raul and Aenea are connected beyond the boundaries of time and distance. They are soulmates in the truest sense of the word and their story is inexpressibly beautiful.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Oh my God, I JUST posted on my blog about how 'The Terror' might just be the best book I've ever read.