If you like original sci-fi and are prepared to make a commitment (dust off that trusty attention span), then Hyperion may just be the book for you. This first of a series of four novels farcast me back to my college literature class, where I studied the Canterbury Tales. I found Simmon's chausserian treatment of the pilgrim's stories quite original in a sci-fi context. This against the backdrop of some impending doom, a transtemporal bogeyman, the mysterious Ousters, the techno-driven Hegemony, the super powerful AIs, etc, etc. It's all very dense and laden with the potential for a myriad subplots. So much so, that everything simply can't be explained in this single book. To me, it was part of the appeal; a sense of lingering mystery and slight morbitity, and a constant premonition that something wicked this way comes. I didn't love all the pilgrim's stories, nor did I particularly like all the pilgrims but all in all this book kept me hungry until the end. If you read Hyperion and enjoy it, you will invariable want to read the next installment, Fall of Hyperion.