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Lack-Of-Cliffhanger Cliffhanger: I read Dan Simmons' Hyperion and for the most part it was great. The universe is well-fleshed out and has fairly credible newslang and people act believably. It reminds me of the universe in the The Legend Lives! IF game, which I always liked and which I think has the most interesting universe I've seen in sci-fi IF, albeit one of the worst titles. (Obligatory disclaimer: Planetfall and Suspended and probably others are better games.) Geez, I haven't played any IF or felt guilty about abandoning my IF project for probably a year. Anyway.

The book is really good in general but parts of it are very boring (boringness is not correlated to "action" in the crude sense: some of the most boring scenes describe firefights and daring escapes). In particular there's a boring part about 40 pages from the end which goes on and on with fisticuffs and murder and repercussions and blah and blah. Maybe it's just boring because it's a framed story inside a much more exciting story that's coming to a head, and I've come to expect the last-minute revelation in these stories that someone is not who he seems. In my sci-fi epic, revelations that people are not who they seem will come at unpredictable times.

This framed story's eating up more and more pages and I realize that not only is this book the first part of a multi-part series, but it's not going to have a real conclusion or even a cliffhanger. Instead it will be as though it was originally a longer book that got split down the middle. Sure enough, that's exactly what happens. Just a chapter break with no next chapter after it, even though with about ten more pages there could have been a real heart-pounding "to be continued" cliffhanger. I never realized this before, but this is more frustrating than a real cliffhanger!

So, good book, but no resolution, even by the accepted standards of first books in series. I'd advise you to get the first and the second books at once, but maybe you won't like the first book and you'll blame me for forcing you to buy into the capitalist publishing machine when all I did was advise you to do this. Also, the copy I got in the used bookstore has much better cover art than the overly literal cover art you see for the book at Amazon. So get the, ah, 1991 edition if you want to feel threatened every time you close the book, instead of feeling like you're reading an Edward Scissorhands novelization.

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