I've always been an avid, if slow, reader. To my great surprise, I ended up studying literature (along with CS) for my undergrad degree, which enriched my world in ways that are impossible to quantify and I'd read a lot more now if it wasn't for other responsibilities. I'm using this page to simply track what I'm reading and any thoughts about the books. I try to update it every once in a while...
In Progress - Horror
Nothing at the moment!
Completed Reads - Horror
So these two books were bizarre and awesome. But they're only really for people with certain tastes, and you really have to read both to get the story sorted out. But I loved them. Simmons studied literature and was an elementary school teacher before he became a full-time author and his love of the literary world is woven into the fabric of these stories. The format of Hyperion is based on The Canterbury Tales, with different characters in the story telling their stories to each other, each in their own chapter, while on a space-pilgrimage, and one of the key characters in the broader world he's created is John Keats, or, rather, some kind of ghost of Keats, so to speak. Through the story, he challenges the reader with indirect questions about religion, humanity, technology, and all kinds of philosophical ideas. But it's also just a damned good story if you don't want to think about these things. All that said, it's a challenge to get through the first book and keep track of what's going on, but if you do, it's a great reward. And the pure creativity and quality of world-building Simmons achieves is a rare find. It actually brings Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to mind, strangely enough -- very, very different, but at it's core it challenges the reader to reflect on what it means to be human.
This is a great book for any big sci-fi fan or possibly someone interested in technology, religion, and philosophy. It's not for someone who needs to understand everything going on...