The Hyperion Cantos reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Hyperion Cantos

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The Hyperion Cantos is a quartet of novels by Dan Simmons. In order, the books are:

The Cantos is considered by many to be one of the finer contemporary Science Fiction novels, although much of its content is a more general, less "hard science fiction" story. Simmons uses a lot of poetry a la Tolkein to add depth to scenes and characters which were otherwise cardboard and plastic, respectively. The effect is taken so far as to have a modern living replica of John Keats playing a major part in Fall of Hyperion.

Warning: Plot details follow.

The story begins with Hyperion which weaves the interlocking tales of a group people sent to investigate the opening of an artifact traveling in reverse through time known as the Time Tombs. These are the remarkably diverse stories of The Consul, The Priest, The Soldier, and The Detective to name a few and what has led them on this journey to face the greatest mystery of their time and the Shrike.

Hyperion is also the name of a planet in the story.