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In Dan Simmons' Hyperion universe, Ousters are the branch of humanity that left the Worldweb and the Hegemony, and chose instead to travel among the stars, adapting away from planetary life and the influence of the TechnoCore.
From time to time, the Ousters clash with the Hegemony at the edges of Hegemony space, and are generally considered to be the Hegemony's "prime bogeymen" and "interstellar barbarians". In truth, the Ousters are extremely civilized and have evolved far beyond the scope of the Hegemony's imagining. They possess superior technology and their "comet forts and can cities" actually resemble pristine old-Earth countryside, replete with waterfalls, fields, giant tree cities, etc.
The Ousters have twelve 'swarms', or migration clusters consisting of thousands of ships ranging from single-person to massive habitation structures. Many Ousters live outside of the swarms, though, instead cultivating orbital forest rings around distant stars.
The Ousters have a strong ecological sensibility. Their society has learned the lessons of the destruction of Old Earth, and decided that terraforming is the wrong path. Rather than altering existing planets to suit humans, the Ousters alter themselves to fit the environment. Thus the Ousters come in a huge variety of appearances and forms.
In The Fall of Hyperion, it is revealed that the Templars are in league with the Ousters in their opposition to the TechnoCore and the Hegemony. The government of God's Grove, the Templar homeworld, prepares to greet an incoming fleet of Ousters they believe are participating in a coordinated invasion of the Hegemony. In truth, the fleet inbound to God's Grove proves to be a TechnoCore fleet disguised as Ousters, and the planet is attacked and largely destroyed.
However, subsequent to the events of The Fall of Hyperion, Templars relocated to Ouster colonies where they are found in The Rise of Endymion. These colonies experienced the "Shared Moment" of humanity that ensued during the death of Aenea. In the short story "Orphans of the Helix", Templars are found living in an Ouster colony several centuries after the events of the Hyperion Cantos.
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