Endymion (Simmons novel)
|Publisher||Headline Book Publishing|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||441 (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||0-7472-0525-6 (first edition, hardback)|
|Preceded by||The Fall of Hyperion|
|Followed by||The Rise of Endymion|
Endymion is the third science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons, part of his Hyperion Cantos fictional universe. Centered on the new characters Aenea and Raul Endymion, it has been well received like Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion - within a year of its release, the paperback edition had gone through five reprints. The novel was shortlisted for the 1997 Locus Award.
The story opens 274 years after the Fall of Hyperion, in which Hegemony CEO Meina Gladstone ordered the destruction of all farcaster singularities to stop the TechnoCore from eliminating humankind. However, the loss of the farcaster infrastructure also resulted in the collapse of civilization on most planets.
Brawne Lamia, pregnant by the first John Keats cybrid, gave birth shortly after to a daughter called Aenea. Lamia died when Aenea was still a girl, and Silenus took care of the child. When Aenea was twelve years old, she entered the Time Tombs and disappeared into the future.
Before the Fall, Father Paul Duré had been elected as the new Pope under the name of Teilhard. His papacy was expected to rejuvenate the Catholic Church, but when he died unexpectedly, he was reincarnated as Lenar Hoyt. With Hoyt as the new Pope Julius IV, helped by Cardinal Lourdusamy, the Church took a new direction. Two new Sacraments were introduced: the Acceptance of the Cruciform, and the Resurrection. The Church had developed a new technology that improved the results of the Resurrection, so the believers who had accepted the cruciform were virtually immortal. Assisted by the immortality, the Church grew steadily and, with help of its military forces (called the Pax), filled the void left by the Hegemony after the Fall. With each subsequent death, Hoyt was resurrected, and Father Duré never again appeared in the public eye. Under the various Hoyt papacies, Father Duré was considered an Antipope who nearly killed the Church.
274 years after the Fall, Raul Endymion is a hunting guide on Hyperion who kills a hunter in self-defense. Endymion is framed for murder and sentenced to death. He refuses to convert to Catholicism and appears to be executed. To his surprise, he awakens in the house of an old man named Martin Silenus. The old man tells him that he has been rescued to perform a mission: rescue his Aenea, who is about to return from the Time Tombs; find old Earth; destroy the Pax; and stop the TechnoCore. Endymion accepts the mission. He is helped by android A. Bettik and by the old Consul's starship.
Meanwhile, the Pax also knows that Aenea is about to arrive. They consider her an abomination and want her captured. The mission is assigned to Father-Captain Federico de Soya, who prepares an army of elite troops to trap Aenea. When the Tomb opens, Aenea appears as predicted. However, The Shrike also emerges and massacres most of the Pax military units - both on Hyperion and in local space. In the confusion, Endymion meets Aenea and takes her to the starship, where Bettik is waiting. The Pax cannot stop the ship before it translates to hyperspace.
Travelling through Hyperspace
Father de Soya, badly injured by the Shrike, is determined not to let Aenea escape again. He takes possession of an Archangel-class courier ship Raphael. The ship's new technology allows faster-than-light travel without time debt, at the price of a painful death and resurrection during each trip.
Aenea and Endymion escape de Soya by threatening to depressurize the ship and commit suicide. Because de Soya is ordered to capture Aenea alive, he allows her to escape. Aenea convinces him to allow her ship to land on the planet Renaissance Vector, but instead she flies the ship through an ancient farcaster portal which has been inactive since the Fall of Hyperion. De Soya attempts to disable Aenea's ship, but is too late to prevent it from farcasting.
Traveling through the River Tethys
The ship has arrived on an unknown planet through the farcaster. The passengers are all unharmed, but the ship is badly damaged. Since Aenea cannot wait for the ship to be repaired, Raul constructs a raft to follow the River Tethys without the ship. De Soya, unable to determine to which of the hundreds of planets crossed by River Tethys Aenea has fled, begins an odyssey of continuous deaths and resurrections through all known planet systems in order to find her.
The raft arrives at the next farcaster, which sends them to ocean planet Mare Infinitus. They encounter a sea platform occupied by Pax guards. Since they cannot avoid it, Raul boards the flying carpet and goes alone to the platform, taking some explosives in order to create a distraction. He succeeds, but only after being injured by the Pax and losing the Hawking mat. Next, they translate to Hebron. They find the Jewish home planet completely abandoned. Aenea and Bettik find a hospital with automated surgeon units, which heal Raul.
Meanwhile, De Soya's search brings him to Mare Infinitus, where he finds evidence that Aenea and Endymion have been there. De Soya and his crew are rerouted to Pacem. In spite of De Soya's consistent failures to capture Aenea, the Pax decides to keep de Soya on the mission. They assign Rhadamanth Names, part of a new officer corps, to his guard.
Sol Draconi Septem
Aenea, Raul and Bettik continue to travel through the farcasters. Their next destination is Sol Draconi Septem, a barely terraformed, frozen, high gravity planet. There, they meet and befriend Father Glaucus, an exiled priest, and the Chitchatuk, primitive humans who are adapted to Sol Draconi Septem's terrible conditions. They depart again and farcast to Qom Riyadh, an Islamic planet, which they find also strangely uninhabited, and then to God's Grove.
The Pope informs de Soya that Aenea is in Sol Draconi Septem. De Soya translates there, but Nemes does not die during the trip; it is revealed she is not human. Before the other crew members resurrect, she takes a dropship to the planet. She kills the Chitchatuk and Father Glaucus. She also links to the farcaster and learns that Aenea has gone to Qom Riyadh and will soon head for God's Grove. She plants this new destination in the ship's communicator, but de Soya is suspicious. When they farcast to God's Grove, de Soya secretly gives the ship instructions to resurrect the crew in only 6 hours instead of the safer 3 days.
Believing that she has three days before De Soya is resurrected, Nemes takes the Raphael's dropship and prepares an ambush for Aenea.
As they travel through God's Grove, Aenea shares the truth of what happened to Earth. Earth was not moved by the Technocore. The planet was moved by yet a different power, which Aenea suggests is the human UI. She also suggests that the Technocore is responsible for the disappearance of the people in Hebron and Qom Riyadh and that it is the Technocore that is behind the Church's resurgence and desperate search for them. She says that it is not the Technocore that is opening the farcaster portals to them.
Aenea's group falls into Nemes's ambush. When Nemes attacks Aenea, the Shrike appears and blocks her attempts; they fight to a standstill. Father de Soya lances Nemes from outer space with a powerful energy weapon. De Soya allows Aenea to escape. He returns to Pacem to discover the truth about Nemes. Aenea's groups passes through a farcaster to reach Old Earth, which is now orbiting a Sun-like star in the Magellanic Cloud.