Endymion (Simmons novel)
|Publisher||Headline Book Publishing|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||441 pp (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 WorldWeb infrastructure also resulted in the collapse of civilization on most planets.
Brawne Lamia, Martin Silenus and the Consul were the only surviving Pilgrims that stayed on Hyperion. The Consul left shortly and joined the Ousters. His fate is uncertain. Brawne Lamia, pregnant from the first John Keats technological reincarnation, 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 Tomb" and disappeared. Silenus hid in his home and began cryonic hibernation to wait for her return.
Catholic priest Father Paul Duré was the only pilgrim not to remain on the planet Hyperion. Before the fall, he had farcasted to Pacem, the home planet of the dying Catholic Church, and had been elected as the new Pope under the name of Teilhard (a reference to Teilhard de Chardin). His papacy was expected to rejuvenate the Church, but when he died unexpectedly, he was reincarnated as Lenar Hoyt, due to the remaining cruciform on their shared body.
With Lenar 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 Pax) filled the void left by the Hegemony after the Fall, as the government of all the galaxy. With each subsequent death of Hoyt he 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 in Hyperion who kills a hunter in self-defense (the hunter later resurrects). Endymion is framed for murder and sentenced to death. He refuses the cruciform 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 "niece" Aenea who is about to return at the Time Tomb, find the old Earth (Silenus may be the last living human born there), destroy the Pax, and "find out what the fuck the TechnoCore is up to and stop it." Endymion assumes that Silenus is demented, but accepts the mission. He is helped by Silenus' android servant 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 on Hyperion's surface and in surrounding space to trap Aenea.
Endymion and Silenus's plan consists of arriving at the Time Tombs, flying on the Consul's Hawking mat. 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, fighting with the Shrike, cannot stop the ship before it translates to hyperspace.
Travelling through Hyperspace
The ship's first destination from Hyperion is the Parvati star system. The trip starts the friendship between Aenea and Endymion. He realizes that his young friend is far more precocious than a twelve-year-old should be, and he feels a hint of the mystique that she will have in the future.
Meanwhile, Father de Soya, badly injured by the Shrike, is determined to not let Aenea escape again. He takes possession of an Archangel-class courier ship, which he names the Raphael, that allows him and three of his elite soldiers, (Sergeant Gregorius, Corporal Kee and Lancer Rettig, from the Swiss Guard) to fly to Parvati faster than hyperspace. The price of this speed is a painful death and resurrection of the ship's passengers.
When Aenea and Endymion arrive in Parvati space, de Soya is waiting to stop them. Aenea threatens to depressurize the old Consul's ship and die, and since de Soya's orders are to catch her alive, he has to let her go.
The next destination is Renaissance Vector. De Soya's team, after dying and resurrecting again, is ready to stop her this time even if she tries to depressurize the ship. Aenea convinces him to allow her ship to land, but instead she flies the ship along the old River Tethys through one of the farcaster portals, all of which have been inactive since the Fall of Hyperion. De Soya guesses her plan at the last moment and attempts to disable Aenea's ship, but too late to prevent it from farcasting.
Traveling through the River Tethys
The ship has arrived at an unknown sylvatic planet through the farcaster. The passengers are all unharmed, but the ship is badly damaged. Its AI states that it can be auto-repaired, but it will take about six standard months. Since Aenea cannot wait, Raul constructs a raft to follow the River Tethys. Raul, Aenea and Bettik depart and leave the Ship on the unknown planet.
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 inactive farcaster, but again it works and translates them to another planet, Mare Infinitus. As they travel across the aquatic planet, looking for the next farcaster, 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 fighting with Pax soldiers, losing the carpet, falling into the water, and eventually being rescued by Aenea and Bettik.
They find the next farcaster and translate to Hebron. Strangely, they find this Jewish planet absolutely abandoned. Aenea and Bettik find a hospital with automated surgeon units, which heal Raul, who is still injured from the Mare Infinitus adventure.
Meanwhile, De Soya's search brings him to Mare Infinitus, where he finds evidence that Aenea and Endymion have been there, namely the flying carpet. De Soya concludes that Aenea's final destination might be Ouster territory. Hoping to intercept her, De Soya and his men translate there, but there is an accident: resurrection fails, and consequently their ship is automatically rerouted to Pacem.
De Soya is resurrected there, but one of his men, Rettig has died the "True Death". The Pax government, in spite of De Soya's consistent failures to capture Aenea, decide to keep de Soya on the mission, and assign a new officer to his guard, Rhadamanth Nemes, a member of a "new race of soldiers, prepared to fight the Ousters."
At 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 the Chitchatuk, primitive humans who are adapted to Sol Draconi Septem's terrible conditions. The Chitchatuk take Aenea and her companions to meet Father Glaucus, a blind priest estranged from Pax. At Glaucus' home, Aenea, Bettik and Raul rest and enjoy the priest's friendship.
Meanwhile, de Soya has received information that it has been "revealed" to the Pope that Aenea is in Sol Draconi Septem. De Soya and his guards fly there in his Archangel class faster than hyperspace craft, but something is wrong: Nemes is not dead. In fact, she wakes up when the rest of crew has yet to resurrect, and takes a dropship to the planet. She has inhuman strength and skills and is ruthless. 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.
Encounter at God's Grove
When the raft transporting the heroes arrives, they fall into her trap. A. Bettik has one arm cut off by the monofilaments while Raul and Aenea shelter in the rapids of the river. When Nemes attacks (aiming to kill Aenea), the Shrike appears and blocks her attempts. They fight each other to a standstill, but Nemes uses her secret weapon. The Shrike is transported 5 minutes into the future, giving Nemes plenty of time to kill Aenea and save her head. However, Father de Soya, barely resurrected and piloting the Raphael in low orbit, talks to Raul by tightbeam and lances Nemes from outer space with a powerful energy weapon. Nemes disappears in a lake of molten rock.
Blessing her, de Soya guides Aenea to the dropship and lets her go, returning to Pacem to discover the truth of what is happening. The heroes pass through a farcaster to reach their end destination: the supposedly destroyed Old Earth, which is now orbiting a Sun-like star in the Magellanic Cloud.