The Rise of Endymion
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Awards||Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1998)|
|LC Class||PS3569.I47292 R5 1997|
The Rise of Endymion is a 1997 science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It is the fourth and final novel in his Hyperion Cantos fictional universe. It won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1998.
The Rise of Endymion begins after the end of Endymion with Raul Endymion still imprisoned and writing his memoirs of his time with Aenea. On the planet Pacem in Vatican City the pope, Lenar Hoyt dies. Having previously borne Father Paul Dure's cruciform Hoyt resurrects as Dure. Dure is killed by Cardinal Lourdusamy, who also kills all witnesses to Dure's resurrection, as he has done for the last several hundred years whenever Hoyt has died to keep Dure's shared existence a secret. Hoyt is then reborn, and when elected Pope again, takes a new Papal name: in this case, Urban XVI. Urban announces a new Crusade upon his conception as Pope, and with the development of the new "Archangel"-class starships, sends his fleets out to make war on the Ousters, still hiding along the edges of human-populated space. Father Captain de Soya, after near exile for failing, is recalled to captain one of the new ships. However, after attacking an Ouster breeding creche asteroid de Soya and several of his crew find the murder of children unconscionable and they rebel, absconding with the ship and putting the rest of the crew into suspended animation.
Raul Endymion and Aenea, still living on Earth (at Taliesin West) and learning architecture from the "Old Architect" (a cybrid Frank Lloyd Wright). Aenea, despite being barely in her teens quickly becomes a teacher to the other humans not only in leading the community but also about "the Void which Binds" and "the music of the spheres". The old architect dies when she is sixteen and Aenea tells Raul that he has to leave and travel via Farcaster portal along the River Tethys, but she will meet him at the end of his journey on the planet Tien Shan. Upon reaching the end of his perilous kayak trip (8 standard days), Raul finds the starship they had abandoned in the previous book. The ship informs Raul that the travel to Ti'en Shan will create a 5-year time debt (due to time dilation as the ship accelerates to and decelerates from the relativistic speed needed to launch its faster-than-light travel mode) so when he arrives Aenea will be 21.
During their time on T'ien Shan where she is working on a hanging temple for the Dalai Lama. Like all buildings on the planet it is built high in the mountains to keep it free of the phosgene clouds that rise several km above the acid seas. Raul and Aenea's relationship shifts from protector and friend to lover and teacher, as Raul becomes a prominent member of Aenea's congregation. Raul becomes jealous of practically everyone Aenea has spent time with over the past five years while he was in spaceflight, including a twenty-something-year-old Rachel Weintraub (the infant from the Hyperion books now grown up). Aenea has spent her time teaching and also reveals that many people on the planets she has visited have taken "communion" from her and she states that people misinterpreted the message of Jesus and that they literally needed to imbibe his blood to take part in what he had to offer. People who take communion from Aenea by drinking wine infused with a drop of her blood undergo several changes due to the virus she carries: if they have a cruciform, it completely withers inside 24 hours, they are no longer able to be joined with a cruciform, they gain the ability to access "the Void which Binds" (though they must practice—most do not display much talent in the story), and their blood (and offspings blood) can be used to pass on the same virus. Another side-effect of Aenea's communion revealed later is great empathy, the person who inflicts pains experiences that pain. Aenea repeatedly refuses to let Raul take communion from her.
When Raul counts up the months she mentions in the story of her travels across space he determines there is a substantial gap unaccounted for and on questioning her Raul becomes especially jealous of an unknown man with whom Aenea spent just under two years whom she married and to whom she bore a child.
An envoy of the Pax led by Cardinal Mustafa discover them. Despite orders from the cardinal, Radamanth Nemes and her three siblings attack Aenea and Raul with intent to kill but they are again defended by the Shrike who kills one of them allowing the pair to escape. Nemes reveals herself as an agent of the TechnoCore, not a loyal servant of the Pax, and for his presumption at giving her orders, Nemes kills all of the envoys except for the cardinal whom she maims and blinds. Having picked up many people from T'ien Shan in the consul's spaceship the spaceship is nearly destroyed by Pax ships but instead it farcasts, without a farcast portal, to an Ouster dyson sphere made from trees provided by the Templars. On this "biosphere" Raul awakens after a coma to find there Het Masteen, the Templar who was one of the Hyperion pilgrims (he disappeared, returned, then died on Hyperion over 240 years ago), and Fedmahn Kassad (another of the pilgrims who also died in the past and who travelled through time fighting the Shrike), and Father de Soya who has taken Aenea's communion. Finally Raul is allowed to take her communion. Raul learns from her that the cruciform is not natural, it is a construct of the TechnoCore, that while the farcaster portals were believed to be used to allow the TechnoCore to use human brains as processors the cruciform now fulfils this role and that the TechnoCore does not exist in one any place but the cruciforms host the Core. They oppose her as she threatens them by restricting their existence.
Trying to divert a Pax attack Aenea sends a hand written message to Pacem via a captured Pax courier ship only the attack cannot be called off. The key characters, several hundred other humans who have taken her communion, and a motionless shrike, escape on a Templar tree-ship captained by Het Masteen who has agreed that the sacred tree will become the Tree of Pain (last seen on Hyperion). Aenea causes the ship to farcast and she drops the passengers off at many planets where they will continue teaching her message that the Void that Binds is Love and Love is a fundamental force of the universe like gravity or electroweak.
Aenea, Raul and de Soya cast to Pacem and de Soya leads them through unused underground train lines and catacombs to St Peter's Basilica where Hoyt (as pope) is celebrating High Mass on Holy Thursday. She sends de Soya away then interrupts the mass and she and Raul are arrested. Raul is sentenced to death but not wishing to sully their hands by murder he is placed in his far away Schrodinger cell with cyanide that will be triggered by radioactive decay. In this sealed cell he spends what is to him an indeterminate amount of time and he confesses as narrator of the story to having lied about not knowing her fate (as announced at the start of the previous book).
After capture Aenea is tortured by Nemes at the order of the TechnoCore ambassador. The torture chamber is surrounded by TechnoCore sensors. Aenea reveals she is aware that they seek to force Aenea to cast away and use the gathered data to replicate her abilities. However, the Pax representative present, convincing the Core to allow him to try to get her to reveal her secrets, instead kills her by burning her to death.
Facing up to this and having subconsciously thought about things while writing Raul realises that Aenea told him he has the ability to cast as she did, as others could too if they practised, and he casts himself to Pacem. There he meets survivors of an attack and retreat by loyalist Pax forces (who are now held up on a single planet with only a few million people as opposed to the many thousands of millions before Aenea), including Father de Soya. Raul learns that he has been incarcerated for 13 months. Everyone who had taken Aenea's communion shared in her experience, including her pain, and also acted as broadcasters sending the same sensations to everyone else on their planets', even those who had not taken communion, and revealing the machinations of the TechnoCore to enslave humanity. He casts them to Hyperion where they meet Martin Silenus with whom they cast to Mars and learn from Fedmahn that Earth has returned. All of them then travel to Earth. On Earth the Shrike appears having travelled through time and brought with it a younger Aenea who using her powers has forced it to bring her there and then. Raul discovers he is the man with whom she had a child in the missing time she wouldn't explain about on T'ien Shan and that she will have to leave after a just under two years. Silenus dies and is buried, Raul tells Fedmahn that he knows that after Fedmahn is buried in the Time Tomb he will be the seed about which the Shrike is created, Bettik is discovered to be the representative of the unknown culture, the "lions and tigers and bears", who has been observing humans and the TechnoCore for centuries and de Soya marries the couple. Aenea tells Raul that she hasn't looked into the future for the coming two years, tells the others to not travel to Earth for two years, that for this time it is just for she and Raul and their yet to be conceived child.
The Rise of Endymion, like the preceding novel Endymion, is set more than 275 years after the fall of the Hegemony of Man, an interstellar participatory democracy that relied on interplanetary connections, called farcaster portals. These portals secretly contained the artificial intelligences of the TechnoCore, which, after failing in their attempt to attack the Hegemony, were forced into apparent seclusion. At the time of this novel, the Roman Catholic Church has formed the Pax, an administrative entity that formalizes the Church's control and implements a kind of theocracy.
The Church and the Pax have secretly been collaborating with representatives of the TechnoCore, who provide Pax-administered society with the cruciform, a parasite that causes a human to be resurrected three days after the body's death. However, the TechnoCore fears that a type of virus can weaken their unseen hold on 31st-century civilization, and is aware that the virus can be spread by Aenea, daughter of a human being and a TechnoCore intelligence residing in a human body.
The world Hyperion, central in the first three novels of the series, is by this point entirely assimilated into the Pax. However, other worlds resist Pax control, with independence movements using various tactics to achieve their goal of eventual independence. This type of resistance takes place on worlds such as Mars and Vitus-Gray-Balianus B, home to a rebellious, Druze-like society known as the Amoite Spectrum Helix.
- Aenea, often described as a messiah, is a young female who is the daughter of a human, Brawne Lamia, and an artificial intelligence combined with a human body (cybrid). As a child she travels two hundred years through time by entering the Time Tomb called the Sphinx, becoming a teacher (the one who teaches) and a semi-religious figure. She becomes a Martyr and catalyst for the destruction of the current form of Catholicism and the widespread rebellion again the parasite cruciform.
- Raul Endymion. Previously a nomadic shepherd on Hyperion, Endymion was wrongly sentenced to death by Pax authorities for killing a wealthy Catholic tourist who had attempted to murder him. He was not executed due to the intervention of Martin Silenus, who enlisted him into Aenea's service as a bodyguard and protector. By the time of the novel, Endymion has become Aenea's romantic interest, and eventually becomes her lover. His story completes the Silenus Cantos.
- Father Captain Federico de Soya. Born on the desert planet of MadredeDios, de Soya is a Pax Fleet officer and a Catholic priest who had tracked Aenea and attempted to capture her in the novel Endymion. After saving her life, de Soya was exiled to MadredeDios and stripped of his command, but is called back into service at the beginning of this novel. He mutinies again after witnessing atrocities committed by Pax Fleet units, and renounces the cruciform, becoming an Aenean.
- A. Bettik, an android. Born several hundred years before the Fall of the Farcasters in the 29th century, Bettik was a laborer on Hyperion and an employee of the Shrike Cult for centuries before the arrival of the last Hyperion pilgrims, and worked for Martin Silenus in the years between that pilgrimage and Aenea's arrival. Befriended by Raul, he has accompanied Aenea on their journey. At the conclusion he is revealed to be an observer from an otherwise undescribed advanced alien race which also utilizes the void which binds.
Church and Pax figures
- Cardinal Simon Augustino Lourdusamy, a prelate and the Vatican's Secretary of State, is the effective head of the Catholic Church and the dominant force behind Pope Urban XVI. Lourdusamy masterminds the search for Aenea and plans the crusade against the Ousters with Urban's approval.
- Father Lenar Hoyt. A central character in Hyperion, Hoyt was one of the last pilgrims to Hyperion and wears both his cruciform and that of Father Paul Dure. Hoyt has served as Pope multiple times after the Fall of the Farcasters, and reigns as Urban XVI at the time of the novel. He is controlled by Cardinal Lourdusamy.
- Cardinal John Domenico Mustafa. The Grand Inquisitor of the Holy Office, he is among the most powerful Cardinals and is not a close ally of Lourdusamy's faction. He personally investigates the Shrike's massacres on Mars toward the beginning of the novel, and is also the Church's direct representative throughout the search for Aenea on Tien' Shan. He confronts TechnoCore forces twice during the novel, and is fatally wounded by Nemes the first time and murdered by Albedo the next.
- Kenzo Isozaki, the respected CEO of the Pax Mercantilus, a Church-recognized super-corporation, and considered to be almost as powerful as Cardinal Lourdusamy. He schemes against the Church leadership throughout the novel and is subsequently relegated to the titular command of an anti-Ouster crusade. At the end of the novel, Isozaki takes control of Pacem, driving out TechnoCore forces, and establishes a provisional democracy on the planet.
- Admiral Marget Wu. The temporary commander of Pax Fleet, Wu plays a supporting role in the novel and is murdered by the Nemes clones on Tien' Shan.
- Rhadamanth Nemes, the core created super-robot who acts as a guard for the Vatican and who hunts Aenea. She has three siblings Scylla, Gyges, and Briareus.
- "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- The Rise of Endymion at Worlds Without End