A Cat Reads Hyperion by Dan Simmons

[September 25, 2019, Felapton Towers]
Good evening everybody, it is I, Timothy the Talking Cat, speaking to you from the magnificent library within my palatial home in Bortsworth, in the green, pleasant and European Union free kingdom of England. God bless her and all who sail upon her.

Today I have mostly been reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. How much do I love Dan Simmons? I love him a LOT. I love him so very much. Sure, sure, it was only a few weeks ago that I picked up one of his books and flicked through a few pages and I was like “Jezz-louise, where are the ray guns and all the explosions and what’s with all these hoity-toity literary references. This guys is one of them there literati types with their big New York pent-up houses and a butler called Snifflington” and I got all mad and ran around the house three times and then hid in a cupboard and wouldn’t come out. But later, when old Kamchatka Flugelhorn was trying to coax me out for dinner he asked me why I was upset and I explained that Dan Simmons had an audacious lack of rocket ships in the book I was looking at and it had me so, so very mad.

“Judging by claw marks,” said Camerashop Fettlehouse, “you were looking at my copy of The Terror?”

“That’s the very one!” I shouted back (very loudly because I was hiding under a jumper inside the cupboard), “Not a single rocket ship! Not a single space battle!”

“It’s a supernatural horror set on a Victorian British sailing ship. I really don’t know why you would expect rocket ships. It has a giant supernatural polar bear monster in it, if that helps?”

I can tell you now that did not help. Nor did Cattlegrid Fentanyl’s lurid explanation of the plot. Now I was not merely outraged about the blatant incursion of literature into my beloved genre but I was also mortally terrified that I was being stalked by a malovelent spirit in the form of a polar bear. Do you know how many cats get eaten by polar bears each year? Me neither. Which only goes to show that SOMEBODY is hiding the truth. “Probably Greta Thunberg” I said. Of course, silly Camisole Fruitcake couldn’t follow a simple chain of reasoning and expressed some puzzlement about my “outburst”.

I am a patient cat. I suffer fools. I do not suffer them gladly but I do suffer them, for the universe keeps throwing them in my path. I explained in terms a three year old could understand that Ms Thunberg was from polar bear land and so was obviously in on the whole plan to set polar bear ninja ghost assassins after me.

“Dan Simmons is not part of a shadowy cabal run by Greta Thunberg that is plotting to have you eaten by polar bears!” he said. I snorted in disdain, having already laid out the logical proof of my conclusions. “No, seriously. Look, everybody got mad at Dan Simmons for being rude about Greta Thunberg.” Now this was a much better argument than Camelback Flutesection had used earlier (e.g. “Polar bear land is not the name of a country and even if it was it wouldn’t be Sweden.”)

“Really?” I asked, looking out from the cupboard — ready at a moments notice to retreat at the first sign of any spectral ursus maritimus.

“Yes, really. The guy has really reactionary views.” explained the human. Well, that changes thing. If there is one thing I will take a stand on it is my unswerving opposition to cancel culture! Yes, a lesser man would cower in fear at the thought of Twitter mobs but not a fearless and outspoken cat like myself. Pausing only to eat a large dinner of smoked salmon with kibble crusting and then pausing a bit longer for an extended nap by the electric heater, I leapt into action! I rushed to my Facebook page and informed my many followers that Dan Simmons was my favourite author now and also what books I should read by my favourite author (with a specific note that I’m under strict medical advice not to consume any media containing polar bears). Straw Puppy said I should read Hyperion because I would “like the main character – he’s very prickly”.

Well so far I’ve only read a few pages and look at this:

“Whether they seek to control just Hyperion for the Time Tombs or whether this is an all-out attack on the Worldweb remains to be seen. In the meantime, a full FORCE:space battle fleet complete with a forecaster construction battalions has spun up from the Camn System to join the evacuation task force”

From the Prologue, Hyperion by Dan Simmons

That’s what I’m talking about! Time tombs! Space battle fleet! All-out attacks by a sinister group of invaders! I’m a simple cat with simple pleasures and there are the things I want from my reading. Give me stuff like this! Future space action on weird planets! That’s what my now favourite author Dan Simmons is offering! Good for him. I’m glad I found a book that avoids the pretentious topics of the literati set with their obsession with stuff like Chaucer or early nineteenth century poets swooning to death in Rome or whatever. Simple clean narratives is what a red-blooded cat needs to relax and not over-complicated non-linear narratives, pretentious symbolism or inconclusive ends. I’m sure this book is going to be great!


Afterword by Camestros Felapton

Timothy began reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons a year ago on Thursday. I promised to post his review as soon as he had finished it. The book was last seen being used to wedge open a rusted filing cabinet in Timothy’s “war room”.

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