Thursday 2 December 2010


I went through a phase, before Twitter, of reading a lot of books.  Of those books maybe three or four were more than just bits of paper and words, they were books that reached out said things to me.

One of those was called Hyperion by Dan Simmons.  SciFi yes, beautifully and intricately spun though, with a heart and soul that is rare.  Several threads touched me and were more embedded than I had thought.  The sequel and what felt like concluding part, The Fall of Hyperion, was an equally staggering book.  The story felt finished and complete and I never thought to look for any others in the series.  And then Twitter struck and within months reading had gone out of the window for the best part of two years.

At work last week a friend said he'd just finished a series of books he thought I might like and mentioned the word Hyperion.  He then said that there were two more books.   When I went into work on Monday the pair, in one large omnibus edition, were sat on my desk.

On Tuesday evening, as I stepped back from Twitter (November ending with the bomb shell it was always going to), I picked it up and started.

I love how an authors style can just carry you to somewhere else.  For me though it was the memories of the first two books that came flooding back, bits I didn't know I'd stored, names of characters that had been lost that were all still there in my brain.  Two of the threads, one that only came back to me on Tuesday night, were particularly touching, with far more emotional weight than most other books I've read.

One told of a woman who was slowly ageing backwards, only remembering the days that were part of her past.  Harrowing as her parents watched her slowly become a child again, but incredibly moving.  The other of a soldier who meets and falls in love with some one inside a computerised training simulator of a battle.  Once every few years she turns up as he enters the program.  Is she real?  Bizarre yet amazingly well written within the context of the story.

And now I'm welcoming that and some of those characters, back into my life.  Real world distractions and irritations forgotten inside a book that I'm already falling in love with.  At once familiar yet different.

It's bloody lovely to be turning pages again just as I turn the page on a terrible month and a bad choice.  Fuck you November.  Hello December.

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