Saturday, May 28, 2011

Link roundup

1. Create a Star Wars name contest.

2. Mickey Kaus:

It would be ironic if Amherst-style reforms finally gave lower income Americans greater access to college just when elites were concluding that college isn’t worth it. But when you think about it, a non-college world in which high school graduates acquired the skills they wanted on the web or in ad hoc classes and proved their worth by performing well in actual jobsmight be a preferable form of meritocracy. a) There would be no “signaling” of status for life, the way an Ivy League degree now signals status for life.
3. Bradley Cooper wants to make a Hyperion movie so bad that he submitted a spec script. (I love the book, but it's probably unfilmable.) Via.


  1. Hyperion quite literally changed my life. It was the book that got me into sci-fi, the fact that I had to struggle through it at the tender age of 10 made it only so much more rewarding. It became a bit of a thing among my group of friends in college, and made me proud to have recommended it to so many people.

    It's only too bad that the covers are almost universally bad. Seeing the horrifying Shrike as a sort of woolly metal bear-man is totally contrary to the menacing insectoid image in my head. Oh yeah, and the sequels sucked big-time, if you ask me. Then again, given Simmons' track record post Olympos (AHEM DROOD AHEM) perhaps it was just a signal of things to come.

  2. Yes, the covers were terrible, but I loved Fall of Hyperion and Endymion. I liked Drood a lot too.

  3. Whaaaaat? Drood was unbearable! I really have a problem with Simmons' recent tendency to have to explain everything to his readers in a patronizing manner, such as he does in Endymion. Though I'll admit that Endymion proper isn't half as bad as The Rise of Endymion

    Also though, to clarify, I include The Fall of Hyperion when talking about Hyperion. They're one and the same, really; volumes of the same work.

  4. I thought Drood was great. I love unreliable narrators and the whole Egyptian death cult/opium den milieu.

    And I thought Endymion was great. Why would you like Hyperion, but not Endymion?

    (I didn't care for The Terror. Too slooooow.)

  5. Well, we certainly agree about The Terror.

    (Spoilers from here on, just to be safe)

    It wasn't so much Endymion that I hated, but The Rise of Endymion. Neither was as good as the original Cantos, especially in evoking a real emotional response to the plights of the characters, but Rise just went too far in explaining things. I thought it was fantastic that there were so many unanswered questions at the end of The Fall of Hyperion. Who stopped the Fatline from modulating? What was the Shrike, really? How did Earth end up in another part of the galaxy? Who dug the tunnels beneath Hyperion? What the hell was Het Masteen talking about with the Tree of Pain and all that? How will humanity survive without FTL comms?! The fact that no one might learn the answers for thousands of years, if ever, made the universe that much more real.

    Also, I had a major, MAJOR beef with Simmons' papering over of the gigantic plot hole in Lenar Hoyt's resurrection. Add to that the fact that neither Endymion book was even close to as blanket-clutchingly scary, and it made for a disappointing experience. I had nightmares about the Shrike after the first book!

  6. Ooh, I just had a thought! What if they made it into a high-quality TV series in the vein of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead? THAT would be awesome.