As far as Science Fiction goes Hyperion is as good as it gets (well I guess one place below as good as it gets). Written in the style of The Canterbury Tales with constant references to Keats, Simmons has constructed a masterpiece.
The story is that of seven Pilgrims heading to the time tombs on the planet Hyperion. Each is making their journey for various reasons, reasons which we learn about from tales they each share. Each tale is written in a unique style that adds a ton of depth to each character. Your preference depends on personal taste…I will say I found the Priest’s tale to be exciting and mysterious, the consul’s tale to be touching, and the scholar’s tale to be emotionally excruciating (in the best way…so powerful).
I think the end of this novel is absolutely perfect, but it is impossible to be satisfied without reading the Fall of Hyperion… at the end, nothing has been resolved. But that is beside the point. This book is truly about the journey.