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Simmons, Dan. Endymion. London, UK: Headline Publishing Group, 1996.[1] Book 3 of Hyperion series. See also Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, and The Rise of Endymion. Available as an audiobook from Audible.com, which Erlich listened to. Quotations are from the audiobook, checked where convenient against on-line resources.

From the point of view of the young female lead Aenea (child of Brawne Lamia and a John Keats cybrid, i.e., a "technological reincarnation"),[2] this is a Quest story, as Aenea (cf. Virgil's Aeneas) seeks her messianic destiny to become The One Who Teaches.[3] From the point of view of the title character and Narrator of the first-person chapters. Raul Endymion (and we learn near the end of Rise, of the two Endymion[4] novels): we have the folklore motif of the Obstacle Flight, as he flees with Aenea the powers of the Church after he himself escapes a death sentence (although in this he is passive).[5] And from the point of view of Father-Captain Federico de Soya, who pursues Aenea and Raul Endymion for most of the novel, we have a kind of police/military procedural "quest," as he tries to capture Aenea alive and bring her back to the new Vatican. Raul Endymion narrates from a "Schrodinger cat box prison in orbit around the quarantined world of Armaghast,"[6] in what is ingeniously threatening containment: as in Erwin Schrödinger's thought experiment[7] — except with a human being, a pun on "cat box," and built-in observers — with Endymion awaiting the emission of the particle that will activate the monitor that will trip the hammer that will break of vial that will release the cyanide gas that will kill him. Except that Endymion observes the experiment and we, in a sense, observe him observing; so he is emphatically alive for the course of the novel, but could be at any moment dead. Aside from that background point, there are a number of intriguing gadgets but little developed in Endymion relevant for the human/machine interface, until chs. 43 f. (audiobook Part 3, "chapter" 6 f.). From chapter 43 on come with increasing speed Hyperion-series motifs of great interest.

In ch. 43, a powerful cardinal of the Church tells Father-Captain de Soya and us that to the Church Aenea is a "virus" and "instrument of the machine god" and of "That Hideous Strength" of the Core (an allusion by Simmons if not the Cardinal to C. S. Lewis's novel, That Hideous Strength (1945). Following in Endymion are technologically and science-fictionally inflected variations on themes from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,[8] with different ideas of the "Omega Point" of galactic and perhaps universal evolution, with illustration on points of love, consciousness, calculation, warmth and coldness (physical and figurative), machine-like calculation vs. the empathy of entities (human and otherwise) who have humanity. Most explicitly, we see contrasted with Aenea and the android A. Bettik (the "A." is for "Android") the TechnoCore/Church superhuman/nonhuman humanoid construct Rhadamanth Nemes[9]. Where Aenea literally feels much of the pain of the deaths of a group of Chitchatuk, Inuit-like people who have helped them, it is Rhadamanth Nemes who has killed them, in what we see as an act of cold calculation — the word "equaltion" is applied — reinforcing a similar murder earlier in the plot. At stake is an Omega Point of galactic or even universal consciousness aimed at by the Ultimates among the machine intelligences — "a cold, dispassionate mind, a predictive power able to absorb all variables" — as opposed to the promise of the empathic Aenea.

Note also the ultra-high tech of not just Nemes but we now learn of the courier space-craft Raphael, prototype for a fleet of warships for a Church crusade: a craft that uses the power of "The Void Which Binds" (ch. 45). A bit later in the narrative, we see the Chitchatuk technology that uses various parts of young Ice Wraith creatures to make near-vacuum suits that allow the Chitchatuk to take Aenea, Raul, and Bettik to the next farcaster portal, with the group looking to Raul like Old Earth "Paleolithic astronauts" (ch. 48, 3.10).

For later in the series, note in this section of the book (3.12 in audio version), the dialog among Aenea, Raul, and Bettik, with Aenea explaining how her father's persona had explained to her, in utero, how the TechnoCore AI "had tamed the cruciform" symbiote/parasite, and perfected resurrection and had given that biotech to the Church, in exchange, in "a," or "the Faustian bargain," for the Church's "soul"; this was possible because the cruciform was of the TechnoCore: "they created the cruciforms," according to Aenea: "not the current Core but the UI," Ultimate Intelligence, "they create in the future," which sends the cruciforms back in time, like the Time Tombs. Aenea is a threat to the Core because of her contact with her "renegade cybrid persona" father, who had been "loose … not just in the DataSphere or the MegaSphere but in the MetaSphere, loose in the wider psycho-Cybernet that even the Core was terrified of," specifically, if cryptically, terrified of its "Lions and Tigers and Bears." Raul says that in the Cantos, the "the three elements of the TechnoCore are at war": the Volatiles wanted "to destroy humanity; the Stabiles wanted to save it" and saved Old Earth, moving the planet out of the galaxy. "The Ultimates … didn't give a damn" about Old Earth or humanity, as long as their Ultimate Intelligence project came to fruition." Aenea believes Old Earth moved to Magellanic Cloud) by some entity other than the Core (audiobook, Part 3, "chapter" 12).

(PLOT RESOLUTION ALERT) In the climax of the novel (in chs. 51 f.; 3.12), there's the Encounter at God's Grove where the Shrike and decisively Father-Captain de Soya act to save Aenea and her group[10] — earlier compared to the Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with Aenea claiming the Cowardly Lion and no one identified as Dorothy — from Nemes, who is superhuman and near unkillable, but who can be buried in lava produced by the Raphael's carefully-aimed fusion drive (chs. 55-56).

RDE, Initial Compiler, 8July2017 (lightly edited 13Ap23)