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by Dan Simmons

Hyperion Theme of Life, Consciousness, and Existence

700 years from now, humanity has expanded to over 200 worlds. It's unclear how many people there are, but the planet Hyperion, which is half the size of Earth, holds 5 billion. Multiply that by 200 and you have... well, you have a whole lot of zeroes. Day-to-day life might be different in many ways for these trillions of people in Hyperion—sometimes easier, sometimes stranger—but they're still human. Whatever it means to be human. They still haven't figured it out, even in the 28th century.

Questions About Life, Consciousness, and Existence

  1. How has life changed in the 28th century? How has it remained the same? Have people's feelings about life changed?
  2. Can a robot with a conscience, albeit a programmed one, be alive? Is having a conscience related to having consciousness?
  3. From what little we know about the Ousters, how does their existence differ from ours?

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