The Hyperion Cantos is an epic poem written by Martin Silenus.


Silenus started to write the Cantos after regaining his ability to speak on Heaven's Gate . After becoming a famous author of the Web, he abandones the project to write hackworks to earn money. He eventually realizes that after years of hackwriting he has lost his muse, so he sells his house and joins Sad King Billy, the famous aristocrat and patron of the arts.

Silenus tries hard to continue his poem in the City of Poets on Hyperion, but he can only work while the mysterious Shrike is slaughtering people. He writes the last word when everyone abandons the City of Poets and the murders finished. Driven by the thought the Cantos summoned the Shrike, Billy destroyes the manuscripts, but during the process the Shrike kills him.

Silenus recopies his poem, and leaves Hyperion.

The Cantos is almost finished during the last Shrike Pilgrimage, but the Shrike comes for Silenus before he could finish the epic poem.


Because of the Cantos' status as a written work by a single author, there are several factual inconsistencies present within its narratives due to Martin Silenus' limited knowledge of galactic events. Some of these are listed here:

  • When describing the destruction of the farcaster network, Martin mentions that the River Tethys was broken up into segments of water, which then dried up. In reality, each segment of the Tethys was part of a river or body of water on its respective planet, and when the farcaster gates deactivated, the rivers kept flowing through the arches.