Hyperion is a frame story. After a brief set up, each of the main characters start telling their stories to each other. It's a great way to illustrate big parts of the hyperion universe. Each person's story is unique, a couple are pretty compelling. The problem is that Simmons voice comes through much too strongly. The setup is that these people are sitting around after dinner telling their story, but it reads like Dan Simmons is writing it, sometimes to the point of being in the third person.
So I like the ideas, and even some of the plots. But the writing wasn't quite there. This is a problem I have with a lot of sci-fi, actually. There are very few people of vision who can really write. I mean, really really write. That's probably why I kept thinking about Banks as I read Hyperion. It has the same scope of vision as a Culture novel; it just didn't have the polish.