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I'm currently on the 3rd book from the Hyperion Cantos. I read Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion and they've become one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time, but I have a question. (Obvious spoilers about first two books below.)

The cruciforms are revealed to be created by the Technocore to keep the necessary amount of people alive and compliant. However, from the priest's stories, the temple of the cruciform and the labyrinths where they're found are thousands of years older than christianity itself. The technocore didn't become technocore until shortly before Old Earth was destroyed so...how could they have been the creators of the cruciform if there were references to it long before the technocore was around. I know the Time Tombs travel back in time, however the books never describe the labyrinths or the temple having such entropic fields.

  • Maybe is it just that Dan Simmons is not that good at interleaved time travelling plots ... (but it's a personnal opinion). – Riduidel Jun 14 '11 at 8:17
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    @Riduidel Theoretically possible, but not the case here. This is actually explained in the subsequent books. Which, @ Kypt, makes the answer a massive spoiler for those books. I suggest reading on before reading any answer here. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 19 '11 at 10:50
  • @Kypt - The only fair answer to this question is: KEEP READING. Great big +1 for "Hyperion Cantos" as among the best series of all time. – Dan Ray Sep 2 '11 at 18:59
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It wasn't the TechnoCore that created the cruciform parasites, but rather:

The Ultimate Intelligence the TechnoCore eventually created (in the future).

The cruciform parasites were then sent back to the past, so that they could be tested and perfected.

From Endymion:

"But how?" I said. "how could the TechnoCore AIs know how to tame the cruciform symbiote?" I saw the answer even before she spoke.

...

"They created the cruciforms," said Aenea. "Not the current Core, but the UI they create in the future. It sent the things back in time on Hyperion just as it did the Time Tombs. Tested the parasites on the lost tribe... the Bikura... saw the problems..."

After they were tested on the Bikura, the TechnoCore UI devised a process to avoid the loss of gender characteristics and memory/brain function that results from repeated unassisted resurrections.

The creation of the cruciform temple used by the Bikura, where Duré was given the cruciform, was

a trap devised by the UI, so that first Duré, and then Hoyt, would be infected, and bring the cruciform parasites back to the Church, so that the TechnoCore could entice the Church into forming the Pax, and thereby becoming an instrument of the TechnoCore

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In "The fall of Hyperion":

Gladstone talks about why the core has no more use of the web and only needs some millions of people in the 9 worlds of the labyrinths for the computing needs they have, and in answer to "they will die out" she explains: "the core has devised a parasitic parasite called the crusisform, witch will keep the neurons alive". Then, the core will have no more need of the humans, when they have evolved and doesnt need the computing power.

Its my recogning that the device is created in the future, and taken back to the temple of the cruciform for safekeeping. The crusiform doesnt spread until its needed, and when we see the labyrinth with all the crusisforms and dead people, we are clearly in the future, seeing what can happen (this is before Gladstone tells us the origin of the crusisforms).

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    I believe it's not the Technocore, but the Technocore's UI, which creates the Cruciform parasites. – SaintWacko Sep 6 '12 at 20:35
  • @SaintWacko You are correct. See the quotation in my answer. – Beofett May 24 '13 at 12:10
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The cruciforms are a preexisting / naturally evolved lifeform.

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    Are you sure? Granted, it’s been a few years since I’ve read the books but I remember a completely different explanation. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 19 '11 at 10:54
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    I don't recall this either, although it's been a while since I read the books. Is this revealed in the final book? – neilfein Aug 29 '11 at 7:02

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