I just finished Endymion from the Hyperion Cantos. And I've just begun Rise of Endymion. It's my first serious foray into science fiction. I enjoyed Endymion although from what I gather it's a bit tamer than the first two Hyperion novels. It definitely had a riverboat journey feel, but through sci-fi worlds thing going. The writing reminded me a lot of Alan Moore's Promethea. I intend to read the first two novels of the series, but the last two were all my library had in stock. Fortunately the context of the first two was not required to enjoy Endymion.