Started Dan Simmons' Hyperion the other day... almost gave up when I found out it was a collection of short-stories tied loosely together, but read the first one as I found it rather entertaining in an old-school-SciFi manner. The second story was less so, but I found that I could skip most of it -so I continued reading... But after having read the first page of the third story I gave up.
I actually pity you. You're missing out on one of the greatest science fiction book series' ever.
Just to give you an idea, the first novel, being a great collection of short stories, is basically the set up for The Fall of Hyperion
, and the sequel Endymion