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Dan Simmons

BradtheImpaler

Active Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
30
I don't see a sub-topic for Dan Simmons so I thought I'd ask people's opinion of him. Actually I just purchased Hyperion and Ilium on a hunch so I guess I'm going to find out anyway - just want to know what I'm in for.
 

Karsa Orlong

Unchained
Joined
Aug 7, 2006
Messages
201
This is one of the authors I'm most looking forward to reading, Ilium is sitting on my shelf looking very appealing indeed.
 

Crea

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
8
I can wholeheartedly recommend Simmons, and particularly the Hyperion Cantos and Illium series. Both are unreservedly brilliant, unusual sci-fi. Prepare to become more familiar with Shakespear, Proust and Keats (Simmons is famous for his intertext)!

Both series (set in separate universes, unrelated) are epic, exceptionally well written, and actually chock filled with action for something with cerebral leanings.

I picked these up on a similiar hunch after becoming utterly frustrated at most of the recent fantasy I'd read (latest Jordan, Terry Goodkind etc) for being unbearably lethargic when it comes to plot advancement. Simmons is the diametric opposite - the plot moves forward with lightning speed.

Anyway, can't recommend it enough. I'm not massively well read in the sci-fi genre, but I'd rank Simmons up there.
 

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,886
His horror is also often quite good; Song of Kali has been chosen as one of the 100 Greatest Horror Novels, and Carrion Comfort is a very powerful and disturbing take on the psychic vampire. I'm currently reading his collection Lovedeath, and so far it, too, is proving to be well worth looking into.
 

ravenus

Heretic
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
Messages
1,729
Location
India
My little experience with Simmons has been mixed. Song of Kali was a kickass and for mot part genuinely creepy horror, The Hollow Man was so boring I had to put it down halfways, A Winter Haunting would have suffered the same fate but for some reason I persevered and it got significantly better from then on although never in a mind-blowing way.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
20
Hyperion - one of my most compulsive reads ever. The rest of the Cantos: very good.

Carrion Comfort: never read a better epic horror book (better than King's stuff).

Song of Kali, Phases of Gravity - decent, but unmemorable.

Ilium - tedious, could not finish it.

My 2c.
 

BradtheImpaler

Active Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
30
world in progress said:
Hyperion - one of my most compulsive reads ever. The rest of the Cantos: very good.

Carrion Comfort: never read a better epic horror book (better than King's stuff).

Song of Kali, Phases of Gravity - decent, but unmemorable.

Ilium - tedious, could not finish it.

My 2c.
That's the 2nd "thumbs down" I've seen on Iliam on this forum recently (unless that was you that said it was "unreadable" on another thread?) I guess I will find out cause I already bought it.
 

Crea

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
8
The Illium series does start fairly slowly and begins with one of the more unsympathetic characters. It ramps up fairly quickly thereafter.

I'd say Hyperion is the stronger series, but there's not much in it, IMO. Both deal with interesting, transhumanist visions of the future. Illium relies more heavily on intertext than Hyperion does - there's large blocks of shakespearean quotes and discussions on Proust and all the rest of it, but it's not as out of place as it sounds.

Perhaps part of the problem is that, of the 3 main story arcs that make up the Illium plotline, one of the three is slower to get off the ground - I'm thinking the old-style humans? It's also one of those books that switches perspective just as you're really getting into one character, but Hyperion does the same.
 

tantric

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
12
Summer of Night is excellent. It's King-esque in the idyllic setting and child progtagonists, but much better with history and details.

I didn't like the Olympos - it ended weakly and it was frankly somewhat anti-islamic. It didn't seem to *mean* anything. I may try again.

Hyperion and the Fall of H are my fav novels, period. Nothing touches Hyperion. Then again, I love postmodernism.
 

Prefx

Lord of the City-Within
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
285
tantric said:
Summer of Night is excellent. It's King-esque in the idyllic setting and child progtagonists, but much better with history and details.

I didn't like the Olympos - it ended weakly and it was frankly somewhat anti-islamic. It didn't seem to *mean* anything. I may try again.

Hyperion and the Fall of H are my fav novels, period. Nothing touches Hyperion. Then again, I love postmodernism.
I concur. Hyperion is just amazing. Fall of Hyperion was still good, but it didn't have the same charm, in my opinion. Thinking about Sol and Rachel still makes me a little sad.
 

Cloud

Rahvin's Grammy
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
405
"Hyperion" is jaw droppingly good A++ science fiction. Not as impressed with the sequels. I haven't read any of the horror books, but they do sound good.
 

Nesacat

The Cat
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
3,338
Location
Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
Carrion Comfort is probably one of the best vampire horrors I have ever read. A different kind of vampire than the traditional kind and one that is much easier to identify with given this day and age.

I also really like his collection of short stories entitled Lovedeath. I read them for the first time many years ago but the stories have stayed with me and never faded.
 

Caller

New Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
2
Nesacat said:
Carrion Comfort is probably one of the best vampire horrors I have ever read. A different kind of vampire than the traditional kind and one that is much easier to identify with given this day and age.

I also really like his collection of short stories entitled Lovedeath. I read them for the first time many years ago but the stories have stayed with me and never faded.
I read that years ago and could never rememeber what the name of it was.... so thank you! :D
 

Sathai

Here, but not all there.
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
240
I recently read Ilium. It took awhile to get in to, but it was well worth the read. I'm currently reading Olympos, not really sure yet what I think of it. So far it doesn't seem up to par with Ilium, but maybe that will change.
 

Urien

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
1,144
I loved Hyperion, it's one of those books I will always remember. He's got a new one out now, called, I think "The Terror" anybody know anything about it?
 

Connavar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
8,411
I am reading Hyperion right now. Most of the time i love it. Sometimes its alittle too wacky. But i like the stories. So far my fav story is Kassad's story. Right now im on The poet's tale.



How good is his Noir books with Joe Kunetz? And that Darwin's Blade?
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
11
In Polish translation all parts of Hyperion are simply amazing. "Hyperion" and "The Fall of Hyperion" are simply outstanding. Third part entitled "Endymion" is worse, but I reckon it still better than the most of sci-fi I read. Fourth one "Te Rise of Endymion" seems to be better than the third one. My favourite sci-fi series ever togehter with "Heliconia" by Brian Aldiss.

"Ilium" and "Olympus" are good novels but many patterns, ideas etc. seems to be copied from "Hyperion" and it makes both series similar somehow. I still like "Ilium" and "Olympus" anyway. The biggest weakness of Simmons seems to be unability to finish his books in the same exceptional quality they are written from the beginning.
 

Quokka

wandering
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
1,403
Gotta love how things work out sometimes. I've still got gift vouchers for the local bookstore chain from Christmas that I havent been able to spend.

Read this thread this morning, stopped into the bookstore on the way back to the office a little later and what do you know, they've finally got new stock in and there was a copy of Endymion just waiting for me :)

As you might of guessed all I can offer to the thread is another thumbs up for Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion
 
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