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Dan Simmons: Ilium and Olympos

digs

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I know both of these books have been out for a little while, but I did a quick search of The Chron and couldn't find any threads on them. I was actually a bit surprised that there weren't more Dan Simmons threads, cos I know he's a fairly popular and well-regarded author. BUT ANYWAY.

Ilium caught my eye a few years ago when I was working in a bookshop. I did a few rebellious behind-the-counter reads and a bit o' online research at my boss' expense. From reading the first couple of pages on Amazon the writing looks excellent, really character-driven, exciting and a bit humorous. Okay, now I'm giving a review halfway through the process of asking for a review.

Anyhoozle, it's one of those books that's been lingering at the back of my mind but I never remember to buy it. I'm almost exclusively a fantasy reader, but the blurb really caught my eye - something about the mix of classical mythology and scifi fascinates me. I've always wondered what would happen if Hercules had lazor beams.

Basically I'm wondering if anyone's read either of these two books and what they thought. What's the writing like? Does the Iliad stuff work well with the scifi stuff? Is there an overload of sciencey mumbo jumbo? Can these books penetrate my gruff exterior and warm my icy soul?

The Book Depository and I await your responses.
 

Urien

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I read them some time ago, so have become fuzzy on the details. I do remember they are both well worth reading. They are complex, and literary, with a few amusing characters thrown in. Suspension of disbelief is required on a larger scale (for me) than the Hyperion saga.
 

GOLLUM

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Basically I'm wondering if anyone's read either of these two books and what they thought. What's the writing like? Does the Iliad stuff work well with the scifi stuff? Is there an overload of sciencey mumbo jumbo? Can these books penetrate my gruff exterior and warm my icy soul?

The Book Depository and I await your responses.
He He...I appear to be following you around this evening (my time).....:rolleyes:

I've not read Dan's Ilium or Olympos yet.

I have The Terror, Song Of Kali (well regarded) and one of the modern classics in SFF in Hyperion. Going on what I've read of Dan's work and his reputation in the Genre, it would be fair to say he's a fairly highly regarded author.

I would be surprised, as per Urien's comments, if these 2 books were not worth a read. Still, probably for his masterpiece to date, you should check out Hyperion.
 

The Procrastinator

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I haven't read Hyperion but I have read Ilium and Olympos. I wouldn't know if they're masterpieces but they are well worth reading. Creative, complex, well written, very satisfying. Great characters too. I just love Mahnmut! Yes, suspension of disbelief is required, but the writing/story quality made that no great chore for me. Very enjoyable reads I thought! Good value on the re-read, too.
 

digs

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Okay, so maybe I should start with Hyperion. Looking forward to getting into some Shrike action. Is it really full-on scifi though? If twenty pages go by without a dragon or a wizard I get worried.
 

zaltys13

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Yep, full on Sci-Fi, with a bit of Chaucer, John Keats and a hint of The Wizard of Oz.

It does contain fantasy elements however, the scholars tale and the consuls tale spring to mind.

I loved it (and the sequel) so I'm preparing to be bitterly disapointed by the upcoming film adaption.

Paul.
 

Ursa major

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Yep, full on Sci-Fi...
...but the author's use of, and descriptions of, the science was, in a few places, so sloppy as to undermine the suspension of disbelief. (Or maybe that was just me.)


I found Ilium and Olympos more believeable than the two Hyperion books I've read (the first two), but at least one of the POV characters was exceedingly dull.


Basically, Simmons has not really proved to be my cup of tea so far. (But I would give him points for effort and ambition.)
 

digs

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Well now I don't know what to think! Ilium or Hyperion...it all may come down to the toss of a coin. I'm very tempted by the Greek mythology aspect of Ilium, but Paul adding Chaucer and Keats to the mix has also tickled my fancy.

Maybe I should replace every second sentence in Hyperion with every second sentence from Ilium and create a new masterpiece with the good points of both and (somehow) the bad points of neither.
 

Michael01

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I've read Hyperion and Ilium, and enjoyed them both very much. I agree that Hyperion has some fantasy elements, although I don't understand why a story must have a wizard or a dragon to be fantasy anyway. While definitely science fiction, Dan Simmons stretches some of the the science beyond what we might expect, making it look almost magical, in my opinion.

I still need to pick up Olympos when I get the chance....
 

digs

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I agree that Hyperion has some fantasy elements, although I don't understand why a story must have a wizard or a dragon to be fantasy anyway.
Heh, I don't really believe that. I'm open to virtually any permutation of fantasy as long as it's well written and imagined. I guess what I was trying to say was that I've struggled to get into some scifi in the past because I find it very technical and lacking in that magical element that I really love. Your description of Simmons makes him sound really appealing though.
 

GOLLUM

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All I can say Digs is that you should take a chance and try Hyperion. It's a modern classic as far as I'm concerned and whilst not containing your mainstream fantasy elements is still an excellent novel.

On the point of fantasy tales containing wizards or dragon I can assure you there are many, many great fantasy stories incl. literature of the fantastic, as we've discussed briefly in the past, that does not contain those particular elements.....:)
 

GOLLUM

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Well, that solves that!
Well they don't call me the "enforcer" for nothing....:p

HMM..actually I think that title has already been taken by a certain gentleman with many tentacled arms, although I'm sure he won't mind me borrowing it for a little while......;)
 

GOLLUM

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Steps very far away from that one.....:rolleyes:

Now you actually need to read Hyperion Digs and then post your thoughts here. I look forward to reading what you think of the novel....:)

I plan on reading my remaining Simmons books this year, so I'll try to post reviews on some of those other novels in this thread.
 

digs

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Now you actually need to read Hyperion Digs and then post your thoughts here. I look forward to reading what you think of the novel....:)
Will do! Won't be til next month as I've already done my June Book Haul, unless I receive an unexpected cash injection (or an anonymous benefactor buys it for me :cool:).
 

GOLLUM

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Will do! Won't be til next month as I've already done my June Book Haul, unless I receive an unexpected cash injection (or an anonymous benefactor buys it for me :cool:).
HMMM...looks over shoulder before approaching ATM cash machine.....:rolleyes:;)
 

digs

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I'll take it in $20s please!

And Dan Simmons in various book incarnations is now on my wishlist, just so's I don't forget.
 
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