I read Illium, and have got Olympos on my to-read list.
Loved Illium. Its a very clever re-write of the Illiad, and also enjoyable even if you've never the original either. The pretext for the book is a little confusing, though I imagine it will become clearer in Olympos, about which I have heard only good things. Ainu has recently read Olympos, I believe, so will no doubt have something useful to contribute
Purchased Illium and have it signed from when he was in town promoting it a couple of years back. Haven't read it yet though. He was an extremely friendly and down-to-earth guy.
Funny you mention - Dan Simmons is coming to my local bookstore this Sunday for a book signing. I'll be there to hear him talk, and possibly get my Hyperion books signed. I've just read this series and I was really impressed. Most likely I'll purchase Olympos while I'm at it, so I'll have yet another book in my reading queue....
I found Ilium very confusing to get my head around, especially at the start.
It wasn't well explained IMO what was going on. Was this a time traveller? What'shis motivations/reasons for going to this time period?
A chapter of character/plot introduction would have been helpful to get me in the mindset. I felt a bit thrown into the story, rather than drawn into it.
I much preferred other Trojan setting books I've read (Vengence of Orion by Ben Bova comes to mind). I haven't read the follow-up book, Olympos.
I get easily put off when authors don't 'start' a story - merely carry on as if you've missed a chapter.
Eriksson gave me similar problems in Gardens of the Moon, and it really puts you off continuing to read the book when you aren't give time to 'settle in' to a story.
I've also read Illium and am looking forward to reading the follow-up when it is translated into Russian. Until now it hasn't been yet. I would not mind reading it in English but it's a bad supply of English books to Ukraine and in the best case I will be able to find the original after I've already read it translated. I also find it risky to pay through Amazon because of tricky currency conversion rates and completely unknown delivery prospects. So, all I have to do is to wait Russian translation.
Yes, WS, the book is little bit confusing because of multiple plot lines and quite an obscure situation with all the futuristic environment in which the protagonists act, but in the end it is cleared up a little bit, so I am eager now to see what happens next...