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Prayers to Broken Stones

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  738 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A woman returns from the dead with disastrous results for the family who loves her.... An old-fashioned barbershop is the site of a medieval ritual of bloody terror.... During a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration, a messenger from the South brings tidings of great horror.... From a ghostly Civil War battlefield to a combat theme park in Vietnam, from the omnipotent bra ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,455)
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Martin Fossum
Oh, Danny boy... what a pleasure it is to meet you again. After all the Hyperion and Fall and Endymion and Ilium and so forth, how fun it is to go back and get a glimpse of where it all began.

For those unfamiliar with Simmons, "Prayers..." gives you an excellent introduction to the youthful art and skill of a developing master. For those who've read his major works, "Prayers..." allows you to peek at where it all began. It's here in "The Death of the Centaur" where we first meet Raul, the namesa
...more
Matt Garcia
Mar 24, 2014 Matt Garcia rated it really liked it
What an interesting and literary kaleidoscope of short stories! Prayers to Broken Stones contains a wide variety of Horror, Science Fiction and even Fantasy elements in it. Some of the stories are mesmerizing and tantalizing to the senses while others are adequate to well done. Being my first Dan Simmons experience, I am impressed with his ability to make the plot thicken like blood after it has run cold. Truly imaginative and inventive in its imagery and prose. Great introduction into the mind ...more
Daniel2
Jun 12, 2013 Daniel2 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Simmons has a more novel-as-short-story approach. There is a lot of movement and coloration where others prefer scene-based and quick motion narrative.

"The River Styx Flows Upstream" and "Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle" and also "Iverson's Pits" are my favorites. Simmons is probably the greatest storyteller of the last 50 years. I believe he will be remembered as the greatest writer of the century.

I would like to note here though that NONE of these short stories would be pub
...more
Katy
Aug 22, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Note: This review originally written and posted to Amazon 8/11/2006; please do not judge based upon my current format.

Prayers to Broken Stones review: Dan Simmons weaves a web of words into a dream-like trance in this collection of short stories

This book is a collection of short stories by Dan Simmons (Song of Kali, Hyperion) with a foreward by Harlan Ellison. Each story has a unique voice (although all the science fiction stories seem to take place in the same universe) and they are gem-like in
...more
Bev
Prayers to Broken Stones is a collection of the early short stories by Dan Simmons. I remember being knocked out by his novel Hyperion when I read it in the early 90s. My best friend sent me this collection of short stories shortly thereafter and I somehow managed never to get around to reading it. All I can do is shake my finger at my younger self and say, "You missed something. Should have read it sooner."

Wow. I don't remember making the connection to Harlan Ellison when I read Hyperion, but i
...more
Ignacio
Mar 13, 2016 Ignacio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un poco incomprensible que con la relativa popularidad de la obra larga de Simmons, y dada su habilidad en el terreno más corto, no se haya traducido ninguno de sus libros de relatos. Ésta pasa por ser, probablemente, su colección más representativa: además de contener algunas de sus obras más conocidas, muestra su versatilidad como autor de terror, horror y ciencia ficción y su consumado talento para tratar historias en un variado registro (intimista, humorístico...). Quizás no contiene ning ...more
Greg Frederick
This is a collection of short stories by my favorite author. I love his sci-fi, and even enjoyed his novel Carrion Comfort, though I would generally shy away from horror. The stories in this book are mostly horror, or if they're sci-fi, tend to have a bit of a thriller type morose edge to them. Though his writing is still superb, and the intros are interesting, I must say that I much prefer his novels. This is because Simmons is the undisputed king of the backstory. He writes up the most unimagi ...more
Scott Rhee
Feb 03, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing
"Prayers to Broken Stones" is a collection of thirteen early short works by Dan Simmons, who is the best writer working in any genre (in my humble opinion, at least). Several of the short stories in this collection were the seeds for his longer works. Characters in the short stories "Remembering Siri" and "Death of the Centaur" would play larger roles in his Hyperion series. "Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams" is clearly an early version of "The Hollow Man". The short story "Carrion Comfort" would ...more
Kristen
Apr 25, 2008 Kristen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
After reading several of Simmons horror novels I was extremely impressed with his writing style. I promptly ordered everything I could get my hands on that had his name attached to it. I'll admit that at first I had no idea this was going to be a short story collection, but I'm usually a fan of short stories so I was eager to dig in.

The actual collection of short stories only comprises about of the book as most of the short stories have an intro written by Simmons (some are quite lengthy). Als
...more
Priit
Mar 08, 2015 Priit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Väärt kogumik Simmonsi lühijutte; mõned on kahvatumad, aga enamik on head. Peamiselt õuduslood, aga on ka muid žanre, sh. kõigi lemmik Hyperioni-jutt "Remembering Siri", mis ilmuski esimesena eraldiseisva loona ja mille ümber hiljem ülejäänud raamat kirjutati.
Riju Ganguly
Apr 12, 2012 Riju Ganguly rated it really liked it
Today's readers know Dan Simmons as the writer of some of the most exquisitely crafted and chilling horror novels. But this book contains his shorter works, many of which are free from the touch-marks of commercial success. They are fiercely blue-glow in their sheer ability to stun the reader with characterisation, plot, formal and yet utterly brutal prose, and unrelenting narratives. After trying to read the stories at one sitting, I had almost started gasping for breath. Slowly, I managed to s ...more
Tatyana Naumova
Apr 13, 2016 Tatyana Naumova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Треть рассказов отличная, но остальное-то зачем?
Peter
May 13, 2009 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because Dan Simmons writes across genres, deciding which Simmons to recommend to a neophyte can be a challenge. Perhaps Prayers to Broken Stones might be a good choice. It's a collection of short stories, beginning with his first published work, and is a good example of how Simmons handles language and mood. Lovedeath, a later collection of novellas, might also be an excellent choice for a starting point.
Mike
Nov 16, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
From horror to scifi to crime, this guy writes great stuff. This was my first Simmons book, after which I have bought (but not read) most of his other books. Carrion Comfort was my favorite story.
Edward
Introduction, by Harlan Ellison
On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness, by Arthur Guiterman


Introduction to 'The River Styx Runs Upstream'
--The River Styx Runs Upstream
Introduction to 'Eyes I Dare Not Meet In Dreams'
--Eyes I Dare Not Meet In Dreams
Introduction to 'Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell'
--Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell
Introduction to 'Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle'
--Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle
Introduction to 'Remembering Siri'
--Rememberin
...more
Kione
Feb 24, 2010 Kione marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Oooh.
Another Dan Simmons story!

A woman returns from the dead with disastrous results for the family who loves her?
An old-fashioned barbershop is the site of a medieval ritual of bloody
terror?
During a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration, a messenger from the South brings tidings of great horror?
From a ghostly Civil War battlefield to a combat theme park in Vietnam, from the omnipotent brain of an autistic boy to a shocking story of psychic vampires, journey into a world of fear and mystery, a
...more
Дмитрий Нечаев
May 26, 2014 Дмитрий Нечаев rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Многое читал ранее, но многое про Симмонса становится понятно благодаря как ранним рассказам, так и редакторским отступлениям.
А вступление выпускающего редактора вообще, вероятно, самая мотивационная история, что я читал за долгое время.
James Loranger
Apr 18, 2014 James Loranger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all short story collections, this one, consisting of Simmons' early work for OMNI and others, is a mixed bag. That being said, it's worth the read for three pieces: "Remembering Siri", " The Death of the Centaur ", and the original novella version of " Carrion Comfort. " These three pieces are superbly conceived and written, and show Simmons at his best.
Жанна Пояркова
Сборник рассказов Дэна Симмонса с его комментариями. Как водится, комментарий часто интереснее, чем рассказы, хотя Симмонс нигде не роняет уровень. Проблема в том, что в отличие от романов, "Гипериона" или "Террора", рассказы не запоминаются. Запоминается вступление Харлана Эллисона про то, как он открыл Симмонса на затрапезном семинаре.
Morphaileffect
Dec 15, 2007 Morphaileffect rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Dan Simmons collection. I was impressed by his work in Hyperion, and this did not disappoint. Quite old school, like a trip back to Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, which is always a good thing in my book. My favorite story was "Death of a Centaur," which isn't fantasy I don't think - not strictly - but still pretty powerful.
Richard
Jun 01, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories, including a television screenplay based on one of those short stories. All of the stories are well-written, and show the talent of this writer. Editing is very good. All of the stories were apparently written in 1980's, so some of the material is a bit dated, but still entertaining.
Bill Ross
Nov 30, 2012 Bill Ross rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories is engaging. From the slightly absurd "E-ticket to 'Namland" to the touching "The Death of the Centaur," this collection drew me in and made me want savor most every syllable. A great read if you like short stories that run towards the fantastic.
Tanvir Muntasim
A diverse collection of stories, though I think I like his novels better, especially the seeds of which are glimpsed in this book (Hyperion, Carrion Comfort, Hollow Man) etc. Good introduction to Simmons though, showing how comfortable he is across genres.
Cher
I think Dan Simmons is a genius, and I love his deeply creative and brilliant novels (such as Hyperion or The Terror), but most of the stories in this collection feel like cheap Ray Bradbury rip-offs. Eeek. Sorry, but I had to say it!
Alejandro Jovandro
A wide variety of Simmons' (mostly) horror stories, some are really good and entertaining while some are ... Well, just stories that do not leave any special impression on readers.

A fun read, nevertheless.
Fred Pelzer
Uneven, as such collections can be. Stand-outs for me were River Styx, The Death of the Centaur, and Carrion Comfort, which seemed most like moments where Simmons was pushing himself.
Rachel
Sep 05, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Simmons has no problem being so honest that it hurts. I finished The Death of a Centaur this morning and I think my heart is going to be broken all day. Thanks Dan!
Mary
Jan 01, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done
Collection of short stories. Good introduction to Simmons. Some of the stories are better as stories though he has converted several to novels.
David Stewart
Jun 16, 2013 David Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very strong collection of short stories, with several that are simply stellar stories. The ending of Death of a Centaur gave me goosebumps.
Latoya Faraday
Sep 15, 2013 Latoya Faraday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely stunning series of short stories!
Reminded me very much of Ray Bradbury's atmosphere.
Extraordinary and brilliant!
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Goodreads Librari...: Need a Cover, Please 2 21 Jun 11, 2013 10:22PM  
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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
...more
More about Dan Simmons...

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“The past is dead and buried. But I know now that buried things have a way of rising to the surface when one least expects them to.” 10 likes
“I desperately want to talk to her now. I want to ask her who it was who so deftly crafted and shaped the legend that was our love.” 4 likes
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