Ilium (Ilium #1)
The Trojan War rages at the foot of Olympos Mons on Mars—observed and influenced from on high by Zeus and his immortal family—and twenty-first-century professor Thomas Hockenberry is there to play a role in the insidious private wars of vengeful gods and goddesses. On Earth, a small band of the few remaining humans pursues a lost past and devastating truth—as four sentient...more
Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.
On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.
While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became...more
I like SF, and I like much of what gets lumped under the rather stuffy title 'classic literature'. Clearly, so does Dan Simmons. Set in a very distant future, long after both AI and posthumans have merged, this novel contains three main storylines, all of which ventually intersect.
First, there's a group of languid, pleasure-seeking old-style humans living on old earth, all their needs taken care of by mechanical servitors left for them, presumably, by the posthumans. Upon comple...more
Don't get me wrong. It's a great book and I loved reading it (indeed, this was the second time I read it and I think I enjoyed it more the second time). It's really three stories all happening in different places in the solar system at the same time, inevitably approaching one another. It's rare to find a book tries this and does...more
The science fiction is the good stuff that s...more
Ilium is a fun read if you're looking for entertaining science fiction. It is quality writing, yet at the same time doesn't burden itself with too much of an attempt at an overarching theme, message, and/or deep philsophical life lessons.
The story is quite interesting as (and this is hardly a spoiler) it's a new tale interleaved with characters, plot lines, and ideas from the Homer, Shakespeare, and other literary works. I imagine it's...more
I like dense reads, and I like immersing myself in complex worlds created by brilliant minds... but never, NEVER have I read a more astonishingly complex novel. 1/2 the way through this gigantic mind bender I was still completely without a clue about what was going on in the book. The fact that I and so many others rate this book so highly tells you a little something about our Mr. Simmons and the quality of his writing. Who get's away with this?? Nobody does... excpet...more
Ilium mixes the Trojan War (is it the real Trojan War, or a setup re-creation?), future humans (who are so pampered that they have forgotten or have been forced to forget their hist...more
To science fiction fans, Dan Simmons is best known for his award winning novel Hyperion, which uses the poetry of John Keats as its inspiration. In Ilium, his most recent novel and a return to the genre (in which he writes occasionally), the literary references are there again. Here, though, they are made more central (being far more frequently referred to directly), and are more varied. Homer is naturally the most obvious, but there are also d...more
One thing I've noticed, though. Dan likes to write about writers. The Hyperion Cantos had a poet. His small...more
“I liked it?”
AMBISHUN: DAN SIMMONS HAZ IT.
I’m not sure if it is possible to be too ambitious when creating a plot for a novel, but Dan Simmons seems to be on a mission to find out. There are concepts, there are high concepts, and there are Dan Simmons concepts.
When it’s time for Simmons to begin a new novel, I picture something like this:
Dan Simmons is smoking a pipe (made from the bones of an aurochs), deep in the bowels of Stately Simmons Manor. Inspiration...more
Ilium is a wonderful science fiction book by Dan Simmons that takes this very concept, combines it with philosophical robots from the far reaches of space and ignorant humans on Earth in the far future. All of the story-lines run parallel to each other and weave a fascinating world very different from our own.
This is science-fiction, but the "fantasy of science-fiction" as my boyfriend describes it. The concepts aren'...more
But if you can get past that (and it's really easy to do) you'll have a read that is pure genius.
It is the first of 2 books, the second titled Olympos.
Also, if you get through this, then y...more
I am not the hugest fan of the Iliad/Odyssey, having been forced to read most of it in English for various classes throughout high school and college, and translate parts of it from Latin in college. Nor am I the hugest fan of...more
След изумителната “Фондацията” на Азимов в ръцете ми попадна и едно друго фантастично произведение, което изтрива границите между класическа литература и научната фантастика. Това е двутомието “Илион” и “Олимп” на неповторимия Дан Симънс, познат основно с невероятната тетралогия “Хиперион”.
Двете книги са наситени с безкрайно въображение. В тях са събрани няколко паралелни сюжетни лини...more
The plot lines are so complicated and detailed (indeed, each b...more
This book looked like it had potential. For reasons unknown, the Greek gods are kicking it on Mars and the Trojan War is being fought with a lot of their participation.
Now the book starts throwing in all sorts of sci-fi wonders...nice, but not enough to save this.
First- it's far too detailed and has too many repeated references to the Iliad. Second, some seriously unbelievable things happen several times. And th...more
Aside from using my favorite ingredients, this novel was weak from a literary perspective. The narrative is disjoi...more
Dan Simmons creates a mind boggling tale of Sci Fi, Myth and Fantasy merged into one. The tale starts off as seen from three perspecti...more
I really enjoyed...more
How very unfortunate that Simmons' duologies fail with the second book as much as they succeed in the first book. I was really looking forward to reading Olympos, the second book of this duology, until I read the abysmal reviews.
But apparently, Simmons plays even more havoc with his created world-- that of a re-imagined Trojan War, set on Mars no less, and the Earth that can no longer house true humans except those who live exactly 100 years and have no culture to speak...more
The negative: Unfortunately, while I "got" the Shakespeare and mythology references, the Proust and Iliad sections lost me. Thank goodnes...more
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Are you shitting me?" The moravecs loved the ancient human colloquial phrases, the more scatological the better.
Yes," said Orphu. "I am most definitely shitting you, my friend.”
Sing, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus’ son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death. And while you’re at it, Muse, sing of the rage of the gods themselves, so petulant and so powerful here on their new Olympos, and of the rage of the post-humans, dead and gone though they might be, and of the rage of those few true humans left, self-absorbed and useless though they have become. While you are singing, O Muse, sing also of the rage of those thoughtful, sentient, serious but not-so-close-to-human beings out there dreaming under the ice of Europa, dying in the sulfur ash of Io, and being born in the cold folds of Ganymede.
Oh, and sing of me, O Muse, poor born-against-his-will Hockenberry, dead Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., Hockenbush to his friends, to friends long since turned to dust on a world long since left behind. Sing of my rage, yes, of my rage, O Muse, small and insignificant though that rage might be when measured against the anger of the immortal gods, or when compared to the wrath of the god-killer Achilles.
On second though, O Muse, sing nothing of me. I know you. I have been bound and servant to you, O Muse, you incomparable bitch. And I do not trust you, O Muse. Not one little bit.”