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Dan Simmons
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2012 Reads > Hyp: Other Dan Simmons work

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message 1: by Rik (last edited Apr 27, 2012 08:03PM) (new)

Rik | 770 comments This is more about the author than Hyperion but I thought it might fit best here. Overall I really like him and his work so I thought I'd suggest some other works for readers who end up liking Hyperion.

Carrion Comfort - this is a horror book about a group of people often referred to in the book as psychic vampires who can control other peoples minds and use their puppets to play often sadistic games with and against each other.

Summer of Night - in many ways a lot like Stephen King's It only without the very uncomfortable scene at the end. Its about a group of kids in the 60's who must face down a paranormal evil.

Ilium - the first of a two book series. Hard to describe but basically the Illiad on Mars. I had a hard time getting into it but once I did it was amazing.

FlashbackProbably the most controversial book he's written. Its set about 30 years in the future and society has crumbled due to a drug called flashback which allows anyone to perfectly relive any memory. Most of society has become addicted trying to relive happier times. It becomes controversial because he assigns a lot of political blame toward current and recent political people for the crumbling of society. If the politics don't bother you though its great near future sci-fi book.

Simmon's has also written a lot of other books in varying genres. He has historical fiction, alternate history fiction, crime noir, horror, and thriller under his belt as well. One of the reasons I think he's never gotten more popular is that he jumps genres so much.


message 2: by Dharmakirti (last edited Apr 27, 2012 10:43AM) (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments I just recently finished The Terror and really enjoyed it. The novel is Dan Simmons take on the 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. The Terror follows the crew of two ships (HMS Terror and Erebus) and their attempts to survice being trapped in the arctic ice with diwindling supplies. Bad things happen like murder, mutiny and even some cannibalism. Oh, there's a monster, too.

The next Dan Simmons novel I plan on tackling is Drood.


message 3: by Sean (last edited Apr 27, 2012 10:36AM) (new)

Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 2340 comments Just be forewarned, Simmons contracted a severe case of the stupids about six years ago. He's not quite as deranged as Card, but a memetic prophylactic is strongly recommended for his most recent work.


message 4: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments The link is no longer valid. What is it about?


message 5: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I guess you must be referring to his xenophobic posting on his site, which he pulled. Here's a Google back up:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com...


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 2340 comments Oops, forgot the first quote in the HTML tag. Link should work now.

Short Version: All Muslims are evil and we must kill them all before they do bad things to us.


message 7: by aldenoneil (last edited Apr 27, 2012 10:46AM) (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Sean wrote: "Short Version: All Muslims are evil and we must kill them all before they do bad things to us."

Ah, man, that's a spoiler of the worst kind.


message 8: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Thanks for translating that for me. I have no patience with reading gobbledygook like that. If his books sound like his blogs, they would never have been popular.


message 9: by aldenoneil (last edited Apr 27, 2012 10:57AM) (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Wonderful how he places the vitriol in his younger self's voice and then says, "No, you can't say that [now]."

That's from Aloha's link, btw.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

The ending for The Terror was kinda meh. But the rest was pretty good.


message 11: by Aloha (last edited Apr 27, 2012 11:09AM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments It's amusing how mirror groups hate and fear each other, conservative Christians vs. conservative Islam. Simmons shouldn't be afraid of Muslims overtaking the U.S., a country high in Christian population. Whoo-boy, I can see this thread turning into another debate. LOL.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Aloha wrote: "I guess you must be referring to his xenophobic posting on his site, which he pulled. Here's a Google back up:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com......"


Well. Shit.


message 13: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Ala wrote: "The ending for The Terror was kinda meh. But the rest was pretty good."

I quite enjoyed the ending. I kept asking myself throughout the novel who/what is this monster? and who is Lady Silence, why does she have no tongue? and thought that the ending explained it nicely. It worked, for me.

I'm curious, what was it about the ending that made you think it was "meh"?


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

(view spoiler)


message 15: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments Oh my, I'd forgotten that lovely little bit of bigotry from Simmons' blog.

I love Hyperion/Endymion etc, but I've never been able to get into his other work, for totally unrelated reasons. I read Ilium and just didn't enjoy it...I felt like I was waiting for the book to start for the entire umpty-hundred pages.


message 16: by Nevan (last edited Apr 27, 2012 02:14PM) (new)

Nevan | 143 comments I've read most things that Simmons has written.

Song of Kali: A horror set amongst the streets of a sweaty, thronged, anarchic, Calcutta. This has to be the snappiest of Simmons' offerings; it jostles the reader toward a brutal, unforgettable ending. Also, it sets up Simmons' tradition of (somewhat) plausible conceits.

Carrion Comfort: A cutting missive on humanity's penchant for violence, it's based on people with the ability to control minds. A tad over-long, but, still, an enjoyable read. It succeeds most in the telling of a WW2 PoW's tale.

Drood: The bustle and clamor of Calcutta's alleys and dusty thoroughfares is traded for a dank, insular London.

Charles Dickens hasn't been the same since the Staplehurst Incident. Just what happened between him and this mysterious Mr.Drood of whom he so failingly—and tiringly—refers? And where is his blasted novel? Fear not, Dear Reader, for William Wilkie Collins is on the case! But first! a jot of laudunum, to better accommodate my perambulations.

Ilium/Olympus: An interesting read, if only for the description of Father-of-the-Gods', Conqueror of the Titans', Zeus's, dong. No, but seriously, if you like your books to meld middle-aged sentiment,with the Singularity, Homer's Oddyssey, (Oddyssey, as it happens, is not in fact the name for the totality of Homer's works on the Trojan War -- thanks, Tamahome!) and Shakespeare's The Tempest, congratulations: Now you've finally got a book to appreciate!

The Terror: Manly men, would-be Great Men, and erstwhile Great Men get on board a boat bound for the Arctic to find adventure, to find humanity, to find themselves. They find out that, in the Grand Ol' Scheme of Things, H.P. Lovecraft was only a moderately paranoid individual. Let down only by a mediocre ending in which Simmons breaks his golden rule, it's still a fine, snow-laden window into a bleak situation.

Hyperion: Because someone, somewhere, bet his college roommate, Brad, that one day a beautiful, sprawling, Hugo Award-winning novel would be based on the Terminator movies. Boy, was Brad's face red!


message 17: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Ilium/Olympus = Iliad/Odyssey


message 18: by Nevan (new)

Nevan | 143 comments Tamahome wrote: "Ilium/Olympus = Iliad/Odyssey"

My bad. I'll edit the post to point out the mistake.


message 19: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments I wasn't trying to be snarky, just adding for information. :)


message 20: by Nevan (new)

Nevan | 143 comments Tamahome wrote: "I wasn't trying to be snarky, just adding for information. :)"

Hey, how will I get better if people don't correct me!


message 21: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Ala wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

Ala wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

I can understand that.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken | 141 comments Just downloaded The Fall of Hyperion so I can contribute to the Dan Simmons vacation fund. The first book sets it up great. Now what?


message 23: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Ken wrote: "Just downloaded The Fall of Hyperion so I can contribute to the Dan Simmons vacation fund. The first book sets it up great. Now what?"

I only liked the megasphere and tree of pain chapters.


message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 34 comments I really, really enjoyed Ilium and Olympos. He also wrote a short story called 'Vanni Fucci is Alive and Well and Living In Hell' which I found hilarious (even funnier if you get the Audible version in an sf anthology). I also read Drood last year, and thought it was excellent.

When I read Carrion Comfort, I thought it was a unique take on vampirism, but it didn't blow me away the same way the previous titles had. And a friend lent me Darwin's Blade once and I absolutely hated it. Partway through the book, I actually flipped back to the flyleaves where they usually print the a list of the author's other works, because I could not believe that the same man who had written Illium and Olympos had produced such an awful book.


message 25: by Rik (new)

Rik | 770 comments I've read Hyperion many times but not in the last few years so I never realized until this re-read that his latest book, Flashback, may be tied to the Hyperion Universe. Its a fairly minor connection but in the Poets tale there are references to people using a drug called Flashback which works exactly how it does in the actual book Flashback. At a minimum Simmons obviously had an idea for the book Flashback percolating in his head for the last 22 years since he wrote Hyperion.


message 26: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Flashback was a novella too.


message 27: by Chris (new)

Chris Palmer | 61 comments I've never had a problem separating an author's life and personal opinions from his fiction, unless the former intrudes enough onto the latter that it becomes more sermon than story. I enjoyed Flashback even though it disturbed me a bit. To be honest, it disturbed me because the questions it raised, whether you agree with is POV or not, are hard questions and no matter how despicable some of the characters in the book's answers, it is important to note that they are the opinions of thousands, if not millions, of people.

That said, Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors in several different genres - horror, SF, historical fiction. The only ones I really recommend steering clear of was Darwin's Blade, which I'm pretty sure he wrote as a big FU to his publisher because he was PO'ed about being contractually committed for another book.

I'm pretty sure I've read every book, and most every short story, that he has published.


message 28: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments Since it is said that Hyperion and Fall of are his "best" books I shall run screaming if I ever see another volume with his name on it.


message 29: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 192 comments Dharmakirti wrote: "I just recently finished The Terror and really enjoyed it. The novel is Dan Simmons take on the 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. The Terror follows the crew of two ship..."

i got The Terror from the library last night and had the mis-fortune of carrying it home. It weighs more than my laptop and is ginormous!

Plan to read later this week.


message 30: by James (new)

James Kramer | 8 comments Pickle wrote: "Dharmakirti wrote: "I just recently finished The Terror and really enjoyed it. The novel is Dan Simmons take on the 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. The Terror follows ..."

Dharmakirti wrote: "I just recently finished The Terror and really enjoyed it. The novel is Dan Simmons take on the 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. The Terror follows the crew of two ship..."

I knew I had heard his name before. I never put it together that he wrote The Terror as well. I must have stumbled on that book years ago, but I still remember how very dark and cold it was there. Just knowing Simmons wrote that as well changes my whole outlook on Hyperion. I have only got through the first section, but the Bikura sequence filled me with the sme feeling of dread that The Terror did.


message 31: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1864 comments James wrote: "Pickle wrote: "Dharmakirti wrote: "I just recently finished The Terror and really enjoyed it. The novel is Dan Simmons take on the 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. The ..."

Speaking of the Franklin expedition . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtY-ge...


message 32: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (Gorro) | 1582 comments I think I'll have to look at "The Terror." If he can write horror at least as good as the priests tale it might be worth a shot.


message 33: by Rik (new)

Rik | 770 comments David Sven wrote: "I think I'll have to look at "The Terror." If he can write horror at least as good as the priests tale it might be worth a shot."

If your interested in his horror stuff I'd start with Song of Kali, Summer of Night, or Carrion Comfort.

There is not anything wrong with the Terror, its just not really a true horror book. Its more like speculative historical fiction that has a supernatural element in it. The three I mention are more traditional horror and all good in their own way.

Summer of Night is set in the 1960's. A group of kids realize supernatural things are going on and that its somehow set around their school. As I said earlier it really is similar in many ways to Stephen King's It.

I described Carrion Comfort earlier but to give a few more details. There is a group of people who can control other peoples minds. They literally use their puppets to play Hunger Games type of scenarios. They also use their puppets to play real world games against one another. In the midst of all this a few normal people discover that these psychic vampires exist and try to stop them.

Its been way too long since I've read Song of Kali to really remember it but its probably the most "horror" of his books.


message 34: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (Gorro) | 1582 comments Thanks Rik! I'll have to include them in my "in-between" S & L readings. That list is growing though.


message 35: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments David Sven wrote: "I think I'll have to look at "The Terror." If he can write horror at least as good as the priests tale it might be worth a shot."

I will echo Rik in saying that Terror isn't really a horror novel. I would still highly recommend it, though. While it reads more like speculative historical fiction, there is a sense of dread and fear that permeates the book. Then there is the cold. I've never read something that depicts the cold as well as Terror does.


message 36: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ashby | 110 comments The Terror was a truly creepy horror novel that I would heartily recommend to anyone so inclined.


message 37: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Kevin wrote: "The Terror was a truly creepy horror novel that I would heartily recommend to anyone so inclined."

I wanted to like that book but the ending ruined it for me.


message 38: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Flashback is pretty good if you ignore the politics.


message 39: by Rik (new)

Rik | 770 comments Tamahome wrote: "Flashback is pretty good if you ignore the politics."

It is a very interesting concept but the politics were rather over the top. And I say that as someone who is voting 3rd party this November for Gary Johnson because of my disappointment with Obama and general apathy about Romney.


message 40: by Gregory (new)

Gregory (mephisto) | 4 comments I have to say I find his endings disappointing. I did in the Hyperion Cantos, and throughout the majority of the rest of his work. He builds in such tension (and masterfully I would say) in Drood, Ilium/Olympos, The Terror, Hyperion, and others, and then lances the boil with no art at all. I'm actually more afraid to re-read his older books and find out they were as flawed as his more recent work, than of the horror I know they contain. And that's only reinforced by having read Kali for the first time (recently, and at 45 for me that means in the last couple years), been enamored by the majority, and then left cold at the end. Long and the short of it: I love him as a creator, but he may be worse than our non-existent one at finishing touches.


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