Static Fiction Enthusiasm Overflow!

Cannot contain awe and wonder… Need to share…

Anyone who likes to have their mind boggled by an intricate weave of narrative strands and/or complex yet completely internally consistent worldbuilding:


I actually read the sequel, Olympos, first.
Both are breathtaking.

Thank you for listening. You can go back to looking under the bed now.


Consider me intrigued :slight_smile:

I read Hyperion, which I liked quite a lot. How do they compare? (In case you’ve read both.)

I’ve been devouring everything by Dan Simmons since I read Hyperion.

I would say that Ilium and Olympos have (even) more complex storylines weaving through each other. Simmons also shows off even more of his enormously deep erudition.

In the worldbuilding department, I particularly liked how the near-immortality of Achilles is explained in scientific terms.

And if you’re interested in seeing a whole other side of Simmons’ broad talent, you should consider reading his historical fiction: The Terror (about the lost expedition for the northwest passage by Sir John Franklin), and Drood (about the last years of Charles Dickens’ life).

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I love Hyperion and The Terror. They’re amazing novels, not just amazing speculative fiction novels. The former is a crazy far future religious Canterbury Tales, and the latter is a painstakingly researched account of what happened to a real lost Arctic expedition except that there’s monsters. So well written, and the audiobooks are also great (the Hyperion audiobook has a full cast).

I’m not a Simmons fanboy though. He’s fallen off the deep end politically in later years (IMO, of course), and besides that, not all his books are that great. I’ve read a bunch and none blew me away in the same way, and some I thought were borderline bad. BUT I’ve been meaning to check out Ilium, so I guess this is as good a time as any.

But I’m not kidding about Hyperion and The Terror, I just need to emphasize that. Everyone should read them. They’re some of the most imaginative and evocative (respectively) books I’ve read. Please read them.

The Terror was also made into a TV miniseries (or, well, anthology series, but the second season has nothing to do with Dan Simmons and also it’s bad). It’s very good, and has some amazing actors.


I went googling and now I want to unsee that anti-Greta Thunberg rant!

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Tsk tsk tsk…

Always keep the art separate from the person who made it. Else you’re bound to be disappointed or worse.

@tobiasvl : politically bonkers in his personal life, or in his novels too? ( I know some overlap can hardly be avoided, but I can stomach a lot when I know I’m reading (well-written) fiction).

I skimmed Simmons’ wikipedia-page and I realized that I haven’t read anything published after Drood (2009)

I laughed. You just summed it up perfectly.

I know, I know! It happens in philosophy too. “Today we’re going to read Heidegger… what’s that? Oh yes, he was also a Nazi, true, but now let’s focus on something else, his account of human freedom…”

From my googling I gather that his novel Flashback has been judged by some – but not all – reviewers as being in part a political essay.

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Well, I haven’t read Flashback but I hear it’s as politically bonkers as his personal life (again, IMO).

Anyway… A bit of a tangent here. This is an Enthusiasm Overflow thread, so I just want to, once again, underscore that he’s written some amazing books. You could pirate them! They are truly great.

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“Well class, it seems our next assignment is clear. We’ll learn about forming our own informed opinions by actually reading original source material.
20 pages on Flashback by the politically bonkers writer Dan Simmons on my desk by Monday.”

(I can still hear my first year Introduction to Philosophy-professor say something very similar after a discussion in the lecture room about Darwin, though not the bonkers bit)

Text-adventure Hyperion! You play as the Shrike!
Who will you loom over in an intimidating yet deadly silent fashion next?
(Before cutting them to shreds in doublefast warp-time…)

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