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Olympos (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 16 Jun 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (16 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575072628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575072626
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,445,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and 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 Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Product Description

Review

The most authentically Homeric portrayal of the Gods that I have read in a modern work of fiction. The violence and terror are convincingly epic. (Tom Holland SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

"...a mind-blasting look at the nature of humanity, and what it truly means to be a hero. Complex and multi-stranded, this free-wheeling and beautifully bonkers epic [is] more than worth the effort. " (Saxon Bullock SFX)

"A deeply satisfying and dark twist on the old comics idea of fictional heroes existing in parallel universes. The action is non-stop and it has an ending that's satisfying. Heavy but rewarding stuff." (Anthony Brown STARBURST)

"This is powerful stuff, rich in both high-tech sense of wonder and literary allusions, but Simmons is in complete control of his material as half a dozen baroque plot lines smoothly converge on a rousing and highly satisfying conclusion." (PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY)

Like so many epics and space operas, Olympos measures individual lives against a cosmic scale... combines the historical and literary Trojan war with biotechnology, nano-engineering, quantum physics, geology, astronomy, sex, politics, and religion. (The Guardian)

Book Description

The sequel to the bestselling and acclaimed ILIUM. Together these books are the SF event of the decade.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "terjef" on 21 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Being a great fan of Dan Simmons I expected much of his new epos. Ilium was an intriguing book and although the storyline was confusing at times it had the makings of a great story.
One year later Olympos comes along. I had forgotten most of the story from the first book, but that wasn't really a problem. It's just more of the same. Greeks, little green men, gods, moravecs, Caliban..... and the list goes on.
The story moves along at a very slow pace. You even have to labour through page after page of dialouge between some of the surviving captains of Ilium. And then there are the poems. Why?
Instead of giving a background story and shedding some light on the strange fenomenons of the story, new and seemingly pointless elements are added. There is a side story about a sunken sub which for some reason seems important in the book, but no explanation is given as to why this is.
Olympus is a poor attempt to finish the story in one book. I think Mr. Simmons would have been better off doing it in 3 or 4 volumes like the Hyperion saga.
If you've read Ilium, you'll only be dissapointed by this book. The story is better without the last installment.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F. G. Pagano Amersfoort on 5 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I own most books by Dan simmons and loved all of them - except this one.
the first part, Ilium conveys a wonderful adaptation to sci fi of troy with its heroes and gods.
in Olympos it seems the narrative escapes the author, with too many threads running amok, leaving too little time for each individual thread.. too many things are left unexplained or just glossed over, leaving a jumble that , to me, just got boring. Also, while in a novel full of gods you expect some deus-ex he overdoes it. gods, overgods, and
"evenmorepowerfulgodsyouneverseebutsolvetheplotline" ruin the story, as all the plotting and the plans of ALL characters in the book are ultimately made irrelevant.
Dont get me wrong, its not a bad book, but not up to the standards one has come to expect from Dan Simmons.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE on 2 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By the time I'd finished reading Ilium (the first book of this pair) I was enthused with anticipation. How on earth, I wondered, can the author tie up all the plot threads, characters and storylines into a satisfying, coherent and meaningful conclusion. I couldn't wait to find out.
If you're wondering the same thing, I can answer you: he isn't going to.
Ilium was a fast moving, exciting Sci-fi blockbuster with a lot of good ideas. With Olympos, Simmons piles on even more plot threads and ideas until the whole thing just collapses into incoherence. With the Greek Gods, teleportation, nanotechnology, magic, alternate universes, Shakespeare, Proust, artificial intelligences, quantum effects of consciousness, shaceships, islamic fundamentalists, black-hole bombs, little green men, Mars and more, the author throws in everything you can think of - by the end I was expecting Hitler to wander into the narrative, possibly carrying the kitchen sink because they were the only things which hadn't thrown into the mix.
Long flagged plot threads are wrapped up in a couple of lines, the villain of the book just ups and leaves about a hundred pages from the end with no satisfying resolution, major characters appear and then disappear with no indication of where they have gone, and other characters have resolutions which - to put it politely - make no sense whatsoever.
Terry Pratchett can get away with using the excuse of "it's all Quantum, innit?" when excusing plot hoes in his books because he writes comedy. An author of Simmons' calibre cannot get away with it and having read Olympos from start to finish my over-riding feeling is that not only did I not understand how the book ends, I don't think the author does either.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Remon Van Vliet on 28 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
Having read the Hyperion cantos and being hugely impressed by Illium i couldnt wait to read this Illium sequel. When the book finally arrived (after a 1 month pre-order) i pretty much read it in one go.
One can only admire the scope of the story told through Illium and Olympos. However, Olympos as a book is simply not as good as Illium. Some storylines in Olympos either do not add (enough) to the story as a whole, or simply are a bit of a drag to read through, to the point where i even caught myself flipping through a few pages here and there.
Another issue i have with Olympos is the last 50-70 pages. I couldnt get around the fact that the ending felt a bit rushed and cramped. Where Illium's ending was obviously a setup for a sequel the ending we're presented with in Olympos feels too much like Simmons is done with the world of Illium. He fails to answer some big questions (properly) or discuss some important characters more extensively, but he doesnt leave enough open ends to justify a sequel. Also, the references to judaism and islam felt a bit forced, as if it reflected personal views of the author.
Olympos is not to Illium what the Fall of Hyperion was to Hyperion, but do not let that keep you from reading this excellent book. Apart from anything else, it is an great read, hugely engaging, and i would recommend this book to anyone with even a vague interest in SF.
When i flipped the final page, i felt dissapointed. A bit because of the aforementioned problems, but mostly because i reached the end of it. Olympos, together with Illium, is one of the best SF stories ever printed on paper, or at least the best i read so far. These books deserve a place next to, if not above the Hyperion books.
So in the end i cannot get rid of the "it could've been better" feeling, as Olympos is not the perfect sequal to Illium. But it's close, very close...
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