Dan Simmons (born April 4, 1948) is an American science fiction and horror writer. He is the author of the Hyperion Cantos and the Ilium/Olympos cycles, among other works which span the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres, sometimes within a single novel. A typical example of Simmons' intermingling of genres is Song of Kali (1985), winner of the World Fantasy Award. He also writes mysteries and thrillers, some of which feature the continuing character Joe Kurtz.
|Born||April 4, 1948|
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
|Genre||Science fiction, horror, fantasy|
|Notable works||Song of Kali (1985)|
Carrion Comfort (1989)
The Terror (2007)
He soon started writing short stories, although his career did not take off until 1982, when, through Harlan Ellison's help, his short story "The River Styx Runs Upstream" was published and awarded first prize in a Twilight Zone Magazine story competition. Simmons' first novel, Song of Kali, was released in 1985.
He worked in elementary education until 1989.
Summer of Night (1991) recounts the childhood of a group of pre-teens who band together in the 1960s, to defeat a centuries-old evil that terrorizes their hometown of Elm Haven, Illinois. The novel, which was praised by Stephen King in a cover blurb, is similar to King's It (1986) in its focus on small town life, the corruption of innocence, the return of an ancient evil, and the responsibility for others that emerges with the transition from youth to adulthood.
In the sequel to Summer of Night, A Winter Haunting (2002), Dale Stewart (one of the first book's protagonists and now an adult), revisits his boyhood home to come to grips with mysteries that have disrupted his adult life.
Between the publication of Summer of Night (1991) and A Winter Haunting (2002), several additional characters from Summer of Night appeared in: Children of the Night (1992), a loose sequel to Summer of Night, which features Mike O'Rourke, now much older and a Roman Catholic priest, who is sent on a mission to investigate bizarre events in a European city; Fires of Eden (1994), in which the adult Cordie Cooke appears; and Darwin's Blade (2000), a thriller in which Dale's younger brother, Lawrence Stewart, appears as a minor character.
Soon after Summer of Night (1991), Simmons, who had written mostly horror fiction, began to focus on writing science fiction, although in 2007 he returned with a work of historical fiction and horror, The Terror. In 2009, he published another book, Drood, based on the last years of Charles Dickens' life leading up to the writing of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which Dickens had partially completed at the time of his death.
The Terror (2007) crosses the bridge between horror and historical fiction. It is a fictionalized account of Sir John Franklin and his expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, become icebound the first winter, and the captains and crew struggle to survive while being stalked across an Arctic landscape by a monster.
The Abominable (2013) recounts a mid-1920s attempt on Mount Everest by five climbers—two English, one French, one Sherpa, and one American (the narrator)—to recover the body of one of the English characters' cousin.
Many of Simmons' works have strong ties with classic literature. For example:
In 2009, Scott Derrickson was set to direct "Hyperion Cantos" for Warner Bros. and Graham King, with Trevor Sands penning the script to blend the first two cantos "Hyperion" and "The Fall of Hyperion" into one film. In 2011, actor Bradley Cooper expressed interest in taking over the adaptation. In 2015, it was announced that TV channel Syfy will produce a mini-series based on the Hyperion Cantos with the involvement of Cooper and King.
British Fantasy Society Award
Dan Simmons has been nominated on numerous occasions in a range of categories for his fiction, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Bram Stoker Award, British Fantasy Society Award, Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and World Fantasy Award.
A Winter Haunting is a 2002 horror novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Fantasy novel in 2003.Dark Visions
Dark Visions is a horror fiction compilation, with three short stories by Stephen King, three by Dan Simmons and a novella by George R. R. Martin. It was published by Orion on August 10, 1989. The collection was first published, with the same seven stories, under the title Night Visions 5, by Dark Harvest on July 1, 1988. The book was also issued under the titles Dark Love and The Skin Trade.
Two of the stories by King, "Sneakers" and "Dedication", were later included in his 1993 anthology Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
All three stories by Simmons were later included in his 1990 collection Prayers to Broken Stones.
Martin's The Skin Trade was later included in Quartet: Four Tales from the Crossroads (2001) and Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective (2003).Drood (novel)
Drood is a novel written by Dan Simmons. The book was initially published on February 1, 2009 by Little, Brown and Company. It is a fictionalized account of the last five years of Charles Dickens' life.Eloi
The Eloi are one of the two fictional post-human races, along with the Morlocks, in H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine.Fires of Eden
Fires of Eden is a novel by American writer Dan Simmons, published in 1994. It centres on the history and mythology of Hawaii, the moral and ethical issues of the United States occupation of Hawaii, and various other issues.Hyperion (Simmons novel)
Hyperion is a Hugo Award-winning 1989 science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It is the first book of his Hyperion Cantos. The plot of the novel features multiple time-lines and characters. It follows a similar structure to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. The next book in the series was The Fall of Hyperion, published in 1990.Hyperion Cantos
The Hyperion Cantos is a series of science fiction novels by Dan Simmons. The title was originally used for the collection of the first pair of books in the series, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and later came to refer to the overall storyline, including Endymion, The Rise of Endymion, and a number of short stories. More narrowly, inside the fictional storyline, after the first volume, the Hyperion Cantos is an epic poem written by the character Martin Silenus covering in verse form the events of the first book.Of the four novels, Hyperion received the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1990; The Fall of Hyperion won the Locus and British Science Fiction Association Awards in 1991; and The Rise of Endymion received the Locus Award in 1998. All four novels were also nominated for various science fiction awards.Ilium (novel)
Ilium is a science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons, the first part of the Ilium/Olympos cycle, concerning the re-creation of the events in the Iliad on an alternate Earth and Mars. These events are set in motion by beings who have taken on the roles of the Greek gods. Like Simmons' earlier series, the Hyperion Cantos, the novel is a form of "literary science fiction" which relies heavily on intertextuality, in this case with Homer and Shakespeare, as well as periodic references to Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (or In Search of Lost Time) and Vladimir Nabokov's novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. In July 2004, Ilium received a Locus Award for best science fiction novel of 2004.Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winners of the Locus Award for Best SF Novel, awarded by the Locus magazine. Awards presented in a given year are for works published in the previous calendar year.
The award for Best Science Fiction Novel was first presented in 1980, and is among the awards still presented (as of 2016). Previously, there had simply been an award for Best Novel. A similar award for Best Fantasy Novel was also introduced in 1980.Muse of Fire
Muse of Fire is a science fiction novella by Dan Simmons. It is about a group of Shakespearean actors, the "Earth's Men", in the far future where humans are a minor conquered species, spread across the stars in subservient roles. The narrator, one of the actors, suspects the alien masters of the galaxy are deciding the fate of humanity based on the performances.
Muse of Fire was originally published in 2007, in the anthology The New Space Opera, and standalone by Subterranean Press in 2008.
Muse of Fire was a finalist for the 2008 Locus Awards in the Best Novella category.Olympos (novel)
Olympos is a science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons published in 2005; it is the sequel to Ilium and final part of the Ilium/Olympos series. Like its predecessor it contains many literary references: it blends together Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and has frequent smaller references to other works, including Proust, James Joyce, Caliban upon Setebos, Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, Shakespearean poetry and even William Blake and Virgil's Aeneid.Song of Kali
Song of Kali is a horror novel by American writer Dan Simmons, published in 1985. It was the winner of the 1986 World Fantasy Award..The story deals with an American intellectual who travels to Calcutta, where he becomes embroiled in mysterious and horrific events at the centre of which lies a cult of Kapalikas that worships Kali.Summer of Night
Summer of Night is the first in a series of horror novels by American writer Dan Simmons, published in 1991 by Warner Aspect. It was nominated for a British Fantasy Award in 1992. The subsequent books are Children of the Night (1992), Fires of Eden (1994), and A Winter Haunting (2002).The Crook Factory
The Crook Factory is a thriller novel by American author Dan Simmons. The book was initially published by William Morrow on March 1, 1999. The novel tells a fictionalized version of the real life counter-espionage and spy ring, known as the Crook Factory, that was set up by Ernest Hemingway in Cuba during World War II.The Fall of Hyperion (novel)
The Fall of Hyperion is the second novel in the Hyperion Cantos, a science fiction series by American author Dan Simmons. The novel, written in 1990, won both the 1991 British Science Fiction and Locus Awards. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award that same year, and the Nebula Award in 1990.Set in the 29th century, the novel documents a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion, undertaken by eight people whose lives have been altered due to events regarding that world. The pilgrims intend to travel to the Valley of the Time Tombs, where the Shrike, a metallic creature alleges to grant one wish to the members of a pilgrimage, dwells. Each of the seven adult pilgrims has a wish that, if granted, could change the future drastically, and the events that the pilgrims experience on Hyperion could have major influences on their society, creating additional issues.
The Hyperion Cantos is influenced strongly by various works, including the teachings of the environmentalist John Muir and the poetry of John Keats, to the extent that a reincarnation of Keats narrates The Fall of Hyperion. The novel also contains explicit references to classical literature and modern writings, including the scientific works of the Jesuit and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the physicist Stephen Hawking, and some of the fiction of author Jack Vance.The Hollow Man (Simmons novel)
The Hollow Man is a novel by American author Dan Simmons. The book was initially published by Bantam Books on September 1, 1992. It narrates the story of a university lecturer who has the ability to "hear" the thoughts of others, an ability he shares with his dying wife.
There are numerous themes in this novel which are expanded in later works, most notably a set of theories on the nature of and perception of reality (see Ilium). Conversely at least one character, Vanni Fucci, appears in Simmons' earlier 1988 work, "Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell". The Hollow Man was nominated for a Locus Award in 1993.The novel itself is an expansion of an earlier short story, "Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams", that appeared in his 1990 collection Prayers to Broken Stones. Original ideas and characters behind much of Simmons's subsequent works can be found in this collection.The Rise of Endymion
The Rise of Endymion is a 1997 science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It is the fourth and final novel in his Hyperion Cantos fictional universe. It won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1998.The Terror (novel)
The Terror is a 2007 novel by American author Dan Simmons. It is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic, in 1845–1848, to locate the Northwest Passage. In the novel, while Franklin and his crew are plagued by starvation and illness, and forced to contend with mutiny and cannibalism, they are stalked across the bleak Arctic landscape by a monster.Most of the characters featured in The Terror are actual members of Franklin's crew, whose unexplained disappearance has warranted a great deal of speculation. The main characters in the novel include Sir John Franklin, commander of the expedition and captain of Erebus; Francis Crozier, captain of Terror; Dr. Harry D. S. Goodsir; and Captain James Fitzjames.The Terror was nominated for the British Fantasy Award in 2008 and adapted for the first season of an eponymous television series that aired on AMC TV in 2018.