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.
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:
- His 1989 novel Hyperion, winner of Hugo and Locus Awards for the best science fiction novel, deals with a space war and is inspired in its structure by Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
- The Hyperion Cantos take their titles from poems by the English Romantic John Keats.
- The title of Carrion Comfort, as well as many of its themes, derives from the poem "Carrion Comfort" by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
- In The Fall of Hyperion, John Keats himself appears as one of the main characters, with references to characters in Forbidden Planet and The Time Machine.
- "Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living In Hell" (1988), a short story lampooning televangelists and included in Prayers to Broken Stones, is about a brief return to earth by the title character, an inhabitant of Dante's Inferno
- The Hollow Man (1992) is a novel influenced by Dante's Inferno and T. S. Eliot
- "The Great Lover" (1993) is a short story inspired by the World War I War Poets
- The Ilium/Olympos cycle is inspired by Homer's works, as well as Shakespeare and Marcel Proust, and the character Ada and her home Ardis Hall are inspired by Vladimir Nabokov's novel Ada or Ardor, which was one of Nabokov's forays into the science fiction genre and alternate history
- Simmons' collection of short stories, Worlds Enough & Time, takes its name from the first line of the poem To His Coy Mistress by British poet Andrew Marvell: "Had we but world enough, and time"
- The detective in Flashback is named Nick Bottom after a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
In January 2004, it was announced that the screenplay he wrote for his novels Ilium and Olympos would be made into a film by Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films, with Simmons acting as executive producer. Ilium is described as an "epic tale that spans 5,000 years and sweeps across the entire solar system, including themes and characters from Homer's The Iliad and Shakespeare's The Tempest."
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. As of May 2017, the project was still "in development" at Syfy.
The Terror (2007) was adapted as an AMC TV 10 episode-mini-series in 2018 and received generally positive reviews upon release.
- Hyperion (1989) – Hugo and Locus Awards winner, BSFA nominee, 1990; Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1992
- The Fall of Hyperion (1990) – Nebula Award nominee, 1990; BSFA and Locus Awards winner, Hugo Award nominee, 1991
- Endymion (1996) – Locus Award shortlist, 1997
- The Rise of Endymion (1997) – Locus Award winner, Hugo Award nominee 1998
- Song of Kali (1985) – World Fantasy Award winner, 1986
- Carrion Comfort (1989) – Bram Stoker Award winner 1989; British Fantasy Award winner, World Fantasy Award nominee, 1990
- Phases of Gravity (1989)
- Entropy's Bed at Midnight (1990). Limited edition of story, later collected in Lovedeath.
- Prayers to Broken Stones (1990, short story collection)
- Summer Sketches (1992, short story collection)
- Children of the Night (1992) – Locus Award 1993 (Horror)
- Lovedeath (1993, short story collection)
- The Hollow Man (1992) – Locus Award nominee, 1993
- Fires of Eden (1994) - Locus Award
- The Crook Factory (1999)
- Darwin's Blade (2000)
- Worlds Enough & Time (2002, short story collection)
- The Terror (2007) – British Fantasy Award nominee, 2008
- Muse of Fire (2008, novella)
- The guiding nose of Ulfänt Banderōz (2009, novella)
- Drood (2009)
- Black Hills (2010)
- Flashback (2011)
- The Abominable (2013)
- The Fifth Heart (2015)
- Omega Canyon (2020)
- Best Collection (1992): Prayers to Broken Stones
- Best Novel (1990): Carrion Comfort
- Best Novelette (1994): "Dying in Bangkok"
- Best Short Story (1993): "This Year's Class Picture"
British Fantasy Society Award
- Best Novel (2003): A Winter Haunting
- Best Horror Novel (1990): Carrion Comfort
- Best Science Fiction Novel (1990): Hyperion
- Best Novelette (1991): "Entropy's Bed at Midnight"
- Best Science Fiction Novel (1991): The Fall of Hyperion
- Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1992): Summer of Night
- Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1993): Children of the Night
- Best Novelette (1994): "Dying in Bangkok"
- Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1995): Fires of Eden
- Best Science Fiction Novel (1998): The Rise of Endymion
- Best Novelette (2000): "Orphans of the Helix"
- Best Science Fiction Novel (2004): Ilium
- Best Foreign Short Story (2010): “La foto de la clase de este año” (This Year's Class Picture).
- Best Foreign Novel (1995): Hyperion
- Best Novel (1996): The Fall of Hyperion (tied with Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter)
- Best Foreign Short Story (1999): "This Year's Class Picture"
- "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "About Dan: Biographic Sketch". dansimmons.com. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "Review: Darwin's Blade". Publisher's Weekly. October 30, 2000.
- Simmons, Dan (2000). Darwin's Blade. William Morrow. ISBN 978-0-380-97369-9.
- Gwinn, Mary Ann (February 15, 2009). "Q&A: Dan Simmons, author of "Drood"". The Seattle Times.
- Robbins, Michael (October 20, 2013). "Review: 'The Abominable' by Dan Simmons". Chicago Tribune.
- "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "John Keats". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Willems, Brian (2009). Hopkins and Heidegger. London: Continuum. ISBN 9781441169563.
- Feeley, Gregory (September 27, 1992). "The Hollow Man". The Washington Post.
- Stableford, Brian (March 1, 2009). News of the Black Feast and Other Random Reviews. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 73–74. ISBN 9781434403360.
- Marvell, A. (1981). "To his coy mistress." The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved on 17 October 2018 from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44688/to-his-coy-mistress
- Owchar, By Nick. "Book review: 'Flashback' by Dan Simmons". latimes.com. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Marc Graser; Jonathan Bing (January 8, 2004). "'Ilium,' 'Olympos' optioned for pic". Variety. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- Fleming Jr., Michael (September 3, 2008). "Guillermo Del Toro booked thru 2017". variety.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Drood". IMDB.com. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Fleming, Michael (January 29, 2009). "Scott Derrickson to direct 'Hyperion'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Falconer, Robert (May 27, 2011). "Bradley Cooper Anxious to Adapt Dan Simmons's Hyperion for the Screen". Cinemaspy. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- Goldberg, Lesley (June 10, 2015). "Bradley Cooper, Graham King, Todd Phillips Adapting Dan Simmons' 'Hyperion' for Syfy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- Fowler, Matt (May 12, 2017). "Syfy Reboot Includes Greenlit Krypton Series, George R.R. Martin's Nightflyers and More". IGN News. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "The Terror: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "The Terror Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "1992 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "1997 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Seasons of Horror series by Dan Simmons".
- "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "1993 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Rafferty, Terrence (March 18, 2007). "Ice Men". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
- "2008 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Dan Simmons The Abominable cover art reveal!". Upcoming4.me. March 14, 2013. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Dan Simmons To Release 'The Fifth Heart', His Next Book After 'The Abominable'". Kernel's Corner. March 10, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- Works in the WWEnd Database for Dan Simmons.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Dan Simmons|
- Official website
- Dan Simmons' On Writing Well
- Interview by BookBanter
- Dan Simmons on Worlds Without End
- Dan Simmons at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Dan Simmons at the Internet Book List
- Works by Dan Simmons at Open Library
- Dan Simmons at Library of Congress Authorities, with 2 catalog records