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Olymposby Dan Simmons
Synopses & Reviews
Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before one observer — Twenty-first Century scholar Thomas Hockenberry — stirred the bloody brew; before an enraged Achilles joined forces with his archenemy Hector; and before the fleet-footed mankiller turned his murderous wrath on Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators.
Now, all bets are off.
Dan Simmons, the multiple-award-winning author of The Hyperion Cantos, returns with the eagerly anticipated conclusion to his critically acclaimed, Hugo Award-nominated sf epic Ilium. A novel breathtaking in its scope and conception, Olympos ingeniously imagines a catastrophic future where immortal "post-humans" high atop the real Olympos Mons on Mars restage the Trojan War for their own amusement even while the sad remnants of mortal humankind are forced to confront their ultimate annihilation.
For untold centuries, those few old-style humans remaining on Earth have never known strife, toil, or responsibility, each content to live his or her allocated hundred years of life in unquestioning leisure. But virtually overnight and for reasons beyond their comprehension, the world around them has changed forever. The voynix — terrible and swift creatures that once catered to their every need — are now massing in the millions with but one terrifying purpose: the total extermination of the human race.
Having traveled farther and learned more of the wondrous and terrible truth of their world than any others of their kind, Ada and Daeman — with the aid of the crafty and mysterious warrior once called Odysseus, now called Noman — must marshal the pathetic defenses of Ardis Hall in anticipation of the onslaught of the murderous voynix. And they must do so without Harman, Ada's lover and the father of her unborn child, who wanders the Earth on a great odyssey of his own. Harman seeks nothing less than the limitless knowledge necessary to defeat Setebos, an unspeakable, otherworldly monster who feeds on horror, and whose arrival heralds the end of all things.
And meanwhile, back on Mars...
The vengeful rebellion of Achilles — and the intervention of sentient robots from Jovian space, determined to prevent a potentially universe-obliterating quantum catastrophe — has set immortal against immortal, igniting a civil war among Olympian gods that may send all things in Heaven and Earth and everywhere in between plummeting straight to Hell.
A monumental work that blurs the often arbitrary line between great sf and serious literature, Dan Simmons's Olympos — together with its extraordinary predecessor, Ilium — sets new standards for the genre, confirming his reputation as one of the most original authors currently working in the field of speculative fiction.
"Drawing from Homer's Iliad, Shakespeare's Tempest and the work of several 19th-century poets, Simmons achieves another triumph in this majestic, if convoluted, sequel to his much-praised Ilium (2003). Posthumans masquerading as the Greek gods and living on Mars travel back and forth through time and alternate universes to interfere in the real Trojan War, employing a resurrected late 20th-century classics professor, Thomas Hockenberry, as their tool. Meanwhile, the last remaining old-style human beings on a far-future Earth must struggle for survival against a variety of hostile forces. Superhuman entities with names like Prospero, Caliban and Ariel lay complex plots, using human beings as game pieces. From the outer solar system, an advanced race of semiorganic Artificial Intelligences, called moravecs, observe Earth and Mars in consternation, trying to make sense of the situation, hoping to shift the balance of power before out-of-control quantum forces destroy everything. 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. Agent, Richard Curtis. 7-city author tour. (June 28)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Simmons's scope is truly staggering, his inventiveness continues to impress, and the narrative offers something for everyone." Kirkus Reviews
"Magnificently original." Denver Post
"Only Simmons could mix together Homer, Shakespeare, and Proust with black holes, Turing machines, little green men, and big honking robots to come up with a tale of high adventure that's also an engrossing meditation on humanity's past and future." Joe Haldeman, author of The Forever War
The author of the Hyperion Cantos delivers his epic-concluding companion to Ilium — the novel that "sets new standards for SF in the new century" (author Peter F. Hamilton).
Intertwining Homeric themes of fate, ceremony, friendship, duty, and courage with nonstop action and SF panache, Olympos begins with Greek and Trojan heroes led by the briefly allied Achilles and Hector laying siege to the home of the gods. But the conflict soon spreads far beyond mere humankind and their ancient gods, pitting Beings with incredible powers against one another and humanity — entities with names such as Setebos, Night, Prospero, Caliban, Sycorax, and the Demogorgon — thereby threatening the existence of every living being in our solar system and beyond. A breathtaking work of high-concept science fiction, Olympos will be eagerly anticipated by fans everywhere.
About the Author
Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin's Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works including Summer of Night, its sequel A Winter Haunting, and Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. Simmons makes his home in Colorado.
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