The first Dan Simmons book I read was The Terror. I had never heard of the guy, but I saw it on the new book’s cart and was interested enough to grab it.
In the next couple of years I read everything I could find by him. Dan Simmons’ books are unlike any others, love them or hate them. I haven’t read them all yet, however.
For the most part, I love them. So today I’m going to start my own little Dan Simmons bibliography, and write brief reviews for each book that I have read so far (or link to them when I have previously written longer reviews).
If you are looking for something different, he’s your man.
I’m going to divide this page up into his series and his standalone novels, so you don’t accidentally jump into a series at the wrong place.
The Fall of Hyperion (I liked the second of the Hyperion books better than the first, but enjoyed them both)
The Rise of Endymion
Summer of Night Series
Summer of Night
Summer reminds me of many ways of Stephen King’s kids-in-peril freakout It. Kids in a small town are disappearing. The adults won’t listen, some of them for reasons that might surprise you.
A band of brave kids, a monster, a long summer, and some wonderful, scary set pieces. A great read. Also, it starts with a bully getting some much-deserved comeuppance, although the punishment doesn’t really fit the crime.
A Winter Haunting
One of the survivors of Summer of Night (I can’t tell you who) has carried some of the unpleasantness with him into adulthood. A fantastic tale of supernatural hauntings, but also of a fallible person trying to come to terms with his own weaknesses and sorrows. It’s also a pretty short sequel to a book that wasn’t short at all.
Joe Kurtz Series
Hard As Nails
If you were a cyborg Greek God living on Mars in the future, how would you spend your time? If you answered, “I would resurrect a literature professor and bring him here to watch us reenact the battles of the Iliad forever, and I’d also have him point out discrepancies between the text and what he sees, you have probably read Ilium.
A continuation of Ilium. Read that one first or you’ll be lost. You’ll be lost at times either way, but really, read the first book or this won’t make much sense. Shakespeare’s The Tempest gets tossed into the mix for all you fans of The Bard.
Novels by Dan Simmons
Song of Kali
A man journeys to Calcutta (which apparently Simmons is not a fan of) to investigate a mystery about a poet that is supposed to be dead. It…doesn’t go very well.
My favorite horror novel of all time. Three horrible old people who are more than they seem meet periodically to tally their scores for the sinister game they have been playing with humanity for a long, long time. I won’t say more. Go in and read this one as blind as possible.
Phases of Gravity
Children Of The Night
The Hollow Man
Fires of Eden
The Crook Factory
Congratulations! You are an intrepid British explorer aboard the good ship Terror. However, you are stuck in the Arctic ice in the dark and there is a monster out on the ice. It is probably going to grab you and nobody will ever see you again. This book also features a sinister dwarf who would have gotten along swimmingly with Tyrion from George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire books.
Muse of Fire
Have you ever wondered if Charles Dickens had a malignant scarab implanted in his brain by an underground tunnel-dweller named King Lazaree? Here’s your chance to find some answers.
Fans of Dickens should enjoy this well-researched look at the life of the man away from his writing. Wilkie Collins is also a major character. Oh, and there’s a noseless lunatic named Drood running around. Or is there?
Hills is Crazy even for Simmons. But crazy good! A 10 year old Sioux boy is given an unwanted gift during Custer’s Last Stand: Custer’s ghost enters his body and decides to hang out there for a few decades.
Mt. Rushmore’s construction plays a central role. The stone heads themselves are at the center of one of Black Hills’ visions, one of the eerier dream sequences I have read.
This is the newest. I haven’t read it yet.
I’ll be back as often as I can read these others.