Dan Simmons

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Dan Simmons
Born (1948-04-04) April 4, 1948 (age 71)
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Genre Science fiction, horror, fantasy
Notable works Song of Kali (1985)
Hyperion (1989)
Carrion Comfort (1989)
The Terror (2007)

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. [1] He also writes mysteries and thrillers, some of which feature the continuing character Joe Kurtz.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Horror fiction genre of fiction

Horror is a genre of speculative fiction which is intended to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks, or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing". It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society.

Hyperion Cantos science fiction book series by Dan Simmons

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.



Born in Peoria, Illinois, Simmons received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970 and, in 1971, a Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. [2]

Peoria, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Peoria is the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, and the largest city on the Illinois River. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, and is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 373,590 in 2011. Until 2018, Peoria was the global and national headquarters for Caterpillar Inc., one of the 30 companies composing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and listed on the Fortune 100; in the latter year, the company relocated its headquarters to Deerfield, Illinois.

Wabash College liberal arts college in Indiana, United States

Wabash College is a private, men's, liberal arts college in Crawfordsville, Indiana with about 920 students. Founded in 1832 by several Dartmouth College graduates and Midwestern leaders, Wabash is ranked in the top one hundred of national liberal arts colleges.

Washington University in St. Louis university in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. As of 2017, 24 Nobel laureates in economics, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university.

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. [2]

Harlan Ellison American writer

Harlan Jay Ellison was an American writer, known for his prolific and influential work in New Wave speculative fiction, and for his outspoken, combative personality. Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho, described Ellison as "the only living organism I know whose natural habitat is hot water".

He worked in elementary education until 1989. [2]

Horror fiction

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.

<i>Summer of Night</i> novel by Dan Simmons

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).

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

Stephen King American author

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

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.

<i>A Winter Haunting</i> novel by Dan Simmons

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.

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. [3] [4]

<i>Fires of Eden</i> novel by Dan Simmons

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.

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. [5]

Historical fiction

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. [6]

Literary references

Many of Simmons' works have strong ties with classic literature. For example:

Screen adaptations

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." [13]

In 2008, Guillermo del Toro is scheduled to direct a film adaptation of Drood for Universal Pictures. [14] As of December 2017, the project is still listed as "in development." [15]

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. [16] In 2011, actor Bradley Cooper expressed interest in taking over the adaptation. [17] 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. [18] As of May 2017, the project was still "in development" at Syfy. [19]

The Terror (2007) has been adapted as an AMC TV 10 episode-mini-series in 2018 and received generally positive reviews upon release. [20] [21]


Hyperion Cantos

  1. Hyperion (1989) – Hugo and Locus Awards winner, BSFA nominee, 1990; [7] Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1992 [22]
  2. The Fall of Hyperion (1990) – Nebula Award nominee, 1990; [7] BSFA and Locus Awards winner, Hugo Award nominee, 1991 [23]
  3. Endymion (1996) – Locus Award shortlist, 1997 [24]
  4. The Rise of Endymion (1997) – Locus Award winner, Hugo Award nominee 1998 [25]


  1. Ilium (2003) – Locus Award winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2004 [26]
  2. Olympos (2005) – Locus Award shortlist, 2006 [27]

Joe Kurtz

  1. Hardcase (2001)
  2. Hard Freeze (2002)
  3. Hard as Nails (2003)

Seasons Of Horror [28]

Other books



Bram Stoker Award

British Fantasy Society Award

British Science Fiction Award

Hugo Award

International Horror Guild Award

Locus Award

Nocte Award

Seiun Award

World Fantasy 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. [35]

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  2. 1 2 3 "About Dan: Biographic Sketch". dansimmons.com. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  3. "Review: Darwin's Blade". Publisher's Weekly. October 30, 2000.
  4. Simmons, Dan (2000). Darwin's Blade. William Morrow. ISBN   978-0-380-97369-9.
  5. Gwinn, Mary Ann (February 15, 2009). "Q&A: Dan Simmons, author of "Drood"". The Seattle Times .
  6. Robbins, Michael (October 20, 2013). "Review: 'The Abominable' by Dan Simmons". Chicago Tribune.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  8. "John Keats". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. Feeley, Gregory (September 27, 1992). "The Hollow Man". The Washington Post.
  10. Stableford, Brian (March 1, 2009). News of the Black Feast and Other Random Reviews. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 73–74. ISBN   9781434403360.
  11. 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
  12. Owchar, By Nick. "Book review: 'Flashback' by Dan Simmons". latimes.com. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  13. Marc Graser; Jonathan Bing (January 8, 2004). "'Ilium,' 'Olympos' optioned for pic". Variety. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  14. Fleming Jr., Michael (September 3, 2008). "Guillermo Del Toro booked thru 2017". variety.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  15. "Drood". IMDB.com. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  16. Fleming, Michael (January 29, 2009). "Scott Derrickson to direct 'Hyperion'". Variety . Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  17. Falconer, Robert (May 27, 2011). "Bradley Cooper Anxious to Adapt Dan Simmons's Hyperion for the Screen". Cinemaspy. Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  18. Goldberg, Lesley (June 10, 2015). "Bradley Cooper, Graham King, Todd Phillips Adapting Dan Simmons' 'Hyperion' for Syfy". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  19. 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.
  20. "The Terror: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  21. "The Terror Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  22. 1 2 "1992 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  23. 1 2 3 "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  24. "1997 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  25. 1 2 "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  26. 1 2 "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  27. "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  28. "Seasons of Horror series by Dan Simmons".
  29. "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  30. "1993 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  31. Rafferty, Terrence (March 18, 2007). "Ice Men". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  32. "2008 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  33. "Dan Simmons The Abominable cover art reveal!". Upcoming4.me. March 14, 2013. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  34. "Dan Simmons To Release 'The Fifth Heart', His Next Book After 'The Abominable'". Kernel's Corner. March 10, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  35. Works in the WWEnd Database for Dan Simmons.