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Ilium (2003)

by Dan Simmons

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ilium-Olympos (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,142642,826 (3.92)97
The Trojan War rages at the foot of Olympos Mons on Mars -- observed and influenced from on high by Zeus and his immortal family -- and twenty-first-century professor Thomas Hockenberry is there to play a role in the insidious private wars of vengeful gods and goddesses. On Earth, a small band of the few remaining humans pursues a lost past and devastating truth -- as four sentient machines depart from Jovian space to investigate, perhaps terminate, the potentially catastrophic emissions emanating from a mountaintop miles above the terraformed surface of the Red Planet.… (more)
  1. 30
    Olympos by Dan Simmons (JGolomb)
  2. 10
    Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both books are part of a series involving the gods of the Ancient World, one is fantasy set in the past, the other science fiction in the far future. Each has an unusual viewpoint character.
  3. 10
    The Iliad by Homer (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Worth familiarizing yourself with Homer so you can enjoy how closely Simmons' novel parallels its events.
  4. 01
    The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton (riodecelis)
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» See also 97 mentions

English (61)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Clearly, Dan Simmons must be insane.

I read the back of the book, I read Simmons before, I should have been prepared.
Seriously though, I loved this book. I read the Iliad during my last year of high school, so a lot of it came back to me reading this, which was nice. I have no knowledge whatsoever about Shakespeare (or Proust) which made some of the more poetically inclined chapters a bit abstract to me. This is of course not Simmons fault, but it did make me feel that I missed out on a piece of the grander story. Also, it did genuinely make me want to know about the plays by Shakespeare, how about that.

There is something about Simmons writing that makes me lose any concept of "sensible". Simmons goes: "Trojan war on parralel universe earth and gods on Mars" and I go: "Okay, go on". Simmons goes: "Robots reflecting on Shakespeare and Proust on the moons of Jupiter" and I go: "Fine". Simmons goes: "Quantum Teleportation, Brane Holes, Little Green Men, Invisibility Hat" and I don't even blink an eye. Any other writer would have got me shouting at the book "Get it together man! This is just getting too much too fast, where in gods name are you going with this?", but for some reason Simmons makes me go: "Sure". This is some kind of magic I thourougly enjoy, and I will be reading much more of Dan Simmons from now on. ( )
2 vote bramboomen | Oct 18, 2023 |
This review was also posted here - https://cavetothecross.com/blog/ilium/

This is my second attempt at reading a book by Dan Simmons. I read and hated Hyperion and after a recommendation from Nick Rekieta of this book, it is clear that I do not care for anything by Simmons and will stop trying.

I would not say that Simmons is without talent and it seems that a number of people enjoy his books. Simmon's pacing here is a slog. The story meanders and most of it feels like it's a high school teaching telling a bad story to get people interested in reading the Iliad. There is no character that is worth caring about. The main character barely seems like he would survive a fistfight let alone carry out the feats required of him in the story. For over three-quarters of the book, three different storylines crawl and switch enough times without any real revelations or reasons why one would care to continue that it is now three stories that crawl. It's not until the last quarter of the book that anything of actual value occurs and even then its a mixture of confusing reveals and plot points that I didn't know what really was going on or to what extent things mattered. Echoes of Hyperion loomed greatly here.

Simmons knows his history and his Iliad. However, what is two books could have been one and it's one that I will not be continuing as I fear it would lead to my own Odyssey. Final Grade - F ( )
  agentx216 | Aug 27, 2023 |
117
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
This is the first volume of a very ambitious, two-part work, which encompasses multiple story threads, time frames, galaxies and life forms. We have the Trojan War, overseen by Greek Gods located on Mars, moraveks dispatched from Jovian moons, Shakespearean characters in real life (Prospero and Caliban) and a far future Earth, inhabited by the remnants of the human race, but controlled by post-human constructs.

Unlike some of Simmon’s work (the Hyperion Canto in particular), the story arc is easily followed, though at times a little silly. Likewise, the story could have been more tightly woven, saving a hundred pages, but, after all, this is Simmons, a noted editor’s nightmare.

At the end of the day, the book is a pleasant read; certainly enough so to justify a continuation to volume two, Olympus. ( )
  santhony | Oct 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simmons, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brèque, Jean-DanielTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pariseau, KevinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Terwijl de geest, moe van de strijd,
zich verliest in gelukzaligheid:
de Geest, die grote Oceaan
waar al wat mogelijk is kan bestaan;
en waar, oneindig groot of klein,
ook andere landen, zeeën zijn,
en waar de schepping wordt herleid
tot een groene twijg van tijdelijkheid.

- Andrew Marvell, 'The Garden'
Vee kan men zich roven
en vetgemeste schapen,
ketels en roodbruine paarden,
maar het leven van de mens
keert nooit terug,
door roof nog koop,
als het eenmaal aan de
haag der tanden is ontsnapt.
- Achilles, in de Ilias van
Homerus, boek IX, 405 - 409
Een bitter hart dat zijn tijd verbeidt en bijt,
- Caliban, in Robert Browning, 'Caliban upon Setebos'
Dedication
This novel is dedicated to Wabash College—its men, its faculty, and its legacy
First words
Rage.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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The Trojan War rages at the foot of Olympos Mons on Mars -- observed and influenced from on high by Zeus and his immortal family -- and twenty-first-century professor Thomas Hockenberry is there to play a role in the insidious private wars of vengeful gods and goddesses. On Earth, a small band of the few remaining humans pursues a lost past and devastating truth -- as four sentient machines depart from Jovian space to investigate, perhaps terminate, the potentially catastrophic emissions emanating from a mountaintop miles above the terraformed surface of the Red Planet.

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Book description
Taking the events and characters of the Iliad as his jumping- off point, Dan Simmons has created an epic of time travel and savage warfare. Travellers from 40,000 years in the future return to Homer's Greece and rewrite history forever, their technology impacting on the population in a godlike fashion.
Haiku summary
Gods, Humans, Robots
History meeting future
Trojan War meets Mars
(islanddave)

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