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Prayers To Broken Stones

by Dan Simmons

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hyperion Cantos (Prequel:The Death of the Centaur, Remembering Siri)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
567433,236 (3.63)5
A woman returns from the dead with disastrous results for the family who loves her.... An old-fashioned barbershop is the site of a medieval ritual of bloodyterror.... During a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration, a messenger from the South brings tidings of great horror.... From a ghostly Civil War battlefield to a combat theme park in Vietnam, from the omnipotent brain of an autistic boy to a shocking story of psychic vampires, journey into a world of fear and mystery, a chilling twilight zone of the mind. "From the Paperback edition."… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
A good collection of Dan Simmons' earlier tales, including quite a few more on the horror side of science-fiction. I enjoyed the introduction, where Harlan Ellison writes of his 'discovery' of Simmons at a writers' workshop. Dan Simmons is one of those writers I trust to take me somewhere...interesting if not necessarily pleasant. ( )
  questbird | Aug 16, 2016 |
Great read. Simmons has a more novel-as-short-story approach. There is a lot of movement and coloration where others prefer scene-based and quick motion narrative.

"The River Styx Flows Upstream" and "Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle" and also "Iverson's Pits" are my favorites. Simmons is probably the greatest storyteller of the last 50 years. I believe he will be remembered as the greatest writer of the century.

I would like to note here though that NONE of these short stories would be published in todays faux-artistic world of short story publishing. These stories take patience and require the reader to move through scenes as one might observe them in real-time, all with a perfect balance of strangeness and true to character voice. Magazine editors currently (I'm hoping it's a fad) are almost exclusively interested in "idea stories" or what I call "What if" stories. There is no room anymore for philosophical subtext, clever description or even a puzzling split metaphor. Everything has to be understood by the common idiot. Everything has to be plain as day and to hell with double meanings or even single meanings, they'll be lost on the modern reader. It's sad that writers are almost forbidden to learn from or mimic the great writers. To do so is a direct path to rejection. Rather, there better not be any loopholes in your story about lawnmowers that come alive at night to feed on rascally garden gnomes. Never mind that you can't write worth a shit, and you couldn't spot a plu-perfect verb if it latched on to your only descended testicle.

Oh my, another one of my rants. Oh well.

It was a good book. ( )
1 vote DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
ZB7
  mcolpitts | Aug 3, 2009 |
worth it for the Harlan Ellison introduction and the first story -- the one that got Dan Simmons discovered. ( )
  jimandpatti | Oct 15, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simmons, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crisp, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Karen, with love.
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A woman returns from the dead with disastrous results for the family who loves her.... An old-fashioned barbershop is the site of a medieval ritual of bloodyterror.... During a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration, a messenger from the South brings tidings of great horror.... From a ghostly Civil War battlefield to a combat theme park in Vietnam, from the omnipotent brain of an autistic boy to a shocking story of psychic vampires, journey into a world of fear and mystery, a chilling twilight zone of the mind. "From the Paperback edition."

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