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Olympos Mass Market Paperback – Jul 2 2006

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (July 2 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380817934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380817931
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Welcome back to the Trojan War gone 'round the bend. Hector and Achilles have joined forces against the Olympic Gods. Back on a future Earth, assorted creatures from Shakespeare's The Tempest get ready to rumble in a winner-takes-the-universe battle royale. And amid it all, a group of confused mere mortals with their classically trained robot allies (from Jupiter no less) race across time and space to keep from getting squashed as the various Titans of the Western Canon square off. Confused? It's all part of Dan Simmons's Olympos, a novel one part fun-with-quantum-physics and two parts through-the-looking-glass survey of Western Literature. Picking up where he left off in the high-wire act Ilium, Simmons doesn't disappoint. Not only is Olympos excellent hard science fiction and grand space opera, it's a riveting and fast-paced book that is alternately shocking, thrilling, and often deftly hilarious as his hapless human creations wrestle the forces of literary history itself. Be sure to read Ilium first, though. That and a more than passing familiarity with The Illiad might come in handy for the journey to Mars, Ilium's far-off shores, and the Earth that might be. --Jeremy Pugh Exclusive Content

Master of the Universes: An Exclusive Interview with Dan Simmons

Changing genres as easily as others change clothes, bestselling author Dan Simmons has written horror, mystery, historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. In this exclusive interview, he talks about his latest SF triumph, Olympos, a tale of Mars, the Greek gods, and survival in a posthuman world.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Blazed Linen on Sept. 12 2011
Format: Paperback
Olympos, and its first part, Ilium, are based off Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey. You don't have to have read them to understand Simmons' books, but it couldn't hurt. I have read both, loved them thoroughly, and was completely swept away by Simmons' creative manipulation of ancient literature and mythology without ruining the old books themselves. Reminds me of the new Star Trek film; an entirely different path is taken without taking away from the pervious shows and movies. Simmons maintains his use of classical literature as a spring board (thinking of the Hyperion series use of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) from which to launch his very far future dystopic epic. I enjoyed these books more than the Hyperion series, which, as it were, were also excellent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dan Simmons done a really good job on the first book Ilium, the ending was great and it led right into this book Olympos but.... after reading this book I am left with a feeling of "I hope there is another one to explain what happened". Olympos was a page turner right to the end, but when it was finished it felt like the author must have ran out of idea's. I would still consider this book a reader if you read the first book ilium already and if you are new to both books. But I am still hoping that there will be a third to repair the ending in this book.
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By A Customer on Dec 22 2005
Format: Hardcover
this was deftly witty book full of thrills and spills with plenty of action. The plot may sound condfusing but was in fact very simple to follow and thoroughly enjoyable. the mortals are caught between battles with demigods in a space/trojan/spirit world battle that kept me as captivated as the Lucifer Wars which held a similar theme but set in the modern day.
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By Sui Meing Wong on July 16 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable if you know of Dan Simmons' style of writing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 191 reviews
76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
I am SO disappointed with Olympos! March 22 2006
By Simmons Fan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Please don't get me wrong. I am a HUGE Dan Simmons fan. I am an avid fan of his Hyperion series and I am waiting with serious anticipation for a movie series to unfold. While reading Ilium, I fell in love with the slightly dorky Hockenberry and the glorious Orphu and Mahnmut, worrying and fretting about their outcomes in this finale...

I was SO disappointed. This is just not Mr. Simmons' best writing. At BEST this is a melange of notes, maddeningly short chapters that jump from one subplot to the next (you literally have 5 or 6 subplots with an added one or two thrown in in the last 100 pages just to tick you off). Then, when you are heading for that all critical showdown with the antagonists (of which there are a minimum of 4 major and a whole slew of minors including Helen of Troy), you get NOTHING. I mean, there IS no showdown. The horrific Setebos and his evil sidekick Caliban (who was supposed to be THE bad one in Ilium)...Well, let's just say that Nada, zip and "What the He**!!" were my thoughts and exclamations. It was just awful. You get some seriously disturbing scenes like semi-necrophilia/rape the stasis patient (a la Kill Bill Part 1) which frankly, leave a bad, stinky, taste in your mouth. There is a lot of mind numbing exposition/explanation of physics and brane holes and all the things that make you think that Mr. Simmons is just trying to prove he ran these things past physics/chaos/quantum theory prof friends of his. (My favorite quip from anyone like this was simply "Quantum Physicists have P-branes".)

The book starts out really well. The chapters are of good length. Then they get smaller, more frenetic and things spin in and out and back again until you KNOW the end is going to slam into you and you are not going to like it. It's the same thing I have found over the years with Anne Rice. She would start out with an amazing plot and lose it in the middle and muddle her way to the disappointing, often hard to understand end.

And MAN, if Odysseus were really alive today, there is NO way he'd have followed Sycorax through time just to get it on with her. He'd have tricked her to be with his beloved. Come ON! There had to have been SOME kind of heroic ending instead of him just turning into a horny old time traveler! Gads. Such a letdown!

And BY the way, what EVER happened to the STRONG WOMAN characters that he seemed to have in his previous novels? In this one, she leads her wounded and left for dead group of friends out of serious danger then has a baby and BAM, she is relegated to a minor character who defers to hubby by the end. (Must be all the BOOK LEARNING he could hold over her head. Maybe he didn't send her as many PACKETS????) She just turns from heroine to glowing barefoot momma with kids in the background...ick.

Mr. Simmons is an amazing writer. I would really like to see more of the Hyperion series with a fresh, new slant. I have said this before and I hope I don't see these things anymore. I do not ever want to see another literary translation of a major epic in any more of his sci fi books. The man is seriously intimidating in his love and knowledge of ancient literature but, I can't take another novel full of clips from Keats, Yeats, Proust, Shakespeare and the myriads of Iliads. Moreover, I don't want any more stories with brane holes, creches or resurrection couches. And for goodness sake, stop with the mini-chapters and zillions of characters and sub plots. Too many to keep up with.

All in all, I am seriously disappointed. I even popped for the signed leather limited edition. Oh well. I hope for many more. They can't all be divine. But no more stinkers please!!! I like you too much to see you steep yourself in more of this!
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Very Imaginative Story, Highly Disappointing Ending. Oct. 28 2005
By Tribe Hollywood - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm glad we have Dan Simmons because an author who has the courage to imagine on a grand, fantastic scale and has the guts to take a story all the way is rare and alway a pleasure.

Unfortunately, Simmons fails in this particular attempt - Illium was great, Olympos starts out convoluted, amps up on suspense around the middle and then the story falls apart completely.

I'll avoid being repetetive but let me just say that all the loose ends listed here by other reviewers are truly loose ends and not just oversights by inattentive readers.

For example: If an auhor says: "This character is told to walk the Atlantic Breach for months even though he could be brought to the other side in seconds - but there is a deeper reason for it!" - then I think the reader deserves to find out that reason at some point.

The explanation given for the existence of the Greek gods on Mars and all the other fantastically bizarre things that are going is, it turns out, thoroughly ridiculous. It's an all-purpose explanation that makes no more sense than "Well, anything is possible..."

Why was Hockenberry created by the Gods?

Why was he recording the Trojan War for Zeus?

I mean... - this is the MAIN CHARACTER and his entire existence makes no sense.

What happened to the big villain (Setebos)? He just disappears, without explanation!!!

What is Moira doing in there? First, it seems so important to wake her, then she does nothing but walk around invisible!

Why is Prospero important? What does he do? Nothing.

Why did the moravecs mount a huge expedition to Earth to end the quantum disturbance? They end up doing absolutely nothing because Setebos, as I said, just disappears...

So - many points for imagination and good writing, and a dissappointed shake of the head for a story that simply does not deliver.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A let down... Nov. 9 2005
By A. Todd - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Simmons fan and the Hyperion series is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi collections. I loved Ilium and devoured the book in one weekend. I couldn't wait for the follow-up. In fact, I pre-ordered Olympos and the new H. Potter book at about the same time, and decided that Olympos was my next must-read book.

Then, it literally took me 4 months to read Olympos. I essentially had to force myself to keep reading. Ilium was ablaze with suspense and all the characters, from the gods to the moravecs (organic machines), leapt off the page they were so alive.

Spoiler Alerts: There are numerous story threads that are left hanging, others that simply dissipate. The build-up created in Ilium, where meta-intelligences (Prospero, Sycorax, Ariel, post-humans in the guise of the Greek Pantheon) are battling for their respective interests, is not resolved in Olympos. Other characters arrive, and their motives are never fully explored or explained. Prospero floats around being cryptic. Sycorax gives up a battle she has been waging for centuries to have sex with Odysseus. Ariel appears once, acts mysterious, and disappears. The post-human Greek gods just eventually go away.

In the first book, the fabric of the entire universe is in danger because the post-humans have abused quantum reality. Additionally, the quantum distortions have allowed evil beings from other dimensions to slip into our universe. In Olympos, the evil departs, with no explanation. Apparently, the quantum instability is also resolved, also without much explanation. Primary characters from the first book are ignored in the second.

Most frustrating, the pace of the second book is lethargic through 3/4 of the novel, and then the pace picks up at frenetic speed. At the point where the pace increases, is precisely where things just stop being explained. The moravecs, which, throughout Ilium, carry the literary heart and soul of mankind because mankind has forgotten them, become, in book two, cute/fuzzy jokesters who babysit children. In book one, they had their own society!

I'm not sure how this got past the editors, but narratively speaking, this is an inferior effort from Simmons, and especially in light of the first book, which blew me away. This book left me cold and flat, and by the end, I just didn't care what happened to anyone in the book. I was just happy I could finally move on to Harry Potter.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Very Disappointing... Nov. 10 2005
By Martin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
After "Illium," I couldn't wait to read this.

Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment.

The biggest problem is that almost no resolution is given to the many fantastic plots and characters. This book merely adds more stories, more figures, and never explains, resolves or wraps up any of it.

The few explanations that finally are given are absolutely ludicrous.

It's a shame because this story - which had a brilliant start - degenerates into disjointed, boring, nerdy garbage.

Suddenly, after all the cool stuff in Illium, you get robots who are Star Trek fans (a few thousand years after the series aired), a supervillain who is a big brain bug with hands as feet (how silly is that?) that feeds on human suffering (yawn), trite anti-Islamic-terrorism stuff, a silly D&D-ish sex scene, an alien giant who appears out of nowhere and - can you say deux ex machina? - resolves a few plot lines, a cool moravec army that never does anything, a verse-talking monster who... oh yeah, that's one of the unresolved plot lines, a verse-talking hologram who... oh, that's another unresolved plotline, a major character who just disappears in another silly sex scene with Odysseus, an ex-Eloi going on a completely senseless and unexplained trek through an artifical ocean canyon, a Post-Human who is finally awoken with great fuss and never does anything but walk around invisible (another big yawn there), a long, harrowing but completely unnecessary journey in a giant cable car (an aerial repeat of Hyperion's wind car) and, finally, a main character - Hockenberry - who apparently was brought back to life for a reason by Zeus (whatever happens to Zeus, anyway?) but we never learn that reason.

Also - and I should mention I'm not a gay rights activist or anything - but there is a strangely conspicuous anti-gay slur near the end of the book.

Apparently, other reviewers noticed that, too.

It doesn't fit in at all and it's almost as if someone hacked into the manuscript after the editors approved it and added it.

Perhaps that's the explanation for this whole mess of a book?

What can I say?

I guess the only thing I can say is:

"What's the point?"
100 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Fine author - competent book July 16 2005
By Stephen Chakwin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dan Simmons is amazingly skilled as a writer. He has obviously spent much time with great literature to his benefit and his readers'. The Hyperion tetralogy still contains more archetypal images in less space than any book or series of books I know.

Ilium, the predecessor to this book, was an interesting set-up and I enjoyed it. [What's not to like when an English professor gets to become the bedmate of Helen of Troy? Shades of "The Kugelmass Episode"!]

I was eager to find out how Simmons would get himself out of the many traps he had put himself into. Nobody is a better speculative fiction Houdini than he is.

And here we are with gazillions of pages that lead to one of those "Huh?" last-volume-of-the-Dune-series endings. Lots of loose ends here and no third volume in sight.

No spoilers here, but I have to note that the trajectories of the characters seems arbitrary sometimes - Achilles especially with a bizarre wind-up.

I also find some of the writing self-indulgent in a crass kind of way. A character of immense age and power spends much time talking like an oracle and some like a trailer trash Jerry Springer guest.

In the same way, some of the important plot events happen offstage and seem designed simply to move characters around and get them in and out of the narrative.

If you enjoyed Ilium, you ought to read this one, but bear in mind that it's middling Simmons. Middling Simmons is far better than the best of many other writers. And yet, Simmons's best writing and thinking promises a book - or a series of books - much better than this one. It's a promise that he's never lived up to, not even in the Hyperion books. I hope he someday writes the book that he's capable of.

Meanwhile, consider this a kind of placeholder for that book. It's Simmons on cruise control.

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