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About Dan Simmons
Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.
Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.
His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.
Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."
Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.
Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.
In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.
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The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.
Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.
Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before twenty-first-century scholar Thomas Hockenberry stirred the bloody brew, causing an enraged Achilles to join forces with his archenemy Hector and turn his murderous wrath on Zeus and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators; before the swift and terrible mechanical creatures that catered for centuries to the pitiful idle remnants of Earth's human race began massing in the millions, to exterminate rather than serve.
And now all bets are off.
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time residence of a strange and brilliant friend who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960 -- is only the latest in his long succession of recent mistakes. Because Dale is not alone here. He has been followed to this house of shadows by private demons who are now twisting his reality into horrifying new forms. And a thick, blanketing early snow is starting to fall ...
Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?
Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), Drood explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, Drood is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.
But someone doesn't want the accountant found -- and with enemies inside the Family vying for his throne, and turf warfare just around the corner, Farino needs an outsider like Kurtz to flush out who's really behind this latest affront. As the story twists and turns and the body count rises, Kurtz no longer knows who he can trust. Everyone seems to be after something, from the mob boss's sultry yet dangerous daughter, to a hit man named The Dane, an albino killer who is good with a knife, and a dwarf who is armed to the teeth and hell-bent on revenge. Kurtz has always been an ace investigator. Now he's about to discover that to get at the truth, sometimes you have to go after it -- hard.
Joe Kurtz, former investigator and convicted felon, is on parole. But the years he spent in Attica didn't make his old haunts any safer. Back on the streets of Buffalo, he's already marked by a local Mafia don.
As if watching his back weren't enough work, Kurtz has also been hired by a gravely ill John Frears, whose daughter met a grisly fate at the hands of a murderer. Frears wants one thing before he dies: for Kurtz to find the fiend that the authorities couldn't. But the calculating killer -- a master at changing identities -- has a little unfinished business of his own. Dodging a contract on his head and tracking a serial killer on the loose, Kurtz plunges headfirst into the icy waters of revenge as both victim and avenger.
An extraordinary artist with few rivals in his chosen arena, Dan Simmons possesses a restless talent that continually presses boundaries while tantalizing the mind and touching the soul. Now he offers us a superb quintet of novellas -- five dazzling masterworks of speculative fiction, including "Orphans of the Helix," his award-winning return to the Hyperion Universe -- that demonstrates the unique mastery, breathtaking invention, and flawless craftsmanship of one of contemporary fiction's true greats.
Human colonists seeking something other than godhood encounter their long-lost "cousins"...and an ancient scourge.
- A devastated man in suicide's embrace is caught up in a bizarre cat-and-mouse game with a young woman possessing a world-ending power.
- The distant descendants of a once-oppressed people learn a chilling lesson about the persistence of the past.
- A terrifying ascent up the frigid, snow-swept slopes of K2 shatters preconceptions and reveals the true natures of four climbers, one of whom is not human.
- At the intersection of a grand past and a threadbare present, an aging American in Russia confronts his own mortality as he glimpses a wondrous future.
Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus -- his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.
This leads to serious complications for James -- for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?
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 bloody terror. . . .
During a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration, a messenger from the South brings tidings of great horror. . . .
Includes the following stories:
“The River Styx Runs Upstream”
“Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”
“Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell”
“Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle”
“E-Ticket to 'Namland”
“Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites”
“The Death of the Centaur”
“Two Minutes and Forty-Five Seconds”
Ex-PI Joe Kurtz's survival is on the line when an ambush leaves him badly wounded and his parole officer, Peg O'Toole, clinging to life. Their respective professions have ensured that neither suffers from a shortage of enemies, so narrowing down the suspects isn't easy. But Kurtz knows who's at the head of his list: Angelina Farino Ferrara, the lethal beauty who leads the Farino crime family, and her mob rival, Toma Gonzaga.
The odd thing is, each would rather hire Joe Kurtz than fire at him. Someone's causing trouble beneath the gray skies of western New York, and it's drawn the notice of the mobs and the cops. Kurtz is caught in the middle along with the rest of them, and no one knows who's tightening the vise.
His latest case promises to be his most challenging yet. A spate of seemingly random high-speed car accidents has struck the highways of southern California. Each seems to have been staged-yet the participants have all died. Why would anyone commit fraud at the cost of his own life? The deeper Darwin digs, the closer he comes to unmasking an international network specializing in intimidation and murder, whose members will do anything to make sure Darwin soon suffers a deadly accident of his own.
"A literary thriller like no other...A hard-charging, edge-of-the-seat tale."-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
But when Hemingway uncovers a critical piece of intelligence that both threatens his life and endangers the political landscape, the fate of the free world and the life of one of its most preeminent writers lies in the hands of the FBI's most ruthless agent.