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Phases of Gravity Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596064161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596064164
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,619,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Dan Simmons has done something very rare in writing today.
papaphilly
Part of me is afraid to read it again, as if reading the book the first time was like a moment in time where everything just seemed to synchronize.
Tyler Doty
I gave it to someone, telling her that it was an excellent book and that I highly recommended it.
Brian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on August 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had never heard of this Dan Simmons book until the moment when I first saw it in some comic book store . . . and that immediately intruiged me. Generally with a successful author you hear about all of their books, whether it's the glorious peaks of their best work or the terrible quality that is the worst they have to offer. Curious I picked it up and put it on a shelf to read until just the other day, and now I finally finished. And I'm definitely impressed. This has to be one of the Simmons' least known and most underrated works, all of his fans who read his Hyperion series or even the fans who like his horror work should come and get this, because it falls nicely in the middle. Neither a science fiction nor a horror novel, this time he chooses to write about the simplest and most complex of topics: people. The novel concerns the spiritual (in a sense) quest of a former astronaut who once walked on the moon and his attempts to come to terms with his life and all that has transpired. It raises the interesting question, once you've sacrificed nearly everything so you can do what only a handful of men have done, isn't everything downhill after that. And if you leave your life in ruins because of those sacrifices, well you can't stay in space forever and you've eventually got to come down and face the music. The more is vastly more complicated than that and even though it doesn't have snarling vampires or weird spiky creatures (not that I don't like those) guarenteed you won't miss them one bit. Simmons crafts his main character with all the depth of a real person and eventually he becomes someone you want to know and someone you do get to know.Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By papaphilly on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dan Simmons has done something very rare in writing today. He makes you think. He has written a book about taking stock of ones life. His protangonist has been to the moon, which would make him the envy of many people. Yet, his life is not working. So the story weaves its magic on the reader. As the story proceeds, some of lifes questions are answered for the hero, but not all of them. There is a sense of disquiet that pervades the story. Better yet, melancholy best describes this work. If you going through your own personal search for the meaning of life or want a sense of what it could be like, then I highly recommend this novel. There are no aliens or monsters with this read, but it stands along with the best of what he has written. It is truly an amazing piece.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those rare books that I try to read again every few years. I was searching for another book on Amazon by another author and a book by Simmons was suggested. This got me thinking about Phases, one of the few books I have ever read that inspired serious reflection without inducing an even more serious downer. I don't remember a great deal about the plot or the protagonist, Baedecker, but I do recall reading the last line and closing the book with a clean satisfaction.
This is not sf, despite its designation as such. Its just a damned good story about a middle-aged "success" trying to find himself in an odd little world. If this sounds a bit like you -- get a copy -- if you can find one. Seeing that this book is out of print just about ruined my day -- except that I know where my copy is at home!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Cote on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
The title of this review says it all. Dan Simmons is one of my all-time favorite authors, and Phases of Gravity stands out as one of his finest works. Beautifully written, the story of Baedecker's search for himself simply flows, and the book has (in my opinion) one of the greatest final lines in any story I've ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Orullian on January 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are only familiar with Simmons work if strange alien races are embarking on Chaucer-like pilgrimages to distant worlds or troubled humans are brought at odds with the dark elements of human mythology and taboo, then read this book and watch Simmons demonstrate that he writes resonant tales in several categories of fiction.
This was the third Simmons book I read, and remains a close second behind Summer of Night after reading nearly all his catalogue. How wonderful to consider the many meanings to the title. And who will ever forget the glass enclosed planetarium - its images sear themselves upon the retinas of the minds eye, and your happy for it
Hazahhh!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Billings on March 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm 22, I read a lot. Dan Simmons has recently become my all time favorite author after reading the Hyperion books, Ilium, Carrion Comfort, and a few of his others. One I checked out and bought through Amazon was this one Phases of Gravity. It already has some outstandingly written reviews that I just read through, so I can't really elaborate much on what they've said. Basically, this is not my genre of book, but damnit I'm committed to finding a book Dan Simmons has written that isn't absolutley genuinely phenomonal. Hahaha! Well, I haven't yet. I read this book in three or four days, and loved every minute of it. It's such a refreshing departure from everyones formula of "Save the world!" and "Gasp! People are getting eaten somewhere!" It's a down to earth (haha) book about Richard Baedecker and his search to find himself. It's amazing, because being one of the few people to go to the Moon and walk on it, it deals with his life afterwards and how he seems to be unable to find any meaning in anything. The book takes you through what basically amounts to a year or two of his life. I certainly walked away with something, a feeling almost palpable. I just finished it 10 minutes ago and I STILL have the chills!!! Great book! Not for everyone, but fantastic nonetheless. And it's not a long read either, so what have you got to lose? Give it a shot!
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