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Worlds Enough & Time: Five Tales of Speculative Fiction Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (November 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060506040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060506049
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As in his last collection, Lovedeath (1993), the chameleonic Simmons shifts effortlessly between dark fantasy, space opera, hard SF and mainstream fiction, offering five high-concept novellas in which parallel plots and colliding lives yield intricately layered and emotionally resonant narratives. In Looking for Kelly Dahl, a self-pitying alcoholic teacher finds salvation when he is absorbed into a fantasy world of unsullied nature conjured by a sexually abused student. On K2 with Kanakaredes distills a potent study of universal values from an account of a team of mountain climbersthree human and one extraterrestrialstruggling together to scale a formidable peak. Occasionally the stories can seem too consciously didactic, as in The Ninth of Av, which depends on a strained analogy between Scott's failed polar expedition and an episode of future genocide, and Orphans of the Helix, a vividly detailed but surprisingly dramaless extension of the author's landmark Hyperion/Endymion saga. But the author's lapidary prose and ambitious ideas more often mesh seamlessly, as in The End of Gravity, where he turns a fleshed-out treatment for an as-yet-unproduced film about humanity's place in the cosmic scheme into a mesmerizing meditation with the intensity of a prose poem. Simmons's readers know to expect literate and illuminating fiction that pushes the envelope of his chosen story forms, and this volume will not disappoint them.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The five novellas collected here illustrate the stylistic talent and storytelling expertise of the award-winning author of Hyperion and other series titles. Featured are "Looking for Kelly Dahl," in which a teacher's search for an enigmatic former student leads him on a journey of self-discovery that crosses time and space, and "The End of Gravity," which explores humanity's fascination with outer space. Rounding o3ut this eclectic collection are "Orphans of the Helix," set in the world of the Hyperion novels; "The Ninth of Av," a far-future tale of the rediscovery of ancient history and its dark secrets; and "On K2 with Kanakaredes," in which a group of humans accompanies an insectoid alien on a perilous mountain climbing expedition. The author's introductions add context and insight, making this a good choice for most sf collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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

A collection of long stories by Simmons.
Blue Tyson
Affecting, touching and often terrifying, Looking For Kelly Dahl is an amazing story that fully displays Simmons at his very best.
Sebastien Pharand
I thought the resolution of the dilemma in the story was a little forced though, abrupt even.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Sebastien Pharand on December 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
There isn't a single thing Simmons isn't capable of writing. His novels have touched nearly every single genre - horror, dark humour, sci-fi, fantasy, action, hard-boiled crime... Simmons is able to dip his pen in every type of story that fancies him, and always excels at it. His new collection, Worlds Enough and Time, contains five science-fiction stories. But Simmons isn't able to simply write the typical sci-fi yarn. What he does is go deeper than most authors do to get a meaningful, powerful and always affecting final product.
The collection's best story is also its opener. Looking For Kelly Dahl is a ghost story in which a man is confronted by one of his old students. After a suicide attempt, the narrator awakens in an empty world where the only two inhabitants are himself and Kelly Dahl, a disturbed young woman who wants something out of him. What that is, however, isn't clear until the last pages of the story. Affecting, touching and often terrifying, Looking For Kelly Dahl is an amazing story that fully displays Simmons at his very best.
I also really enjoyed the stories The Ninth Av and On K2 with Kanakaredes. In the first story, history repeats itslef with the earth's distant Jewish descendents are faced with yet a new period of assimilation and darkness. In the second story, three men who are set on climbing to the top of K2 are forced by the government to bring an alien ambassador along for the ride. Both stories are widly original and thought-provoking.
Fans of Simmon's amazingly popular Hyperion series will be happy with the story Orphans of the Helix, which takes place in the Hyperion universe. Although a little slow moving, the story pushes just the right buttons. And the final climax is just perfect.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian on August 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Overall, if you are a fan of Simmons, this book is a must have as 2 of the stories touch upon worlds seen in his larger works. Specifically "The Ninth of Av" is a prequel to Ilium, and "Orphans of the Helix" is a sequel set in the Hyperion universe. I was not overly impressed by the opening story of "Kelly Dahl" about a man trying to kill himself and an enigmatic former student of his with world changing powers. I never felt for the main character nor did I care if he killed himself or not. "Orphans of the Helix" was a nice revisiting of a far flung colony of Ousters and Templars set many years after the events in the Endymion duology. I thought the resolution of the dilemma in the story was a little forced though, abrupt even. "The Ninth of Av" was a mildly interesting story set just before the Final Fax that is mentioned in Ilium. It sheds some light on those events and flows a little better into its parent universe than "Orphans" which was more of a stand alone story just happening to appear in the Hyperion universe. It made me want to re-read Ilium. "On K2 with Kanakaredes" was a great story about a company of climbers on the slopes of K2 (go figure) who for political reasons must take an alien with them. This was my favorite story out of the 5. I must have missed the point of "The End of Gravity" because it was only average to me. An american writer is sent to Russia for a story on the russian interests in the International Space Station. It shows the russians as proud of their space achievements in a way that America has not been for a long time. More interesting to me and a high point of this book were the anecdotal introductions to each of the stories. They give a glimpse into the life of Simmons that I enjoyed more than some of the stories.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on September 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dan Simmons' WORLDS ENOUGH AND TIME didn't receive quite the fanfare it deserved when it was published late last year. WE&T, which collects five of Simmons' best recent sci-fi (or speculative) novellas, was originally put out in hardcover by a small press, in a relatively small run. It wasn't made readily available to the readers who would have eaten it up until its large-size paperback publication earlier this year, which means it unfortunately missed its window of window time at the front of the major chain bookstores, where bestsellers get stacked like Aztec pyramids.

It's too bad, because WE&T contains some of Simmons best work. Some of the best work from a guy who has been writing consistently for over twenty years now without hardly ever compromising the intelligence, emotion, and spontaneity of his output.

If you like Dan Simmons' work, but haven't read this one (or haven't even heard of it until you clicked on this page) don't waste any on the add to your cart button, or run out to your local bookstore or library and hope they have a copy. It's a short, but consistently good collection that'll keep reminding you over and over again what a good writer Simmons is.

The collection includes two pieces that tie into Simmons' larger Sci-Fi opi (let's pretend I didn't use that phrase): THE HYPERION CANTOS, and the recently begun ILIUM-OLYMPOS saga. "Children of the Helix," probably the tightest plotted and most thrilling story included in WE&T is drawn from the HYPERION universe, though, as Simmons explains in his introduction for the tale, he originally wrote it as a STAR TREK episode.
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