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Ilium Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2005
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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On Earth, a post-technological group of humans, pampered by servant machines and easy travel via "faxing," begins to question its beginnings. Meanwhile, a team of sentient and Shakespeare-quoting robots from Jupiter's lunar system embark on a mission to Mars to investigate an increase in dangerous quantum fluctuations. On the Red Planet, they'll find a race of metahumans living out existence as the pantheon of classic Greek gods. These "gods" have recreated the Trojan War with reconstituted Greeks and Trojans and staffed it with scholars from throughout Earth's history who observe the events and report on the accuracy of Homer's Iliad. One of these scholars, Thomas Hockenberry, finds himself tangled in the midst of interplay between the gods and their playthings and sends the war reeling in a direction the blind poet could have never imagined.
Simmons creates an exciting and thrilling tale set in the thick of the Trojan War as seen through Hockenberry's 20th-century eyes. At the same time, Simmons's robots study Shakespeare and Proust and the origin-seeking Earthlings find themselves caught in a murderous retelling of The Tempest. Reading this highly literate novel does take more than a passing familiarity with at least The Iliad but readers who can dive into these heady waters and swim with the current will be amply rewarded. --Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Following his great epic Hyperion/Endymon, Simmons comes back with another mind blowing science-fiction saga. Ilium is as good if not better than its predecessor, and it is bound to become a classic of the genre, because Ilium is like nothing you've read before. Simmons has done the impossible by creaing something completely fresh, new and highly interesting.
The book is separated in three major stories that are all loosely linked to one another. The first story is set on earth, where the post-humans are about to discover that there is much more to life than their uncomplicated, empty existence. When three of these post-humans go on a trek to investigate their originators, they will uncover a dark sercret that will threaten everything they thought they knew.
The second story concentrates on a group of robot-like Shakespeare-quoting things who are going on a mission to Mars to try and understand why the planet has terraformed itself. But when their mission goes wrong, they will soon be left stranded on this strange planet.
And finally, the final story (and most interesting one) is about a scholi (a professor who goes back in history to observe) who is serving as a witness to the greatest battle of all time, the one depicted in Homer's The Iliad. But the scholi will soon realize that one little shift in events can render the whole future uncertain.
And this is probably the heart of Simmons's incredible novel. Beautifully written, this book is all about the power of transformation in time, in space and on a personal level.Read more ›
The Trojan War is being reenacted on an Earth created by a race of metahumans who have assumed the roles of the Greek gods of classical mythology, who apparently live on Mars. Our vantage point to this exercise is Thomas Hockenberry, a scholar who is pretty sure he is dead and remembers little of his life on earth, but knows Homer's epic poem chapter and verse, and along with the rest of his colleagues is cataloguing where the action diverges from the "Iliad.Read more ›
With "Ilium," the infectious risk is Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey;" Shakespeare's sonnets and "The Tempest;" and - gulp - Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Lost." Yowza.
"Ilium" is three seemingly unrelated stories from the 40th Century, stories from three different possibilities of what man might become. There are the Moravecs, inhabiting Jupiter's and Saturn's moons, man-machine hybrids, with a lingering taste for the works of Shakespeare and Proust. There are the Eloi - an appreciative nod to H. G Wells here - who turn out to be all too horrifyingly Eloi, a "post-literate" and possibly degenerate normal human race. And there are the gods of Olympus - Mons Olympus - who may be post-humans, engaged in a bloody re-enactment of the Trojan War.
We see the story through the eyes of Moravecs, a few of the humans and one of Scholi, the observers of the gods, re-constructed college classics professors, sent to report to the gods on the re-enacted Trojan War. And we watch as the Scholi - one in particular - are dragged from their roles as observers to participants, and as the three stories merge into one. It's a superb piece of plotting and narration.
There are resonances from "The Hyperion Cantos," but they do not distract. There are no emotional bombshells equivalent to F. Paul Dure's experience - for my money, nothing in science fiction touches the story of F. Paul Dure - but there are stunning surprises.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very fun read. I found myself not skimming paragraphs. Unusual for me. Better written than the Hyperion cantos. A good starter for those readers unfamiliar with Mr. Simmons. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
Simmons masterfully blends old school Homer with science fiction. A small but healthy dose of pop culture references were added in for flavor. Read morePublished 2 months ago by William B Ray
I have read a very large amount of sci-fi in my life, often concentrating on Hugo and Nebula award winning novels. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JayBee3
OK, I like the premise of the story and the story itself is kinda ok, but the writing style KILLS me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. Masem
This is a really good book - part one of two. You really need to have read the Iliad & the Odyssey - and as it turns out, a little knowledge of Shakespeare's The Tempest would be... Read morePublished 3 months ago by ktbrown