Dan Simmons
Dan Simmons
Born April 4, 1948 (1948-04-04) (age 63)
Peoria, Illinois
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1983-present
Genres Science fiction, Horror and Fantasy
Notable work(s) Novel: Song of Kali (1985), Novel: Hyperion (1989)


Dan Simmons (born April 4, 1948 in Peoria, Illinois) is an American author most widely known for his Hugo Award-winning science fiction series, known as the Hyperion Cantos, and for his Locus-winning Ilium/Olympos cycle.

He spans genres such as science fiction, horror and fantasy, sometimes within the same novel: a typical example of Simmons' ability to intermingle genres is Song of Kali (1985), winner of World Fantasy Award.[1] He is also a respected author of mysteries and thrillers, some of which feature the continuing character Joe Kurtz.



Simmons received an A.B. in English from Wabash College in 1970, and, in 1971, a Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He subsequently worked in elementary education until 1989.

He soon started to write short stories, although his career did not take off until 1982, when, through Harlan Ellison's help, his short story "The River Styx Runs Upstream" was published and awarded first prize in a Twilight Zone Magazine story competition. His first novel, Song of Kali, was released in 1985.

Horror fiction

Summer of Night (1991) recounts the childhood of a group of pre-teens who band together in the 1960s to defeat a centuries-old evil that terrorizes their hometown of Elm Haven, Illinois. The novel, which was praised by Stephen King, is similar to King's It in its focus on small town life, the corruption of innocence, the return of an ancient evil, and the responsibility for others that emerges with the transition from youth to adulthood.

In the sequel to Summer of Night, A Winter Haunting, Dale Stewart (one of the first book's protagonists, and now an adult), revisits his boyhood home to come to grips with mysteries that have disrupted his adult life. Children of the Night, another loose sequel, features a much older Mike O'Rourke, now a Roman Catholic priest, who is sent on a mission to investigate bizarre events in a European city. Another Summer of Night character, Dale's younger brother, Lawrence Stewart, appears as a minor character in Simmons' thriller Darwin's Blade, while the adult Cordie Cooke appears in Fires of Eden.

Soon after Summer of Night, Simmons, who had written mostly horror fiction, began to focus on writing science fiction, although in 2007 he returned with a work of historical fiction and horror, The Terror. In 2009 he also wrote a book, Drood, based on Charles Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood.[2]

Science fiction

Simmons became famous in 1989 for Hyperion, winner of Hugo and Locus Awards for the best science fiction novel.[3] This novel deals with a space war, and is inspired in its structure by Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Many of his works have similarly strong ties with classic literature[citation needed]:

  • Carrion Comfort derives its title and many of its themes from Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem
  • "Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living In Hell", a 1988 short story lampooning televangelists included in Prayers to Broken Stones, is about a brief return to earth by the title character, an inhabitant of Dante's Inferno
  • The Hyperion Cantos take their titles from poems by the English Romantic, John Keats.
  • The basic structure of Hyperion is taken from the Middle-English cycle of stories The Canterbury Tales. A varied group of individuals are on a pilgrimage to solicit a kind of demon-god called "the Shrike" on the planet "Hyperion" in a universe on the edge of the apocalypse. Each pilgrim tells his or her tale of why they are going to see the Shrike. The Fall of Hyperion is the conclusion to the story of the pilgrims rather than a stand-alone sequel. Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion are essentially one work in two volumes.
  • The Hollow Man (1992) is influenced by Dante's Inferno and T. S. Eliot
  • A short story from 1993, "The Great Lover", is inspired by the World War I War Poets.
  • In The Fall of Hyperion, John Keats appears as one of the main characters.
  • His Ilium/Olympos cycle is inspired by Homer's works. Both Shakespeare and Proust are mentioned as well.
  • The character of Ada and her home Ardis Hall in the Ilium cycle are inspired by Vladimir Nabokov's novel Ada or Ardor, which was Nabokov's foray into the science fiction genre and alternate history.
  • His collection of short stories, "Worlds Enough & Time", takes its name from the first line of the poem To His Coy Mistress by British poet Andrew Marvell: 'Had we but world enough, and time,'.

Movie adaptation

In January 2004, it was announced that the screenplay he wrote for his novels Ilium and Olympos would be made into a film by Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films, with Simmons acting as executive producer.[citation needed] Ilium is described as an "epic tale that spans 5,000 years and sweeps across the entire solar system, including themes and characters from Homer's Iliad and Shakespeare's The Tempest." In July 2004, Ilium received a Locus Award for best science fiction novel of 2003.[4]

Scott Derrickson is set to direct "Hyperion Cantos" for Warner Bros. and GK Films.[citation needed] Trevor Sands is penning the script which will blend the first two cantos "Hyperion" and "The Fall of Hyperion" into one film.[citation needed]

His novel Drood is set to be adapted into a movie by Guillermo del Toro for Universal Pictures.[citation needed]


Hyperion Cantos

  1. Hyperion (1989) – Hugo and Locus Awards winner, BSFA nominee, 1990;[3] Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1992[5]
  2. The Fall of Hyperion (1990) – Nebula Award niominee, 1990;[3] BSFA and Locus Awards winner, Hugo Award nominee, 1991;[6]
  3. Endymion (1996) – Locus Award shortlist, 1997[7]
  4. The Rise of Endymion (1997) – Locus Award winner, Hugo Award nominee 1998[8]


  1. Ilium (2003) – Locus Award winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2004[4]
  2. Olympos (2005) – Locus Award shortlist, 2006[9]

Joe Kurtz

  1. Hardcase (2001)
  2. Hard Freeze (2002)
  3. Hard as Nails (2003)

Other books



Bram Stoker Award

  • Best Collection (1992): Prayers to Broken Stones
  • Best Novel (1990): Carrion Comfort
  • Best Novellette (1994): "Dying in Bangkok"
  • Best Short story (1993): "This Year's Class Picture"

British Fantasy Society Award

  • Best Novel (1990): Carrion Comfort[3]

British Science Fiction Award

  • Best Novel (1991): The Fall of Hyperion[6]

Hugo Award

  • Best Novel (1990): Hyperion[3]

International Horror Guild Award

  • Best Novel (2003): A Winter Haunting

Locus Award

  • Best Horror Novel (1990): Carrion Comfort[3]
  • Best Science Fiction Novel (1990): Hyperion[3]
  • Best Novelette (1991): "Entropy's Bed at Midnight"
  • Best Science Fiction Novel (1991): The Fall of Hyperion[6]
  • Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1992): Summer of Night
  • Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1993): Children of the Night
  • Best Novelette (1994): "Dying in Bangkok"
  • Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1995): Fires of Eden
  • Best Science Fiction Novel (1998): The Rise of Endymion[8]
  • Best Novella (2000): "Orphans of the Helix"
  • Best Science Fiction Novel (2004): Ilium[4]

Readercon Award

Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Awards

Seiun Award

  • Best Foreign Novel (1995): Hyperion
  • Best Novel (1996): The Fall of Hyperion (tied with Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter)
  • Best Foreign Short Story (1999): "This Year's Class Picture"

World Fantasy Award

  • Best Novel (1986): Song of Kali[1]
  • Best Short story (1993): "This Year's Class Picture"


Dan Simmons has been nominated on numerous occasions in a range of categories for his fiction, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Bram Stoker Award, British Fantasy Society Award, Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and World Fantasy Award. [1]


  1. ^ a b c "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1986. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  2. ^ Gwinn, Mary Ann (February 15, 2009). "Q&A: Dan Simmons, author of "Drood"". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/books/2008737263_drood15.html. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1990. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2004. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  5. ^ a b "1992 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1992. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  6. ^ a b c "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1991. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  7. ^ "1997 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1997. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  8. ^ a b "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1998. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  9. ^ "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2006. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  10. ^ "1993 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1993. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  11. ^ "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2003. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  12. ^ Rafferty, Terrence (March 18, 2007). "Ice Men". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803E3D61231F93BA25750C0A9619C8B63. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  13. ^ "2008 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2008. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dan Simmons — (* 4. April 1948 in Peoria, Illinois, USA) ist ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dan Simmons — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Dan Simmons Nombre Dan Simmons Nacimiento 4 de abril de 1948] Peoria, Illinois (Estados Unidos) Ocupación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Dan Simmons — (4 de abril de 1948) es escritor. Nació en Peoria, Illinois (EEUU). Su obra más conocida es Hyperion, ganadora de los premios de ciencia ficción Hugo y Locus. Hyperion es la primera novela de la tetralogía Los cantos de Hyperion, completada por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Dan Simmons — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Simmons. Dan Simmons Nom de naissance Daniel J. Simmons Activités Romancier, nouvelliste Naissance 4 avril 1948 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Simmons — may refer to:People: * Adelma Simmons (1903 – 1997), American author and herbalist * Al Simmons (1902 1956), American baseball player * Allan Simmons (born 1959), British scrabble player and author * Andrew Simmons (born 1984), British wrestler * …   Wikipedia

  • Simmons — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A Al Simmon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simmons — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Simmons est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Patronyme Anthony Simmons (né en 1922), réalisateur et scénariste britannique. Art Simmons (né en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dan Aykroyd — at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival Born Daniel Edward Aykroyd July 1, 1952 (1952 07 01) (age 59) Ottawa, Ontario, Canada …   Wikipedia

  • Dan Blocker — Blocker as Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza Born Bobby Dan Blocker December 10, 1928(1928 12 10 …   Wikipedia

  • Dan Henning — Sport(s) Football Biographical details Born June 21, 1942 (1942 06 21) (age 69) Place of birth Bronx, New York Playing career …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”