Tuesday, October 18, 2011


First of all, to those of you who thought this was an obituary blog, this post has nothing to do with anyone who has died. So, my apologies.

For the rest of you – score! Once again this blog is about writing!


Actually, this particular post is about reading. Specifically, the fact that I actually read a book. I think this is my second or third book this year, which is both shocking and exciting. Shocking for the obvious reasons, and exciting because with Two Kill the Goddess out of the way I actually have time to do something besides work, say hi to my lovely wife, sleep, eat, write, and do a bit of yoga.

So what did I choose for this momentous occasion? An old book, one I've talked about before: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion.

I first read this book – when was it? Let's see… Looks like this edition was printed in March of 1990. That would be after it won that year's Hugo Award. Let's just say it was a long time ago.

Now, with some of the things I've gone back and recently reread, I have been somewhat disappointed. Case in point: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragon Lance saga. Holy crap did I geek out over those when I was a teenager. I mean, who doesn't love Raistlin? Another good example would be Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince, etc. which was a staple of my early college years. None of those really turn my crank the way they used to. I still like the stories and they do have sentimental value, but now whenever I read my Scribblerati brain turns on and I begin to critique. That was especially detrimental in the case of Dragon Lance, somewhat less so with Melanie Rawn’s work. Some of that, I think, is maturing, but a lot of it is that I now recognize that those books weren't as well-written as I thought they were. They were great stories, but they weren't as well executed as my Scribblerati brain would like.

Dan Simmons’ Hyperion has none of those problems. In fact, I'm even more in awe of this guy's writing now that I was a bajillion years ago. My book, To Kill the Goddess, with its multiple character viewpoints and sprawling world building, rivals Hyperion in complexity, but Dan Simmons takes what I've struggled with and makes it look easy. Hyperion is at once horrifying, mesmerizing, inspiring, and beautiful. And I’m jealous. ;-)

Go buy a copy while you can still find one to put on your bookshelf. You'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

Mark Teats said...

Hi Shawn. Nice post. I have a friend's copy of Hyperion in my reading stack. Thanks for the motivation to get at it!