Dan Simmons is a very well known American author who writes in the science fiction, fantasy, horror and thriller/mystery genres. The award winning author wrote the well known Hyperion Cantos series. This notable author has successfully published books in the U.S., Canada and 27 foreign countries. He quickly became a huge favorite in the literary field as his first novel Song of Kali which was released in 1985 won the notable World Fantasy Award.
Early Childhood and Education
Dan Simmons was born in 1948 in Peoria, Illinois and spent his younger years in different small towns across the Midwest. In 1970, Simmons obtained his B.A. in English from Wabash College. His senior year he received the national Phi Beta Kappa Award for excellence in fiction, art and journalism. In 1971, Simmons obtained a Masters in Education from Washington University which is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
Upon graduating he spent 18 years teaching elementary education. He taught two years in Missouri, two years in Buffalo, New York. One of the two he spent in New York was spent as a “resource teacher” which is a specially trained position in BOCES, and the other year as a 6th grade teacher. He also spent 14 years teaching in Colorado. During his last 4 years as a public school teacher, Simmons spent a vast majority of his time creating, coordinating and teaching in an extensive gifted and talented program entitled “APEX.” The program was developed and served nearly 15,000 students in 19 elementary schools.
As a teacher, Mr. Simmons earned many professional awards from the CEA (Colorado Education Association). He was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year award. While working in the classroom and as a national language arts consultant, he created his own language arts curriculum, “Writing Well.” His successful curriculum had his 6th grade students completing work which proved to be on the junior high and high school levels on standardized writing tests. After Simmons became a full-time writer he continued to visit college writing classes and periodically taught in New Hampshire’s “Odyssey” writing program which is geared for adults.
Simmons’ very first published story was released on February 15, 1982. This was the exact day his daughter was born. He states that this fact has helped remind him to keep a balance between work, writing and life. He began writing full time in 1987 and remained in the same town he taught for 14 years, Front Range, Colorado. There were times he traveled to his mountain property to write. It was in this location at the base of the Continental Divide, where an ex-student sculpted an 8-ft tall sculpture of the Shrike. This frightening thorned character from Simmons’ four Hyperion/Endymion novels still stands guard.
Dan Simmons’ Published Works
In 1982, Simmons published a short story entitled The River Styx Runs Upstream and his first novel Song of Kali was published in 1985. This was just the beginning to an outstanding career in which Simmons would write several notable books. Here is a listing of Simmons’ books organized by series and listed with their publication dates.
Hyperion Cantos Series includes the very first edition Hyperion which was publish in the year 1989, next is the The Fall of Hyperion in 1990, followed by Endymion in 1995 and lastly The Rise of Endymion in the year 1997.
Summer of Night Series includes two edition, the Summer of Night (1991) and A Winter Haunting (2002).
Joe Kurtz Series includes three edition, first is Hardcase (2001), second is Hard Freeze (2002) and the third one which is the Hard as Nails ( 2003).
Ilium Series includes Ilium (2003) and Olympos (2005).
Stand Alone Novels are as follows: Song of Kali (1985), Carrion Comfort (1989), Phases of Gravity (1989), Children of the Night (1992), The Hollow Man (1992), Fires of Eden (1994), The Crook Factory (1999), Darwin’s Blade (2000), The Terror (2007), Muse of Fire (2008), Drood (2009), Black Hills (2010), Flashback (2011) and The Abominable (2013). On the other hand, Stand Alone Novellas includes Banished Dreams (1990), Entropy’s Bed at Midnight (1990) and The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz (2012)
Dan Simmons also has short story collections like the Prayers to Broken Stones (1990), Summer Sketches (1992), LoveDeath (1993) and Worlds Enough & Time: Five Tales of Speculative Fiction (2002). His non-fiction books includes Going After the Rubber Chicken (1991)
Books in Film
Several stories and books have been optioned for film. This includes his award winning Song of Kali, The Crook Factory and Drood. The four novels in the Hyperion series, two of his novellas, have been purchased and plans are in the pre-production process. The Terror has been one of his books which has been considered for possible production and his Joel Kurtz novels have been considered for a possible cable series.
What is So Captivating about a Dan Simmons Book?
Dan Simmons is one of the few authors who are considered to be among the premier authors of multiple-genre fiction works. He has been the recipient of many national and international awards which include the Hugo Award, Bram Stoker Awards, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the World Fantasy Awards. A Winter Haunting from Simmons’ Summer of Night Series is a thriller set in Illinois. Just before Halloween, Dale returns to Elm Haven to inhabit the home of his childhood friend. This horror masterpiece has readers sitting on the edge of their seat as Dale works back through his childhood and the “accident” which took his friend’s young life. He is hoping to find the answer to the recurring nightmare that continues to plague him but finds certain trouble and hair-raising experiences.
In his novel Hard Freeze, Simmons takes the readers into the world of a serial killer. This thriller is not for the faint of heart but is captivating and presents a traditional crime story in a fast-paced way which captures the reader’s attention. The novel sets up a brutal chess game between an ex-con and a crafty serial killer. Hard Freeze is an action packed story with a bristly climatic ending. Characters are vividly portrayed and the story picks up just where Hardcase left off. This action thriller is one of the most entertaining and intriguing story Dan Simmons has produced according to reader reviews. The primary character, Joe Kurtz has a way of demanding the reader’s sympathy, and yet he is ready to devour anything that tries to get in his way. Simmons has a way of leading the reader through the plot which thrives on tension and suspense.
Books published in order by series:
Hyperion Cantos Books
|The Fall of Hyperion||(1990)|
|The Rise of Endymion||(1997)|
Summer Of Night Books
|Summer of Night||(1991)|
|A Winter Haunting||(2002)|
Joe Kurtz Books
|Hard as Nails||(2003)|
Fifth Heart Book
|The Fifth Heart||(2015)|
|Song of Kali||(1985)|
|Phases of Gravity||(1989)|
|Children of the Night||(1992)|
|The Hollow Man||(1992)|
|Fires of Eden||(1994)|
|The Crook Factory||(1999)|
|Muse of Fire||(2008)|
|Entropy’s Bed at Midnight||(1990)|
|The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz||(2012)|
Short Story Collections
|Prayers to Broken Stones||(1990)|
|Worlds Enough & Time: Five Tales of Speculative Fiction||(2002)|
Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
|Going After the Rubber Chicken||(1991)|