Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Do you like Dan Simmons? If so, it is imperative that you not read DARWIN'S BLADE

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Books: Fiction Donate to DU
 
Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-08 04:30 PM
Original message
Do you like Dan Simmons? If so, it is imperative that you not read DARWIN'S BLADE
Edited on Sat Nov-22-08 04:41 PM by Kurt_and_Hunter
A warning based on experience...

I read a couple of Dan Simmons science fiction/fantasy novels and was really excited by them.

Knowing that he's a prize-winning mystery and horror author also I figured I'd check out more of his stuff at random. Checked "Darwin's Blade" out of the library... accident investigator suspense... cool.

So I read the thing. Not only is it derivative, intellectually stunted, cliched, and full of old jokes and debunked urban legends presented as incidents in the plot... (assuming the reader doesn't read much is a bad trait in a novel. DARWIN'S BLADE is surely one of the few novels with links to Snopes.com in Amazon reviews)

Not only does it read like a unintentional parody of all Clancy-esque thrillers...

Worse than all of that, it is the most retrograde wing-nut paranoid fantasy this side of Orson Scott Card. It is Rush Limbaugh level smug paranoia.

Imagine a James Bond novel where the super-villain is Jerry Spence who leads an international conspiracy of personal injury lawyers and illegal aliens. Where Bill Clinton is the second worst thing to ever happen to America, right after the OJ trial. Where "liberal Democrat" is used interchangeably with "hippie."

I would pay $20 to have the book expunged from my memory, because I have a stack of Simmons books here I had planned to read but now I can hardly look at them.

Sigh. I will give it a few months and see if I can forget. The book is from 2000 and perfectly encapsulates the smug "turn things over to the grown-ups" recreational nihilism mentality that got us G W Bush

(It is amazing how many brisk story-tellers are fuckin' wing-nuts. Heinlein, Crichton, Card, Niven/Pournelle... the thing is, the wing-nut worldview is pretty entertaining as abstract mythology. It's fine for science fiction and fantasy. But in contmporary stories it just wing-nuttery.)
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-08 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Anathem by Neal Stephenson should cure that shit.
Takes the stupid right out. Of course as always, you have to invest in 1,000+ pages and very little of it easy reading.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-08 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. did he write the ones about the kids and the school haunted by Osiris?
That one was pretty good, although I cannot remember the name of it. Horror is not a genre that I generally like. I only read it because I owned a bookstore.

Have you tried Michael Collins or Howard Fast?

Sadly, I would add Dean Koontz to that list of wingnuts. I still think books like Lightning, Watchers, The Bad Place, Twilight Eyes, Shadowfires, and others of his are excellent, but his recent one where he rips on Kurt Vonnegut have made me swear not to buy another one of his books.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I had to give up on Koontz, too.
I have a couple of paperbacks here that I don't have the fortitude to read. Yes, he used to be a pretty good story teller.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
comrade snarky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-08 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. That's really too bad
Edited on Mon Nov-24-08 12:48 AM by comrade snarky
I quite enjoyed the Hyperion books. It always surprises me to find an otherwise intelligent person is a nut.

As a kid I loved Niven, then on a whim as an adult, I read the one where he mocks environmentalists and anyone to the left of Regan. It was so disappointing. I thought to myself "that cant be right". So I went online and found out, oh no, he's not only right wing but also kind of a jerk.
Sucks, when that happens. I know I shouldn't let it color my opinion of what I've already enjoyed but it does.

Card was a disappointment as well. Heinlein I give a little latitude, he was authoritarian but at least at the end it was a weird kinda anarchistic, sexy authoritarian. That and he was supposed to be a good guy on a personal level. The story of Heinlein paying Phillip K. Dicks tax bill and buying him a typewriter when Dick was near destitute gets him a lot of credit in my book.

<on edit: dang non-typing fingers!>
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-08 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. That's surprising
I too very much enjoyed the Hyperion and also the Ilium/Olympos books and had planned to give one of his mysteries a try. I occasionally read his blog: http://forum.dansimmons.com/ubbthreads /

And while he's much more 'libertarian' leaning for my tastes he strikes me as generally pretty thoughtful and intelligent on social and political issues. I certainly don't agree with a good deal of his conclusions and assumptions but some I do and he seems to apply honest logical thinking to his examinations.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
deoxyribonuclease Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm reading the Ilium/Olympos duology now
Very impressed so far. Engaging story, intriguing setting.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-03-08 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. I thought "The Song of Kali" was particularly racist.
I gave it a pass, since the narrator of the book is supposed to be racist. But now I wonder...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'll give it a pass. Thanks.
Even though, leftist that I am, I'm no fan of Bill Clinton. ;)

I'll stick to the Hyperion saga, which delighted me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for the heads up, although I don't usually read this dude's work anyway.

Some writers, after they've made it big with several good books, just turn to crap. In fact, that seems to happen a lot. I guess many of them just run out of ideas and have to grind something out because it's in their contract with their publisher.




Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Feb 22nd 2018, 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Books: Fiction Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC