Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer ' s timeless narrative. But that was before one observer ' Twenty ' first Century scholar Thomas Hockenberry ' stirred the bloody brew; before an enraged Achilles joined forces with his archenemy Hector; and before the fleet ' footed mankiller turned his murderous wrath on Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators.
Now, all bets are off.
Dan Simmons, the multiple ' award ' winning author of The Hyperion Cantos, returns with the eagerly anticipated conclusion to his critically acclaimed, Hugo Award ' nominated sf epic Ilium. A novel breathtaking in its scope and conception, Olympos ingeniously imagines a catastrophic future where immortal ' post ' humans ' high atop the real Olympos Mons on Mars restage the Trojan War for their own amusement even while the sad remnants of mortal humankind are forced to confront their ultimate annihilation.
For untold centuries, those few old ' style humans remaining on Earth have never known strife, toil, or responsibility, each content to live his or her allocated hundred years of life in unquestioning leisure. But virtually overnight and for reasons beyond their comprehension, the world around them has changed forever. The voynix ' terrible and swift creatures that once catered to their every need ' are now massing in the millions with but one terrifying purpose: the total extermination of the human race.
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June 28, 2005
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Excerpt from Olympos by Dan Simmons
Helen of Troy awakes just before dawn to the sound of air raid sirens. She feels along the cushions of her bed but her current lover, Hockenberry, is gone ' slipped out into the night again before the servants wake, acting as he always does after their nights of lovemaking, acting as if he has done something shameful, no doubt stealing his way home this very minute through the alleys and back streets where the torches burn least bright. Helen thinks that Hockenberry is a strange and sad man. Then she remembers.
My husband is dead.
This fact, Paris killed in single combat with the merciless Apollo, has been reality for nine days ' the great funeral involving both Trojans and Achaeans will begin in three hours if the god-chariot now over the city does not destroy Ilium completely in the next few minutes ' but Helen still cannot believe that her Paris is gone. Paris, son of Priam, defeated on the field of battle Paris dead Paris thrown down into the shaded caverns of Hades without beauty of body or the elegance of action Unthinkable.
This is Paris, her beautiful boy-child who had stolen her away from Menelaus, past the guards and across the green lawns of Lacedaemon. This is Paris, her most attentive lover even after this long decade of tiring war, he whom she had often secretly referred to as her "plunging stallion full-fed at the manger."