Thursday, September 11, 2003

Book — Ilium — by Dan Simmons

I just finished Dan Simmons' new book, Ilium - which starts out as a reworking of the Iliad, through the viewpoint of a classical scholar sent to observe the Trojan War from a post-human solar system, some 1500 years into the future, and gets both epochs increasingly involved with each other. It's neat, wide-screen epic stuff. Just a pity about his total flubbing of his arithmetic in the one point where he suddenly quotes exact numbers (the acceleration, journey time and distance covered in various phases of the moravecs' flight from Jupiter to Mars at opposition just doesn't cohere, even granting a generous allowance of slipped decimal points).

There is a bit of the rather hackneyed ignorant managed humans of the future in one of the plot threads, which I found boring and annoying, and not terribly original (I was reminded a bit of Raymond F. Jones' Renaissance), but don't let that spoil your enjoyment of the other threads. I'm eagerly awaiting the Odyssey that must follow.