Tag: Dark Visions

Dan Simmons – Hyperion | Review

Title: Hyperion

Author: Dan Simmons

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 484

Rating: 4/5

To begin with, I wasn’t too sure that I was going to like this one, because it’s one of those books where it sort of throws you straight into the world and if you can’t keep up, that’s your own problem. I usually find that’s quite off-putting, and it comes down to the strength of the story. Here, the story was easily enough to keep me going.

But there’s also the fact that it was extremely well written. It’s one of those books where I would have read to the end regardless of my actual enjoyment just because I wanted to learn what I could from the writing style. I also think this is definitely one that you could re-read and because of the new perspective, you’d get an entirely different experience.

Another thing that I liked was the structure of the book itself. It was reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, although I haven’t actually read that and so I don’t know how valid the comparison is. When you combine the structure, the worldbuilding and the quality of the writing as a whole, you’re on to a winner.

It’s just a little heavy duty, although I’d argue that it’s easier to read than Dune was. That’s partly because you can break it up into the individual microstories, and also because there’s a pretty constant pace throughout, whereas I found that Dune sometimes felt a bit “stoppy and starty”. I think they’re both must-reads if you’re a serious sci-fi fan, although perhaps not if you’re only a newbie to the genre.

I’m somewhere in between, in that I’ve read my fair share of sci-fi but I don’t particularly enjoy it above any other genres. Horror is much more up my street, and so reading this has made me keen to try out The Terror, although I think I’m going to have a little wait between the two. I’ve also read one of Simmons’ novellas in a collection called Dark Visions that he was in with Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, and I found the same thing then. I need a bit of downtime after reading Simmons.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this up and I will probably continue with the rest of the series, although I have no plans to do it immediately and I might not get to it in time to join in with the readalong that’s happening on BookTube. For me, that’s fine, because it seems as though Simmons is an author who’s like a fine wine that should be savoured and enjoyed every now and again, instead of with every meal. And that’s just fine.

I’d say overall, if you’ve been thinking about giving this book a try, you should. If you haven’t, don’t. It lived up to my expectations, I guess.

Learn more about Hyperion.

Stephen King, Dan Simmons and George R. R. Martin – Dark Visions | Review

Title: Dark Visions

Author: Stephen King, Dan Simmons and George R. R. Martin

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 266

Rating: 4*/5


Stephen King, Dan Simmons and George R. R. Martin - Dark Visions

Stephen King, Dan Simmons and George R. R. Martin – Dark Visions


This book was quite the find – I picked it up for 50p in the Ten Bob Barn at Astley Book Farm. The cover jumped out at me to begin with because of its psychedelic design and awesome colours. It’s also a hardback, which helps – I don’t go out of my way to get them, but I do enjoy them when I find them. Mostly, though, this book caught my eye because it’s got Stephen King and George R. R. Martin in it.

What we have here, then, is a cracking collection of shorts that are grouped by author, for your convenience. We start out with Stephen King, who contributes three short pieces that range from a short about a haunted shithouse in a recording studio (my favourite) to a longer piece about a black woman that took a while to build up steam. Dan Simmons’ effort was okay, but possibly not the best introduction to his work – I’m not sure, I’ve never read anything else that he’s written. And then there’s George R. R. Martin, who was the only author to opt for a single story, a piece about werewolves called The Skin Trade. It was good, but his longer form work is better.

Overall then, it’s a quirky little read and one you should get if you’re a fan of any of these authors. But individually, they all have better stuff. King’s first two stories were absolute crackers, though!


Stephen King

Stephen King


Click here to buy Dark Visions.