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Old 02-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #16
speakingtohe
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Thanks for the link. Quite the read A bit frenetic, but I will be reading at least one of his books because of the article.

On another note, I expect to see the authors viewpoint in his work. Can be extreme I know, but if not boring then not offensive to me. Better than formula book written for the cash IMO

Helen

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:05 AM   #17
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i don't see any of his views as being worthy of controversy, hes dead on when it comes to education for example.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:36 AM   #18
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i don't see any of his views as being worthy of controversy, hes dead on when it comes to education for example.
I don't think they are controversial. Nor do I take offense with any of his personal views. They're his and he can have and express whatever views he wants on his website.

I just don't like works of fiction that are nothing more than vehicles for personal, political polemic... even when it's beliefs that I happen to share.

I'm not asking for fiction authors to not include anything of themselves or their beliefs in their books, that would be presumptuous. I'd just like it if they refrained from using their books as overt vehicles for those beliefs.

If they can't refrain... so be it. I'll stop reading. No sweat. Like I said, Simmons' decision to use Flashback as a vehicle saddened me. It didn't outrage, incense, or offend me. Nor did I think it was controversial. I hope he doesn't do anything like that again, because I'd like everything he writes to be an automatic buy for me. That, and I already know where to go when I'm looking for a good dose of preachin'.

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #19
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hard-boiled pat,

I thought Summer of Night was quite good. It finally came out in ebook form last year, as I remember.

It's a coming-of-age horror tale, sort of similar to King's It or McCammon's Boys Life, if you're into that.

Personally I put it as my second favorite Simmons, just after Carrion Comfort, but before Children of the Night.

It's been about twenty years ago since I read it, though, back when it first came out in hardback. I need to go back and see how it's held up.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #20
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I do the same thing. And I was able to that with every other work of his. Mostly because I try to remain blissfully unaware of authors' personal beliefs. But with Flashback... Dan Simmons beat me over the head with personal beliefs that were only thinly disguised as a story. That's the first time he's ever done that to me. As long as he never does that to me again, I'll continue to buy and enjoy his work and write this one off as an aberration.
Once authors start doing that, they seem to find it hard to stop. John Ringo is the classic example: he used to write good military SF; now he writes extreme right-wing political diatribes in the guise of fiction.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:25 PM   #21
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Once authors start doing that, they seem to find it hard to stop. John Ringo is the classic example: he used to write good military SF; now he writes extreme right-wing political diatribes in the guise of fiction.
Same thing happened with my favorite playwright, Harold Pinter. His early plays were beautiful, mysterious, with rich layers and deep undertones. Then he started to get incredibly political and his plays were just one-note diatribes on how governments strip away human rights. They all started looking and sounding the same, with no question as to what the intended meaning and purpose of the work. At that point, it stopped being art...and just became almost propaganda.--even if its for a good cause, like stopping governments for imprisoning writers and artists, and fighting for human rights.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:04 AM   #22
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On the theory that this thread isn't so much dead as pining for the fjords, I'll go ahead and say I randomly picked up Carrion Comfort last week after having Hyperion on my TBR list for a while and having heard about Simmons' reportedly successful genre-hopping. If I hadn't finished up Stephen Greenblat's The Swerve in mid-train-ride and been guided by the limited selection on my tablet and the vagaries of the moment, I doubt I would have picked up that author or title any time soon.

I'm a couple hundred pages into the doorstop and enjoying the characters which manage to feel real despite also being stereotypes, or deliberate attempts to avoid stereotyping (which tends to amount to the same thing). We seem to be moving toward an epic scale of events where it's genuinely hard to see how our heroes (country-dumb Southern sheriff, holocaust survivor, and artistic Negro college girl--where's the Latino gangster with a heart of gold?) can even make a dent, much less prevail.

I may be way off here, but there seems to be a strong undercurrent of BDSM sensibility, particularly in the depiction of Tony Harod who, yes, is a creepy rapey bastard so we can hate him, but also provides an excuse for repeated scenes of sexual domination.

Anyway, those are the chunky bits that stand out of the narrative, but it's still compelling. The preoccupation with Israel/Judaism and dominance relationships could easily be seen as prefiguring the sharp right turn that people are saying informs his later work.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:31 PM   #23
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I picked up Carrion Comfort while waitng in line at a supermarket checkout soooooo glad, once I started reading couldn't put it down and ended up hunting down all his books, a it dissapointed with Drood just couldn't get into it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:16 PM   #24
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I'm nearing the home stretch in Carrion Comfort and finding it better and better. The term "mind vampires" sounds silly to me, but it really doesn't come up much. It may have played better in a pre-Twilight world.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #25
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How about mind parasites? The Mind Parasites was a book by Colin Wilson published a few decades earlier. Wilson is a bit more philosophical and has as much social "agenda" or more than Simmons.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:11 PM   #26
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I'm nearing the home stretch in Carrion Comfort and finding it better and better. The term "mind vampires" sounds silly to me, but it really doesn't come up much. It may have played better in a pre-Twilight world.
its a great book with a great finish.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #27
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I *thought* I had read some Simmons, but looking through his works i can't see any I recognise. Thanks for the pointer, I'm going to give Carrion Comfort a try first .
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #28
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its a great book with a great finish.
The most fascinating thing about Carrion Comfort to me was the character of Melanie Fuller. She scared the hell out of me. Seriously. I don't think I've ever been so afraid of an old woman.

She was vicious, unpredictable, uncanny...her scenes were by far the most exciting and horrifying parts of the book and what I remember most.
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