Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dan Simmons on Writing Well

Last week I listened to Kasey Kovar’s interview with Dan Simmons, one of my favorite authors. Simply put: He is brilliant. He writes across all genres. Science fiction: the Hyperion Cantos, the series of Nebula and Hugo award winning books. His first book, The Song of Kali won the World Fantasy Award. Let’s not forget his horror fiction. Carrion Comfort and Summer of Night are books that Stephen King wished he wrote. He also put the “hard” into hard-boiled detective fiction with his Joe Kurtz novels: Hardcase, Hard Freeze and Hard as Nails.

As a former gifted English teacher, he is well-read and is not afraid to use the entire range of world literature and history as both inspiration for and as part of the story itself. His latest effort is The Terror, a blend of historical and horror fiction based on the ill-fated Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin in 1845. If you haven’t read any of his work before, do it now. Simmons work will be read alongside of classic literature in the decades and centuries in the future.

On his website, he has a series of articles on writing that are must-reads: Writing Well. They are long, dense and packed with great insights on his writing process and good advice about the back-breaking mental work of writing. Check them out at:

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