(c) 2005-2007 Oliver Bonten
On the plains of Ilium, the Trojan War is being observed by 20th (or 21st) century professors for classical literature. The scholars have been sent there by the greek gods, who mysteriously have revived them and brought them to Troy to check whether the Trojan War happens as is recorded in the Ilias. Because the gods know that the Ilias exists, but are forbidden to read it, and the scholars are forbidden from telling them. Forbidden by Zeus, who has read the Ilias. The gods reside on Mount Olympos, which appears to be a giant volcano, with a huge, water-filled caldera. And, no matter the season, the sun on mount Olympos always seems to be a bit smaller than in Troy.
On another story line, in the distant future, some cyborgs who inhabit the moons of Jupiter, detect weird quantum activities around Mars, and decide to have a closer look.
On yet another storyline, in the future as well, humanity has developed to some kind of pampered party-animals who live in the remains of big cities, are being cared for by robots and by "The Firmary", which can heal all kind of diseases and even resurrect people from the dead, which comes handy if you lose your way in the North American jungle and are eaten by a dinosaur. People live for exactly 100 years, and they move about by "faxing" themselves through some kind of teleportation devices they don't understand. But one guy has taught himself to read, read a lot of old books lying around, and is on the lookout for a way to "The Firmary" to do something against the 100 year age limit - he is 99. He gathers a bunch of people who follow him for various reasons, and together they discover a lot of clues about what happened on Earth before they find their way into "The Firmary".
Meanwhile, in Ilium, one of the scholars is used as a tool by Aphrodite in a conspiracy agains Athena, and since he expects to be killed after that conspiracy fails, he decides to make the best of it and to seduce Helen of Troy. From that moment on, the Trojan War doesn't follow Homer anymore ...
There are a lot of gems in this book - Simmons not only takes characters from Ilias and Odyssey, but also mixes in Shakespeare's Tempest. In the distant futures, one of the parties the party-animal people organise is the "Burning Man". One of the scholars is Keith Nightenhelser, who really is a 20th century classical literature prof (and a college pal of Dan Simmons). And so on. Really entertaining.
This page has been created on Montag 31. Dezember 2007 from reviews.xml using reviews.xsl.