Muse of Fire



Since The Publication Of Song Of Kali In , Dan Simmons Has Produced A Substantial Body Of Fiction Notable For Its Vigor, Variety, And Sheer Imaginative Reach His Latest, A Novella Length Tale Of Startling Originality, Beautifully Embodies These Qualities, Reaffirming Simmons S Position As One Of The Finest Storytellers Of Our Time Muse Of Fire Takes Place In A Remote Future Age In Which The Human Enterprise Has All But Ground To A Halt Earth, Drained Of Its Oceans And Populated Largely By The Dead, Is Little Than A Distant Memory The Scattered Human Remnants Occupy The Lowest Rung Of A Gnostic Hierarchy That Dominates Both Their Secular And Spiritual Lives Against This Backdrop, Simmons Introduces The Earth S Men, A Wandering Troupe Of Players Dedicated To Presenting The Works Of Shakespeare To Every Accessible Corner Of The Settled UniverseThe Story Begins On The Planet Known As B, A Regular Stop On The Players Interstellar Tour A Routine Performance Of Much Ado About Nothing Is In Progress When An Unprecedented Event Occurs A Band Of Archons Members Of The Usually Invisible Ruling Caste Enter The Makeshift Theater And Join The Audience In Doing So, They Change The Course Of Human And Non Human HistoryWhat Follows Is An Intellectual Adventure Story Of Astonishing Richness And Depth In Which Disparate Species Face Each Other Across An Insurmountable Divide, Their Only Point Of Contact The Indelible Language Of William Shakespeare, The Story S True Muse Skillfully Deploying The Elements Of Traditional Science Fiction Advanced Technologies, Alien Encounters, Strange New Worlds Muse Of Fire Entertains And Illuminates While Celebrating The Best, Most Durable Elements Of Our Cultural Legacy It Is A Work Of Wit, Erudition, And Tightly Compressed Grandeur That Only Dan Simmons Could Have WrittenMuse of Fire

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!!> PDF ✭ Muse of Fire  ✩ Author Dan Simmons – Phamimports.us
  • Hardcover
  • 105 pages
  • Muse of Fire
  • Dan Simmons
  • English
  • 13 January 2019
  • 1596061812

10 thoughts on “Muse of Fire

  1. says:

    What a fabulous little novella I just totally fell in love with this story of a far future troupe of Shakespearean actors traveling from planet to planet performing the Bard s plays for scattered human slaves on inhospitable mining planets In this future universe, Shakespeare is the only remnant of human culture left The troupe catches the attention of some higher life forms and is called to a command performance You ll just have to read the story to find out what happens next.With this nove What a fabulous little novella I just totally fell in love with this story of a far future troupe of Shakespearean actors traveling from planet to planet performing the Bard s plays for scattered human slaves on inhospitable mining planets In this future universe, Shakespeare is the only remnant of human culture left The troupe catches the attention of some higher life forms and is called to a command performance You ll just have to read the story to find out what happens next.With this novella, I think Dan Simmons officially confirms what I previously thought of him He s an extremely well read man who has an extremely fertile imagination and an incredible ability to blend classic literature with genre fiction either horror or science fiction I can t wait to see what he does next

  2. says:

    Whereas delaying reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes for four years didn t improve the experience, I am glad that I waited until now to read Muse of Fire I recently read Much Ado About Nothing for the first time, in order to teach it to a Year 9 class, and being familiar with that play s plot and characters definitely improved my comprehension of this Shakespeare infused novella.Dan Simmons banks on the continued popularity of the Bard in this book, which is set in a future where humanity has Whereas delaying reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes for four years didn t improve the experience, I am glad that I waited until now to read Muse of Fire I recently read Much Ado About Nothing for the first time, in order to teach it to a Year 9 class, and being familiar with that play s plot and characters definitely improved my comprehension of this Shakespeare infused novella.Dan Simmons banks on the continued popularity of the Bard in this book, which is set in a future where humanity has regressed under the baleful influence of a hierarchy of alien species The vast majority of humans are labourers, eking out an existence on any number of planets After dying, their alien overseers transport their corpses back to Earth to be entombed until the day of reckoning Muse of Fire follows a group of humans who have escaped this dull life for one slightlyadventurous Told from the perspective of Wilbr, a minor player, the story follows the crew of a ship of the same name as they travel from world to world and put on Shakespeare plays.Shakespeare s wild popularity despite the fact that his language becomesarchaic with every passing decade is a testament to his skill as a writer, and to the skill of the people who perform his plays I suppose it s similar to how people can enjoy an opera even if they don t speak the opera s language the actions and tone of the players are a language all on their own In the future, human civilization has fallen apart to the point that, as Wilbr explains, they no longer have their own arts they barely have their own culture Hence, Shakespeare is even less accessible to their audiences than it is to the audience of today.Indeed, one has to wonder if Shakespeare would make much sense at all Do these people know what a thane or a king even is How much of an oral tradition preserves the past Simmons doesn t quite let on, which makes it difficult to judge the extent to which Shakespeare might be understood by these people In discussing the role of Shakespeare in Brave New World with my AS Level literature class, we talked about how the people of the World State didn t have the emotional training needed to appreciate Shakespeare, let alone the cultural baggage necessary to understand him I can t help but wonder if the same is true here People s lives seem so curtailed can they comprehend the richness of fantasy and circumstance that Shakespeare unleashes with every line Our intrepid and youthful narrator, Wilbr, certainly does He is our only window into this watered down version of humanity, and as the plot thickens he recounts how he went from being a rather undeveloped human being to a Shakespearean actor and afficionado His commentary on Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth all evoke the passion for and sense of wonder about Shakespeare s plays that demonstrate why they are so timeless If all Simmons set out to do was write a story that celebrated Shakespeare s work, he has succeeded.The plot itself, unfortunately, is much less exciting Wilbr s troupe has attracted the attention of the aliens who lord it over humanity the overlords , if you will They get ordered to perform, again and again, for increasingly alien species who are higher up in the pecking order At last, only Wilbr and his shallow, poorly characterized love interest are left to perform an ad hoc version of Romeo and Juliet for God And it s all a test of course.Echoes of Simmons other work, particularly Hyperion, are evident here There s the humanoid manifestations of god and the questions of whether such beings are worthy of worship There s the transcendent or otherwise sacrificed human beings, such as the mysterious woman called the Muse who embodies the ship s cognitive functions And there is a sense of inevitable, eschatological doom hanging over the collective souls of the human species It is rather heavy stuff.But all this takes place on a very flimsy canvas of a setting Simmons doesn t see fit to explain much about how humanity got this way He leaves a lot about the story s background mysterious, such as why human corpses are always returned to Earth Aside from the repetitive plot structure and frequent praise for Shakespeare, there is not much going on here Similarly, the characters are nothing to write home about Wilbr is well developed as our narrator, but the others are flat and two dimensional, remaining loyal to the one line descriptions Wilbr tags them with near the beginning of the story.Plenty of interesting ideas Excellent use of mood, atmosphere, and tone And, of course, it s all about how Shakespeare is the bomb and you know he is In these respects, Muse of Fire is an excellent novella but as a story, it failed to capture, sustain, or really even stir my interest Once again, I remain ambivalent about Simmons this was not the book that could push me to one particular side of the fence

  3. says:

    I don t read a lot of science fiction Not lately, anyway Oh, sure, there was the obligatory fling when I was in my 20s the Isimov Foundation trilogy, Herbert s Dune series, a little Heinlein But since then, I ve indulged very little in this genre I was totally onboard this little spaceship of a novella for the first nine tenths before the ending let me down Initially I thought my dissatisfaction with the ending might be because I failed to make connections that aexperienced sci fi af I don t read a lot of science fiction Not lately, anyway Oh, sure, there was the obligatory fling when I was in my 20s the Isimov Foundation trilogy, Herbert s Dune series, a little Heinlein But since then, I ve indulged very little in this genre I was totally onboard this little spaceship of a novella for the first nine tenths before the ending let me down Initially I thought my dissatisfaction with the ending might be because I failed to make connections that aexperienced sci fi aficionado could better appreciate, but I quickly re read the ending this morning and discovered I did understand it It s just that the resolution was so simplistic and deus ex machina, I was disappointed and hoped that I had missed something I assumed it was building up to somethingprofound, asatisfying summation, a bit of grandeur perhaps I know it s a lot to ask grandeur but when stories deal with the importance of artistic expression, human potential and the fate of the race, my expectations tend to run high The premise was intriguing and the prose, especially the descriptions of the worlds encountered, was very good Simmons powers of description in painting the beings populating these worlds and how they dealt with lowly humans were good enough to creep me out a little Many, many years in the future, the only remnant of human culture consists of the plays of Shakespeare, which are performed by a traveling troupe of humans for audiences on different planets in various galaxies Earth has been reduced to an ocean less repository for the remains of humans whose bodies are shipped back to rest there when they die Out in the Tell, there is a hierarchy of ruling species that blends in with a theology also hierarchical in nature, and these systems keep everyone in line Human beings are now a slave class subservient to the Archons, rarely seen beings who communicate only through even odder creatures called dragomen Means of communicating and degrees of comprehension are themes throughout, especially when the narrator ponders the ramification of the actors suddenly being summoned for command performances by the various ruling classes deities The Muse of Fire is the ship and also refers to a mysterious character energy source that runs it the latter a concept I wish had been better explained The story also involves a wannabe revolutionary on board who is a dangerous loose cannon, and a sort of love story involving one of the girls in the troupe who is beloved by the narrator, but out of his league The fact that the only thing that has survived from Earth s achievements is the poetry of Shakespeare s plays, and the fact that these works may be the only reason humankind was allowed to survive at all, allow the story to inspire reflection about the value of creativity as the saving grace of human beings The denouement, though, as I ve said, left me feeling somewhat cheated that the ending did not live up to the thematic promise of the rest of the book

  4. says:

    This lovely tribute to the bard is just profound enough to remind any Shakespeare fan just how amazing old Willy is, laced with enough intergalactic strife to fuel the fire of die hard sci fi fans, and short enough to allow a mother of two hobgoblins the chance to actually read an entire book in one sitting.Muse of Fire tells the story of The Earth s Men a space faring Shakespeare company that travels the universe in their ship The Muse of Fire performing the bard s works for what left of th This lovely tribute to the bard is just profound enough to remind any Shakespeare fan just how amazing old Willy is, laced with enough intergalactic strife to fuel the fire of die hard sci fi fans, and short enough to allow a mother of two hobgoblins the chance to actually read an entire book in one sitting.Muse of Fire tells the story of The Earth s Men a space faring Shakespeare company that travels the universe in their ship The Muse of Fire performing the bard s works for what left of the human race The world s they perform on are desolate, barren wildernesses or planets that rain down fire and waves of acid Humanity is on the brink of utter annihilation having been enslaved by the Abraxas an all seeing all knowing alien race who have taken the place of God for every human left living Humans are scattered across the universe in slave colonies and what is left of earth is used for burying the dead.The story is told through the voice of one of the younger, less talented members of the troupe who makes up for what he lacks in talent with his devotion to Shakespeare s works and his pride in his fellow actors and their performances Arriving on a barren world to perform the company is shocked when Abraxas representatives inform them they will be giving a command performance for the very aliens that enslaved them Before long it becomes apparent that The Earth s Men will be determining the fate of what is left of humanity They must prove that the genius of Shakespeare and their ability to bring him to life is worth letting the human race survive.Simmons really has fun with this story and manages to pack in quite a bit of plot and beautiful language in a relatively tight amount of time I loved his young narrator and found it perfectly fitting that he should be a devoted Shakespeare fan destined to forever play supporting players while longing always for Hamlet and King Lear There s also plenty of spooky, cool sci fi surprises and a bit of a bait and switch ending I really didn t predict thoughseasoned Simmons readers might.There s a reason this guy wins awards guys This is a charming, eloquent story with firey, melodramatic characters and a rollicking plot worthy of Will Shakes himself

  5. says:

    A junior member of a Shakespeare troop living in the far and fantastic future of the human race tells of several command performances Much AdoKing Lear.Hamlet.Romeo and Juliet given for reified gnostic gods I could say this short novel could not contain and flesh out the many planets and perlieus Simmons envisioned, or I could be honest and say I didn t get it The astronomical metaphysical talk seemed like gabble to me On the other hand, there are some fine nuggets of Shakespeare A junior member of a Shakespeare troop living in the far and fantastic future of the human race tells of several command performances Much AdoKing Lear.Hamlet.Romeo and Juliet given for reified gnostic gods I could say this short novel could not contain and flesh out the many planets and perlieus Simmons envisioned, or I could be honest and say I didn t get it The astronomical metaphysical talk seemed like gabble to me On the other hand, there are some fine nuggets of Shakespeare criticism along the way

  6. says:

    Muse of Fire was a straightforward read that hasinteresting implications if you care to think about it.On the surface, the book serves as a sort of travelogue story through Simmons universe The main characters are human actors in the company the Earth s Men They travel through known space staging Shakespeare s plays for human settlements Humanity has long since been subjugated by a hierarchy of other races, and the Earth s Men are one of the few ways that human culture survives.Unexpec Muse of Fire was a straightforward read that hasinteresting implications if you care to think about it.On the surface, the book serves as a sort of travelogue story through Simmons universe The main characters are human actors in the company the Earth s Men They travel through known space staging Shakespeare s plays for human settlements Humanity has long since been subjugated by a hierarchy of other races, and the Earth s Men are one of the few ways that human culture survives.Unexpectedly, the Earth s Men are asked to play for the local Archons of one planet the alien overlords This kicks off a multiple stop tour, each time with a different play.The story also serves as a short, layman s commentary on the Bard Many of the things discussed by the narrator, a skilled but not virtuoso actor, are things that I had already gleaned or read about the plays Some others led me to consider them in new lights.Finally, it s a bit of a tour through Gnostic cosmology The alien hierarchy of races are lifted straight out of Gnostic teachings, and Basilidean Gnosticism is the human religion.The ending of the tour involves a twist that I didn t see coming, and which raises questions about the parts of the book that have gone before.Simmons prose was up to his usual high standard intelligent, readable, and elegant

  7. says:

    Started well enough, but ended up having one of those meeting the gods mystical experience climaxes that don t do much for me Coupled with the woman with no personality and barely any dialog but she sure is pretty being bestowed on the male hero as some sort of reward reward for what, I have no clue, he wasn t all that special at the end, it left me unimpressed That and I am not big on boner books That s what I call books like this that are written because the author has a boner for some cu Started well enough, but ended up having one of those meeting the gods mystical experience climaxes that don t do much for me Coupled with the woman with no personality and barely any dialog but she sure is pretty being bestowed on the male hero as some sort of reward reward for what, I have no clue, he wasn t all that special at the end, it left me unimpressed That and I am not big on boner books That s what I call books like this that are written because the author has a boner for some cultural phenomenon Shakespeare in this case and writes a story just to fanboi about how awesome the object of his boner is They are tedious for people that don t share his boner Like Ready Player One was tedious in its 80s worship It was short, though, and mostly entertaining with creative aliens, so 2.5 stars for that.I ll be nice and not elaborate on the crimes committed against the hydrological cycle in this book

  8. says:

    In an indeterminate future humans are the slaves doles and arbeiters of a hierarchy of aliens archons, poimen, demiurgos and Abraxas and the Earth s Men tour the galaxy performing Shakespeare Beyond a nice, well written novella that incorporates the Bard s work primarily King Lear, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet and celebrates his genius, it also says that Shakespeare is just the beginning of exploring what it means to be human As the ship s AI the Muse says at the end, You p In an indeterminate future humans are the slaves doles and arbeiters of a hierarchy of aliens archons, poimen, demiurgos and Abraxas and the Earth s Men tour the galaxy performing Shakespeare Beyond a nice, well written novella that incorporates the Bard s work primarily King Lear, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet and celebrates his genius, it also says that Shakespeare is just the beginning of exploring what it means to be human As the ship s AI the Muse says at the end, You people need to learn some new poets There was a deus ex machina at the end that prevents this gem from rising to the fourth star but, in the main, I enjoyed it and recommend it esp to Dan Simmons fans who may be exhausted by door stops like Drood but still need their fix

  9. says:

    2.5A decent story, and I liked the twist at the end I thought it was kind of funny and interesting how Shakespeare is held as the bastion of civilization, and one of the only things held over in this vision of the future, but I especially liked the bit at the end about having to learn new poets.The philosophy was interesting, as were the descriptions of the bard s plays, but both went on a bit too much.Ultimately, though, I never really connected with it on any kind of emotional level, thus I c 2.5A decent story, and I liked the twist at the end I thought it was kind of funny and interesting how Shakespeare is held as the bastion of civilization, and one of the only things held over in this vision of the future, but I especially liked the bit at the end about having to learn new poets.The philosophy was interesting, as were the descriptions of the bard s plays, but both went on a bit too much.Ultimately, though, I never really connected with it on any kind of emotional level, thus I can t rate it that highly

  10. says:

    super short but very dan simmons y book Set in the very far future with alien species and an enslaved human race Brush up on your shakespeare plays before reading

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