Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: The Terror, by Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons writes about the doomed Franklin expedition, a trip into the arctic that resulted in the two expedition boats, Erebus and Terror, being stuck in ice for two full years.  Some of the reasons I liked it, from concrete to less concrete:

  • It’s historical fantasy.  Dan Simmons did his homework well, and there is a feast of details.  And what futurist isn’t interested in the past?
  • The setting is extreme, different, and dealt with well
  • The Arctic of this book is a serious contrast to the clear water up there now, and thus, illustrative of both the speed of change, and of what we are losing
  • While in many ways its a book about death, its sweetly redemptive
  • Like most good historical novels, there are resonances and echoes between then and now

 If you decide to read it, be patient.  It’s long, and I found it a little hard to find an entry point into, but once hooked, it was fabulous.