Ilium is a truly strange beast. Strap on your oxygen masks, because here’s a plot summary: The Greek Gods (yes, Zeus, Apollo, Athena, that bunch) are staging the Iliad on Mars. They have reincarnated noted scholics (scholars of the Iliad) to take notes and report of any discrepancies between the war taking place and the version in the Iliad.
Sentient robots on the outer planets are noticing a large amount of quantum activity on Mars, and are getting worried that perhaps the post-humans are up to something. These sentient robots have tendencies towards studying human literature to a rather unhealthy degree.
On Earth, the post-humans have left behind a small population of utterly post-literate humans who spend their days—they have exactly 100 years of youth and after that they supposedly go to join the post-humans—with all their whims catered to.
It gets weirder from there.
Obviously, this is not a novel for everyone. Nevertheless, it creeps under your skin and makes you really want to find out what is going to happen. So, if you can set your suspension-of-disbelief meter really high and you enjoy a twisted sense of literary criticism, Ilium will probably give you a lot of enjoyment.
Plus, it makes you want to re-read both the Iliad and Shakespeare, and there’s no planet where that can be wrong.
Posted Sunday, 25 September, 2005 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.