Dan Simmons (born April 4, 1948 in Peoria, Illinois) is an author most widely known for his Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel Hyperion and its sequel The Fall of Hyperion. The other novels in this series, the "Hyperion Cantos," are Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He spans genres such as science fiction, horror and fantasy, sometimes within the same novel.
Simmons' novel Summer of Night recounts the boyhood (and, in one case, girlhood) of a group of pre-teens who band together in the 1960's to defeat a centuries-old evil that terrorizes their hometown, Elm Haven, Illinois. This novel is similar to Stephen King's It,in its focus on small town life, the corruption of innocence, the return of an ancient evil, and the responsibility for others that emerges with the transition from youth to adulthood. The action is fast-paced, and the writing is superb. Soon after this novel, Simmons, who had written mostly horror fiction, began writing science fiction. He is a respected author of these and other genres, including the mystery and the thriller.
In January, 2004, it was announced that the screenplay he wrote for his novels Ilium and Olympos would be made into a film by Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films, with Simmons acting as executive producer. Ilium is described as an "epic tale that spans 5,000 years and sweeps across the entire solar system, including themes and characters from Homer's "The Iliad" and Shakespeare's "The Tempest." In July, 2004, Ilium received a Locus Award for best science fiction novel of 2003.