The Abominable by Dan Simmons

A thrilling tale of supernatural adventure, set on the snowy peaks of Mount Everest from the bestselling author of The Terror.

It’s 1926, and the desire to summit the world’s highest mountain has reached a fever-pitch among adventurers. Three young friends, eager to take their shot at the top, accept funding from a grieving mother whose son fell to his death on Mt. Everest two years earlier. But she refuses to believe he’s dead, and wants them to bring him back alive.

As they set off toward Everest, the men encounter other hikers who are seeking the boy’s body for their own mysterious reasons. What valuable item could he have been carrying? What is the truth behind the many disapperances on the mountain? As they journey to the top of the world, the three friends face abominable choices, actions–and possibly creatures. A bone-chilling, pulse-pounding story of supernatural suspense, THE ABOMINABLE is Dan Simmons at his best.

God damn. I’ve never read Simmons, and I take issue with some of his personal politics. But, god damn, that’s a cover. The Abominable is set for an October, 2013 release.

  • Jesse March 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I’ve never read any of his books, but this one sounds interesting. And this cover is gorgeous and really draws me in. I might just pick this one up.

  • Robert Mammone March 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    His Joe Kurtz crime novels are brilliant. I’m partway through The Crook Factory, which is a bit of a slog, I’m afraid. Summer of Night is a real standout in the vampire genre. The sort of sequel A Winter Haunting is very spooky. I remember being amazed at how wonderful the writing in Hyperion was. I know his most recent book caused some controversy, but more or less he’s a writer to read.

  • Dragana M. March 14, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Never read Dan Simmons? It’s a crime. He has some great sci-fi fantasy. ‘Hyperion’ is a classic, although I personally liked ‘Ilium’ more.
    Oh, and yeah – awesome cover. :)

  • Tyler March 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    What are his personal politics?

  • IlliferThePenniless March 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    The Terror is great, well worth checking out. Drood is pretty incredible until it falls apart at the end.

    This sounds pretty reminiscent of the Terror…

  • vint July 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    @Tyler, his personal politics are somewhere right of Atilla the Hun: everything from gay marriage to Muslims to defense spending (more — more!), and — should you so desire, and should wish to spend the time searching for posts, old and new — you can read words, typed by Simmons himself, which back up that statement at the forum on his site. Part of that forum — the one on writing — is now strictly by membership only, but the Hot topic part, which contains political discussions, was still open to nonmembers for perusal, last time I checked.

    @Dragana M. , couldn’t agree more regarding HYPERION. And I’d include THE FALL OF HYPERION, which is basically the second half of one long novel; or, at least, a companion novel. As regards the best of Dan Simmons, I’d also include ENDYMION and THE RISE OF ENDYMION (likewise one long novel, or two companion novels that need each other in order to tell the full story). After those four books (which, as a group, make up what is known as the HYPERION CANTOS), I’d recommend CARRION COMFORT (a book about psychic vampirism, and one of the best fictional “explanations” of random violence every dreamed up), like all of Simmons’s novels, it sometimes suffers from a bit of over-writing, but it all works out great in the end; SUMMER OF NIGHT & A WINTER HAUNTING (the first is Simmon’s take on the well-worn, but well-loved kids coming of age amidst unspeakable horrors, ala, IT or “The Body”; the second is a less visceral take on the same story, almost Henry Jamesian in its telling) — although either book can be read without the other, reading them back-to-back makes for an interesting experience, especially since one novel deconstructs the other in its telling; SONG OF KALI (a mainstream thriller with overtones of horror that made many mistake it for a work of dark fantasy); PHASES OF GRAVITY (a mainstream novel about an astronaut coming to grips with life after walking on the moon); LOVEDEATH (a collection of novellas, which cover mainstream, horror and science fiction), not all of the short fiction of Dan Simmons, but, with the exception of “Looking for Kelly Dahl”, his finest, especially “Entropy’s Bed at Midnight” and “The Great Lover”; THE CROOK FACTORY (a fun, not-to-be-taken too seriously, historical thriller involving Ernest Hemingway, who actually set up a spy network during WWII), which is the best thriller Simmons has ever written (DARWIN’S BLADE is abysmal and his Joe Kurtz novels — all featuring “Hard” in the titles — are fun, but not quite as good); and THE TERROR (which is 4/5ths of a really good historical thriller — if he’d left the ending more ambiguous than he did, and edited a bit more, it would be as excellent as the aforementioned titles). After these books, the rest are either solid, but not great (including CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT and FIRES OF EDEN, two horror novels that featured characters from “Summer” in them, and THE HOLLOW MAN, a beautiful failure of a novel that actually fared better as short story, “Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”; ILIUM, a book that started out great but a little confused near the end), and really awful (OLYMPOS, a sequel to ILIUM that lost the thread and became part of Simmons’s ongoing I-hate-Muslims thread of essays, which can be found on his forum; DROOD, which was a great idea that went nowhere — not a good thing when a novel is 800 pages or so in length — and featured one of his best characters, the fictional version of Wilkie Collins; BLACK HILLS, a seriously laughable stabe at blending historical western with horror, which spirals into didactic preaching in the final chapters; and, last and definitely least, FLASHBACK, an unapologetic — almost Orson-Scott-Cardian — “near-future” SF thriller which abuses the tropes of Simmons’s ’93 novella and turns it into a rightwing rant — seriously). I don’t know what happened to Simmons — I read about him suffering clinical depression — but around the year 2000, his writing went downhill. And since 2001, and his obsession with rightwing political stances, he has become extremely didactic (witness BLACK HILLS and FLASHBACK). THE TERROR is the one exception published during this time, but knowing how writers oft-times begin work — either literally, or via notes taken and stored for future use — it’s possible it wasn’t entirely cobbled up during his downhill years (2000 to 2012). Here’s hoping THE ABOMINABLE actually finds Simmons writing like he used to, although the fact that the plot of this forthcoming novel sounds a lot like a short story by another writer –William Meikle — isn’t a very promising start, originality-wise.