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George R.R. Martin

George RR Martin(1948- )
George R.R. Martin has won numerous awards for his novels and stories, including the Hugo (several of them), Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. Read an excerpt from A Song of Ice and Fire and read about his writing progress at George R.R. Martin’s website.

A Song of Ice and Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire  — (1996- ) Publisher: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, The Winds of Winter, A Dream of SpringGeorge R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, The Winds of Winter, A Dream of SpringGeorge R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, The Winds of Winter, A Dream of SpringGeorge R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, The Winds of Winter, A Dream of Spring
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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (A Song of Ice and Fire)

A Game of Thrones: An impressive start to an excellent fantasy series

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones is set in Westeros, a continent that was divided into Seven Kingdoms until the Targaryens and their dragons conquered it. Fourteen years before the story begins, Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon, and Jon Arryn led a rebellion against the mad king Aerys Targaryen. Robert became king, Jon became the King’s Hand, and Ned returned north to govern his lands. Now, Jon has died and Robert demands that Ned come south to help rule the realm.

Unfortunately ruling the realm without dragons is easier said than done. The overwhelming majority of Westeros’ leaders imagine their role as a “game of thrones” rather than responsible governance. So no wonder Robert has led the kingdom into spiraling debt. Even Ned, who believes that “the man who passes the sentence should swing t... Read More

A Clash of Kings: No one will escape

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Reposting to include Rebecca's new review.

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Renly Baratheon explains, “I have it in me to be a great king, strong yet generous, clever, just, diligent, loyal to my friends and terrible to my enemies, yet capable of forgiveness, patient…” Renly’s only problem, besides arrogance, is that he has no legal claim to the Iron Throne of Westeros — excepting the strength of his army. Luckily for Renly, Westeros’ leaders no longer seem to require any legitimacy beyond the power of their armies and the ruthlessness of their bannermen. Perhaps the laws of the realm were always a whitewash, but now even Sansa Stark has begun to realize that the laws of the state are twisted to strengthen the powerful rather than enforced to protect the powerless.

In a realm like this, it should come as no surprise that Renly is only one of many ... Read More

A Storm of Swords: Might be the best in the series

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A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

When George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords begins, the War of the Five Kings has just ended, and it looks like the Lannisters have won the realm. They control King’s Landing, Westeros’ capital city, as well as the fifteen-year-old King Joffrey. Stannis Baratheon is in retreat, and their remaining foes, the Starks and the Greyjoys, have turned on each other rather than allying against a common enemy. Basically, the bad guys have won, but A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE isn’t over.

Martin highlights that there are still perfectly legitimate threats to the realm, especially the wildlings, the Others, and the giants that are invading from beyond the Wall. Jon Snow is charged with infiltrating the wildling army, an excuse that Martin uses to show off how cool it would be to live in a land that... Read More

A Feast For Crows: Feels like an interruption

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A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

After years of plotting and poisoning at court, Cersei Lannister is finally sitting the Iron Throne of Westeros. It’s worth noting that her manipulations led to the War of the Five Kings, which has killed so many in the Riverlands and the North that all that remains is A Feast for Crows. As Queen Regent, Cersei immediately begins turning the Seven Kingdoms even more strongly against each other. Cersei envisions a realm of complete obedience to her rule, and to achieve this end she dismisses the most talented lords and knights in Westeros, surrounding herself with incompetents — and then complaining about them.

Although Cersei’s every move suggests a potential backfire, she is very much the star of A Feast for Crows, and it is interesting to contrast her with the novel’s other characters. ... Read More

A Dance with Dragons: Winter is coming

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A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

It’s autumn in Westeros, blizzards are already blasting the Seven Kingdoms with brutal force, and “winter is coming.” Jon Snow is treading a dangerously fine line between keeping the vows of the Brothers of the Night’s Watch and involvement with King Stannis’ revolt. Tyrion is on the run for his life and hopes to find an ally with Queen Daenerys, but as is always the case with the Imp, he just manages to trade one peril for greater ones. It is Daenerys’ destiny to reclaim the Iron Throne for the Targaryens, but doing so now means leaving her conquered city to her enemies and the slaves she has freed to their former masters. Meanwhile, her dragons are growing bigger and more unmanageable. As all the great houses make their bid for who will rule the Seven Kingdoms, north of the Wall the restless dead are gathering en masse to invade with the... Read More

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: Three GRRM novellas

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

“Are there no true knights among you?”

Dunk, a hedge knight, is burying his former master, Ser Arlan of Pennytree, in the soft spring ground. He has little, besides a sword and a horse. Though he is neither well trained nor especially well educated, Dunk is an unusually large man and he has a good heart. Looking at his former master, buried anonymously in a random hillside, Dunk decides to risk it all at the tourney in Ashford. If he fights well, perhaps some lord will take Dunk into his service and offer him a home in a castle.

Along the way to Ashford, Dunk meets Egg, a skinny bald kid, at an inn. Egg is bright, though a bit cheeky amongst his elders. Dunk, who grew up a child scrounging for food in Flee Bottom before Ser Arlan took him in, looks at Egg and sees his own story. He agrees to take Egg on as h... Read More

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones: Wise kings will read it

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The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García, and Linda Antonsson

George R.R. Martin’s The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones is a companion to his A SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels. It provides modest spoilers for the series and is probably best if not read until readers have finished the third novel, A Storm of Swords, or finished watching the third season in the television series. (And the same is true of this review.)

Given that the title of this book — The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones Read More

Dying of the Light: GRRM’s impressive debut

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Dying of the Light by George R.R. Martin

In the outer fringe of the inhabited universe, the rogue planet Worlorn falls darkly through space. But years ago it circled the Wheel of Fire, the brilliant wheel-shaped star system that is worshipped by many in the outworlds. Worlorn, the Wheel of Fire’s only planet, was lit for fifty years before it wandered off again. During that half-century, the outworlds held a cultural diversity festival on Worlorn, with each world trying to outdo the others when building their extravagant temporary cities on a planet they knew they’d only inhabit for a few decades.

Now that Worlorn is fading into darkness again, the cities are almost completely abandoned, but there are a few people left on the planet. When Dirk t’Larien is summoned there by Gwen, the ex-girlfriend he still loves, he discovers that Worlorn is no longer a festival plan... Read More

Fevre Dream: Vampires on the Mississippi River

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Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin

For some time I’ve been a fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. In the last few years, though, when my mind turns to that series, it’s usually either (a) to speculate about potential plot twists or (b) to wish the next book were out already. What I forget is how much I simply enjoy Martin’s writing, particularly his nuanced, flawed characters and the way he can turn a phrase. Fevre Dream, a tale of vampires on the Mississippi River in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, provided the perfect opportunity to savor Martin’s writing in a stand-alone novel with a comparatively straightforward plot.

Abner Marsh is a steamboat captain facing financial ruin when he meets the wealthy, enigmatic Joshua York, who offers to become... Read More

The Armageddon Rag: Nostalgic, but unfulfilling

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The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin

The Armageddon Rag is the book that almost destroyed George R.R. Martin’s career. It was meant to be the work that put him on the map: he’d been getting bigger and bigger advances for his previous novels, and this was the planned bestseller that would make Martin a household name. It didn’t sell. In fact, it was such a monumental commercial flop that Martin couldn’t even get a small advance for another book, let alone the six-figure deals he’d been seeing up until then. It’s hardly worth saying that A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE has pretty much achieved world domination. But what was it about this early work that fell short of Martin’s genius?

The book centres on Sandy Blair, an ex-hippie novelist who is disillusioned and... Read More

Hunter’s Run: A fast but sophisticated read

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Hunter's Run by George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Daniel Abraham

Hunter's Run is somewhat interesting in that it's a collaboration novel that you can't really tell is a collaboration and a science-fiction novel that relies surprisingly little on science fiction. And these are by no means complaints. The collaboration's seamlessness speaks to the craft and professionalism of the three writers while the lack of reliance on science fiction allows for a fine mix of quick-paced adventure and character introspection.

Don't get me wrong — the science fiction elements are essential to the plot: space-faring races, a planet being colonized (slowly) by humanity who have become seemingly the general laborers of this universe, a high-tech blaster. You need the sci fi to get the story going. But once it does get going, the sci-fi elements fade d... Read More

Dreamsongs 1: Great collection for exploring pre-ASOIAF Martin

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Dreamsongs Volume 1 by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin has become relatively famous in fantasy circles over the last decade or so, but he had already been writing for about 25 years before his excellent A Song of Ice and FIre fantasy epic began. Dreamsongs Volume 1 is the first of two collections of short-form fiction that Martin wrote before A Game of Thrones hit the shelves. I'd already read a good portion of this material in the original collections which I bought directly from the author when he was selling them (out of print at the time) on eBay and Amazon Auctions. Still, it was good to re-read them again, not in the least because the book also contains five short autobiographical introductions describing how Martin started writing, how he sold his f... Read More

Starlady and Fast-Friend: Two novelettes by George R.R. Martin

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Starlady and Fast-Friend by George R.R. Martin

In July 2008 Subterranean published this book containing two novelettes by George R.R. Martin, both of which were originally published in 1976. They are presented in a similar fashion to the Ace Double novels of the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, Starlady and Fast-Friend has two covers and is printed back to back and upside down. I was born too late and on the wrong continent to have been exposed to any of these double novels myself, but I thought it an interesting idea anyway. In his collection Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective, a publication that is central to Martin’s work, he mentions Starlady and Fast-Friend as some of his earliest exposures to (written) science fiction — stories that took him to “walk beneath the light of distant stars.” But they weren... Read More

Magazine Monday: Adams Takes Over at Fantasy Magazine

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John Joseph Adams, in recent years the editor of a raft of excellent anthologies on different science fiction, fantasy and horror themes, has now become the editor of Fantasy Magazine. The March 2011 issue is the first published under his red pencil, so to speak, and its mix of new and reprint fantasy material is promising. All content is free on the web, though ebook subscriptions and editions are available for sale.

“The Sandal-Bride,” by Genevieve Valentine, is about Sara, a woman who needs to travel from one land to another to join her husband, a shoe... Read More

SFM: Dicken, Martin, Sturgeon, Simak, Garcia-Rosas, Vonnegut

Short Fiction Monday: Here are a few short stories we've recently read and listened to that we wanted you to know about. This week's selection includes some excellent classic tales.


“The Uncarved Heart” by Evan Dicken (Nov. 2016, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 99c Kindle magazine issue, 0.99£ UK magazine issue)
It’s hard to tell what someone is really made of, at least until you crack them open. Some have hearts fragile as spun glass, quick to bre... Read More

Wild Cards

Wildcards — (1987-2016) Publisher: There is a secret history of the world — a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces — those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers — cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsWild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole Kindle Edition by George R. R. Martin  (Author), Wild Cards Trust (Author)7. Dead Man's Hand8. One-Eyed Jacks9. Jokertown Shuffle Double Solitaire11. Dealer's Choice12. Turn of the Cards12. Card Sharks13. Marked Cards14. Black Trump George R.R. Martin Wild Cards 16. Deuces DownDeath Draws FiveGeorge R.R. Martin Wild Cards 18. Inside StraightGeorge R.R. Martin Wild Cards 19. Busted FlushGeorge R.R. Martin Wild Cards 20. Suicide Kings Fort Freakfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

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Wild Cards: Now on audio

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Wild Cards edited by George R.R. Martin

Sept 15, 1946: Wild Card Day. When aliens from the planet Takis wanted to test their newly developed virus on a species that is similar to them, naturally, they brought it to Earth. Though they were thwarted by one of their own princes, a foppish alien who has become known to Earthlings as Dr. Tachyon, the virus fell into the hands of evil Dr. Tod, a Nazi sympathizer who, thinking it a biological weapon, decided to drop it on New York City. His archenemy, Jetboy, tried to stop him in a now-legendary air battle above Manhattan, but Jetboy was unsuccessful. When the virus was dumped on New York City, it killed 90% of the people it infected. Nine out of every ten who lived mutated into strange, often hideous, creatures who became known as “Jokers” while one in ten developed a special superpower and became an “Ace.”

WILD CARDS ... Read More

Aces High: Wild Cards Volume 2

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Aces High edited by George R.R. Martin

Aces High is the second volume of George R.R. Martin’s long-running WILD CARDS anthology. In the first volume, Wild Cards, we learned how aliens from the planet Takis decided to test their new virus by using humans as their guinea pigs. In the 1960s, they let loose what has now become known as the Wild Card virus on Manhattan. Much of the world population died and many of the survivors became grossly deformed and are now referred to as “Jokers.” A much smaller proportion of those who were infected gained one or more superpowers and are now known as “Aces.” In Wild Cards, we followed several Aces and Jokers as they dealt not only with their new status in life, but also with the social and political events of the 1960s.

Aces High Read More

Jokers Wild: Another WILD CARDS romp

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Jokers Wild edited by George R.R. Martin

Jokers Wild (1987) is the third in George R.R. Martin’s WILD CARDS series. The WILD CARDS books are anthologies and mosaic novels set in a shared world and containing a large cast of regular characters. Authors contributing to Jokers Wild are Edward Bryant, Leanne C. Harper, George R.R. Martin, John J. Miller, Lewis Shiner, Walter Simons, and Melinda M. Snodgrass. Each author handles the perspective of a particular character and, under George R.R. Martin’s amazing editorship, the different perspectives and plotlines magically... Read More

Aces Abroad: Aces and Jokers tour the world

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Aces Abroad edited by George R.R. Martin

Aces Abroad is the fourth WILD CARDS anthology edited by George R.R. Martin. It was originally published in 1988, released in a new print edition by Tor in 2015, and released in audio format by Random House Audio in March 2016. It would be best to read the previous volumes (Wild Cards, Aces High, Jokers Wild) first, not only because they introduce the most important characters and provide a lot of background information that you’ll need to fully appreciate Aces Abroad, but also because those first three books are more entertaining than this one is and represent the series better, I think.

WILD CARDS Read More

Down and Dirty: Lacks cohesion, but still entertaining

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Down and Dirty edited by George R.R. Martin

Jube: Hear who won the Miss Jokertown Beauty Pageant last week?
Croyd: Who?
Jube: Nobody.


I continue to listen to the new audiobook version of the WILD CARDS books as they are released by Random House Audio. Down and Dirty, the fifth volume, was published a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read the previous volumes (Wild CardsAces High, Jokers Wild, Aces Abroad), you should do so before reading this review. I’ll assume you’re familiar with the format of these anthologies / mosaic novels, and the story so far.

Down and Dirty (originally published in 1988) has a strange structure which, as Read More

Inside Straight: A WILD CARDS reboot

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Inside Straight edited by George R.R. Martin

The year 2008 saw the (second?) rebirth of the WILD CARDS series edited and co-written by George R.R. Martin. These are ‘mosaic’ novels — stories written by several authors and set in a shared universe. The first book, Wild Cards, appeared in 1987. Inside Straight (2008) is book 18. To make this 18th book a good entry point, Martin and his companions created something of a Wild Cards: the Next Generation to reboot the series.

What do you need to know about the back story of the Wild Cards? Not a lot really. In 1946 an alien virus hit earth. It killed ninety percent of those infected, disfigured nine percent and left a lucky one percent with superhuman powers. The unlu... Read More

Busted Flush: Not very satisfying

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Busted Flush edited by George R.R. Martin

Busted Flush is the nineteenth entry in the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin. The previous book, Inside Straight is something of a new beginning for the series, a new trilogy with new characters and a couple of new writers. It's a good point to get started. Unfortunately Busted Flush falls a bit short of the standard set in the first book of the Committee trilogy.

The story picks up some time after the events in Inside Straight. The UN secretary-general has snapped up the new American heroes after their dramatic performance in Egypt and formed the Committee — a group of Aces dealing with everything from genocide to natural disasters.There is plenty of work; our heroes are spread thin. In fact, the cracks in their organi... Read More

Suicide Kings: Surprising depth

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Suicide Kings edited by George R.R. Martin

Suicide Kings is the third part in the latest reincarnation of the long-running WILD CARDS series. Together with Inside Straight and Busted Flush it forms the Committee trilogy. I guess you could consider this trilogy WILD CARDS the next generation. These books are meant to be an entry point for new readers. Like most of the previous novels, Suicide Kings is a collaborative effort. This volume is written by six authors — Daniel Abraham, S.L. Farrell, Victor Milán, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Caroline S... Read More

Fort Freak: A WILD CARDS novel that can be read as a stand-alone

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Fort Freak by George R.R. Martin

Fort Freak is the twenty-first entry in the WILD CARDS universe, a long running series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin. It is not necessary to have read the previous twenty volumes to read this one; Fort Freak works fine as a standalone. There are numerous references to earlier books and cameos by characters that starred in them, but nothing that makes it absolutely necessary to have read earlier volumes. That is probably a good thing. The WILD CARDS series is currently published by Tor, the fourth publisher to take on this series. Some of the older volumes are pretty hard to find these days. The original WILD CARDS novel (1987) has been reprinted by Tor recently, with a number ... Read More

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories: Humane science fiction

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The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories edited by Tom Shippey

I read Tom Shippey's other excellent collection, The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories some time ago, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out this one. Like its stablemate, The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories consists of a chronological collection of stories from a variety of authors with an introduction by the editor. I was struck by the idea of "fabril" literature, which is discussed in the introduction: a form of literature in which the "smith" is central. Certainly, a great deal of early science fiction in particular involves a clever engineer solving some sort of problem, and I'm sure many careers in engineering and the sciences have been launched in this way. I'd say that there is some tendency, though, as the genre matures, for technology to beco... Read More

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

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Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams assembles a wide variety of apocalypse-related fiction in Wastelands. some of which are older than I am, while others are more recent. What you end up with is a diverse anthology covering topics such as religion, war, and exploration while containing horror, comedy, and a sense of wonder.

The majority of the stories are easy to get into. Some stories are more subtle than others. Overall, Wastelands is an enjoyable read and the selection seems balanced. Having said that, here are my top three stories:

"Bread and Bombs" by M. Rickert is one of the more horrifying stories in this anthology, and this is achieved through her characterization and commentary on society. It's easy to jump into Rickert's text and ... Read More

The Living Dead: Zombies aren’t the point

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The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

I never knew there were so many ways to tell a zombie story. I pretty much thought that the George Romero version was it — dead people wandering around holding their arms out in front of them and calling out “braaaaaaains,” looking to munch on the living. I never did know why they had to hold their arms that way, but they all did — I thought.

John Joseph Adams has chosen his material wisely in The Living Dead, a collection of short stories about zombies by some of the biggest and best names in the horror business, as well as the newest and hottest. I resisted this book for a long time because I’ve never been fond of zombies, but upon diving in, I discovered that the zombies aren’t really the point; the point is to tell a good story. And these authors do that, with a vengeance.

... Read More

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance

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Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance is the best anthology I’ve ever read. These stories will be enjoyed by any SFF reader, but they’ll be ten times more fun if you’ve read Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, because they are all written in honor of that fantastic work. Each tale is written in the style of Vance, which is quite amusing in itself, and each takes place on the Dying Earth, that far-future wasteland in which natural selection means survival of the cleverest, nastiest, sneakiest, and most self-serving.

Songs of the Dying Earth was written by “many ... Read More

Warriors: Diverse, entertaining, rewarding

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Warriors edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

FORMAT/INFO: Warriors is 736 pages long divided over twenty short stories and an Introduction by George R.R. Martin. Each short story is preceded by biographical information about the author and a short description of their contribution to the anthology. March 16, 2010 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Warriors via Tor.

ANALYSIS:

“The King of Norway” by Cecelia Holland. I’ve never read anything by Cecelia Holland before, but the author is described as “one of the world’s most highly acclaimed and respected historical novelists.... Read More

Wings of Fire: I thought I didn’t like dragons

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Wings of Fire edited by Jonathan Strahan & Marianne S. Jablon

I don't like dragons.

This is probably not the first sentence you'd expect to find in a review of Wings of Fire, an anthology devoted exclusively to dragon stories, but I thought it best to get it out of the way right from the start.

There's nothing inherently wrong with dragons. They're just terribly overused, one of those tired genre mainstays that people who typically don't read a lot of fantasy will expect in a fantasy novel because they were practically unavoidable for a long time. To this day, I confess to having to suppress a mental groan whenever I encounter them.

For a long time, I actively avoided reading any fantasy novel with the word dragon in the title. Granted, I made several exceptions to this rule in the past, most notably The King's Drago... Read More

Songs of Love and Death: Tales of star-crossed lovers

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Songs of Love and Death edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of Love and Death is the third anthology that George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have edited together. Like Warriors and Songs of the Dying EarthSongs of Love and Death brings together some of the biggest names that SFF has to offer and they set these authors to work on a common theme.

Martin and Dozois offer a cross-genre anthology that ranges from Robin Hobb’s epic fantasy “Blue Boots,” which tells the story of a romance between a young serving girl and a silver-tongued minstrel, to  Read More

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

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The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

I haven’t actually read every page of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, yet I’m giving it my highest recommendation. Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Master and Mistress of Weird, The Weird is 1126 pages long and should really be considered a textbook of weird fiction. It contains 110 carefully chosen stories spanning more than 100 years of weird fiction. Here’s what you can expect to find in this massive volume:

A “Forweird” by Michael Moorcock gives us a brief history of the weird tale, discusses how it has defied publishers’ attempts to categorize it into neatly-bordered genres, and gives examples of writers who are revered by modern reade... Read More

Epic: Legends of Fantasy: Lives up to its title

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Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)

Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan,  and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.

Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Read More

Rogues: A diverse and satisfying collection

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Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Rogues, a short-story anthology by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is a marvelously diverse collection of stories and genres, tied together by those scoundrels, those tricksters, those rascals, those rogues that you can't help but love. I listened to it on audiobook and loved the experience, especially because a few of the readers were actors from Game of Thrones.

When I picked this up, I was most excited to hear two stories in particular: "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back," by Neil Gaiman, and "The Lightning Tree," by Read More

More books by George R.R. Martin

Hedge Knight — (2004-2008) These are graphic novels containing collections of stories related to A Song of Ice and Fire. Publisher: A century before the events of New York Times best-selling author George R. R. Martin’s epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire, a squire named Dunk picks up the sword and shield of his dead master and enters a tournament to begin his career as a knight. But “Ser Duncan” has much to learn about this world of knights and nobles, and as he attempts to find a sponsor who will allow him to enter the tournament, he makes friends and enemies readily. Dunk is a capable fighter and has a strong sense of honor, but is that enough for him to become a true knight in the eyes of the others, or is he just a young man living a delusion and putting those he knows in grave danger?

George R.R. Martin graphic novels 1. The Hedge Knight 2. Sworn SwordGeorge R.R. Martin graphic novels 1. The Hedge Knight 2. Sworn Sword


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Glass Flower — (2005) Publisher: It’s been a lifetime and more since Cyrain has been challenged in the game of mind. When the cyborg arrives, she senses a worthy and dangerous opponent — one that’s been dead for 800 years… Nominated for the 1987 Locus Award for Best Novelette.


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsIn the House of the Worm — (2005) Publisher: In a crumbling underground city on a dying planet, young Annelyn has lived a life of privilege. When he is humiliated at the hands of the crafty groun hunter they call the Meatbringer, he and his high-born friends plot revenge. But Annelyn’s plan goes desperately awry, leading him deep into the city’s ruins — and to the ugly truth about his forebears’ reverence for the mythic White Worm.


George R.R. Martin Dreamsongs I Dreamsongs IIDreamsongs Volume II — (2007) Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for readers: a compendium of his shorter works, all collected into two stunning volumes, that offer fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.Whether writing about werewolves, wizards, or outer space, George R.R. Martin is renowned for his versatility and expansive talent, highlighted in this dazzling collection. Included here, in Volume II, are acclaimed stories such as the World Fantasy Award-winner “The Skin Trade,” as well as the first novella in the Ice and Fire universe, “The Hedge Knight,” plus two never-before-published screenplays. Featuring extensive author commentary, Dreamsongs, Volume II; is an invaluable chronicle of a writer at the height of his creativity — and an unforgettable reading experience for fans old and new.


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By George R.R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsWindhaven — (1980) Publisher: George R. R. Martin has thrilled a generation of readers with his epic works of the imagination, most recently the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling saga told in the novels A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords. Lisa Tuttle has won acclaim from fans of science fiction, horror, and fantasy alike — most recently for her haunting novel The Pillow Friend. Now together they gift readers with this classic tale of a brilliantly rendered world of ironbound tradition, where a rebellious soul seeks to prove the power of a dream. The planet of Windhaven was not originally a home to humans, but it became one following the crash of a colony starship. It is a world of small islands, harsh weather, and monster-infested seas. Communication among the scattered settlements was virtually impossible until the discovery that, thanks to light gravity and a dense atmosphere, humans were able to fly with the aid of metal wings made of bits of the cannibalized spaceship. Many generations later, among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, who bring news, gossip, songs, and stories. They are romantic figures crossing treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms that could easily dash them from the sky to instant death. They are also members of an increasingly elite caste, for the wings — always in limited quantity — are growing gradually rarer as their bearers perish. With such elitism comes arrogance and a rigid adherence to hidebound tradition. And for the flyers, allowing just anyone to join their cadre is an idea that borders on heresy. Wings are meant only for the offspring of flyers — now the new nobility of Windhaven. Except that sometimes life is not quite so neat. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, was raised by a flyer and wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. By tradition, however, the wings must go to her stepbrother, Coll, the flyer’s legitimate son. But Coll wants only to be a singer, traveling the world by sea. So Maris challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen on the basis of merit rather than inheritance. And when she wins that bitter battle, she discovers that her troubles are only beginning. For not all flyers are willing to accept the world’s new structure, and as Maris battles to teach those who yearn to fly, she finds herself likewise fighting to preserve the integrity of a society she so longed to join — not to mention the very fabric that holds her culture together.