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Dreamsongs: Volume II Hardcover – November 27, 2007

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Dreamsongs: Volume II + Dreamsongs: Volume I + The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Equal parts short fiction collection and candid retrospective, this second and concluding volume of Martin's shelf-bending compendium highlights a wide variety of his later work, including two stories set in the shared, superhero-laden universe of Wild Cards; The Hedge Knight, a prequel to the epic Song of Ice and Fire fantasy saga (A Game of Thrones, etc.); and Doorways, an action-packed, exceptionally plotted pilot script for a science fiction television series that never aired. Other notable selections include Portraits of His Children, the Nebula-winning story of a self-absorbed writer forced to come face-to-face with the consequences of his own heartlessness, and two outstanding cautionary tales featuring space-faring ecological engineer and savvy opportunist Haviland Tuf. Science fiction, fantasy and horror fans alike will be blown away by the diversity and quality of stories as well as by Martin's extensive and frank commentary about his life and experiences in the publishing and television industries, backed up by a 24-page bibliography. Both physically and thematically immense, this extraordinary collection is one to cherish. (Dec.)
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Review

“Science fiction, fantasy and horror fans alike will be blown away by the diversity and quality of stories as well as by Martin's extensive and frank commentary.... This extraordinary collection is one to cherish.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553806580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553806588
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid '90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alex C. Telander on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this second and final volume of George R. R. Martin's short works, readers are treated to his writings of the 1980's leading up to the 90s when his career took off with the eventual success of his Song of Ice and Fire series. It is in this collection that we learn more of Martin's dabbling into television and screenwriting, as well his exploits into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Divided into four parts, the first covers two stories involving Martin's eccentric character Haviland Tuf, an animal seller, who is the last surviving member of the ancient and defunct Ecological Group. Tuf with his menagerie travel the universe in The Ark, a ship that is many miles in length. All stories involving Tuf were eventually collected and published in a book, Tuf Voyaging, which Martin recommends fans seek out to read more about the redoubtable Tuf, but they must seek the used and out-of-print stores to find a copy.

The second part covers Martin's trip into screenwriting, specifically for TV shows. Two shows that Martin worked on were the 1980s incarnation of The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. Scripts for two episodes of The Twilight Zone: "The Road Less Traveled," and "Doorways" are included here. While this was essentially the end for Martin's involvement in TV, he is quick to point out that he learned greatly from it. It was just one of the stepping stones that led to the creation of his epic fantasy series, still some years away.

In the third section, Martin discusses the surprising success of the Wild Cards series, which began with role-playing games amongst a group of writers - including Martin - when he moved to Santa Fe.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I like stuff on December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What to say about Dreamsongs: Volume II? While it did have some solid entries ("The Hedge Knight" [hampered by some boring jousting but ultimately enjoyable], the Wild Cards stories, and both of the Haviland Tuf tales) it felt weaker than the first volume overall. Particularly forgettable were Part Seven: The Siren Song of Hollywood (containing two scripts he had penned for television shows) and a number of stories from Part Nine: The Heart in Conflict ("Portraits of his Children" and "Unsound Variations" being perhaps the weakest stories of the whole collection with the exception of Volume I Part One: A Four-Color Fanboy). While I'm sure all the stories were selected carefully for particular reasons, I still wonder if there were better selections from Martin's history that could have included.

Should you still read it? Certainly, especially if you've already finished the first volume. Any fan of GRRM would be silly to pass up a collection of his earlier works in their author-preferred forms (the expanded version of "Nightflyers" from the first volume, the first script for "Doorways", and the original version of "A Beast for Norn") and it would serve as an entry point into the extended Martin universe for new fans curious for more after whetting their appetites on ASoIaF.

Both volumes would make good gifts for fantasy-lovers (even some of the sci-fi stories have a heavy fantasy influence, though Martin has an interesting note about genres in Volume II) ranging from teens to adults. Several of the stories have sexual content unsuitable for young children and "The Skin Trade" is a bit too grotesque for the average youngster, but all of the others could potentially be read by a parent. "The Ice Dragon" from Volume I, which is also sold as a separate short book, would be excellent for children.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on October 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm going to be lazy here, but I will promise that Martin totally transports you into whatever world he creates be it the halls of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL or the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Martin will keep you guessing and engaged. If you fell in love with the characters in "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, you will love this collection. You might even see Tyrion disgused as a mutant in one of these stories.
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Since I read this as part of my Game of Thrones fix I got hung up in this book near the beginning when he mentions how his career is filled with unfinished series. Seriously, I wanted to cry for a minute.
Otherwise I enjoyed it. Not as good as the first but then again my favorite of both books is the Hedge Knight and the introduction of Dunk. Great characters and what is a good look into the history of Ice and Fire. I even enjoyed the descriptions of the joust. I can't wait to read the other two! I also personally enjoyed the Hollywood scripts because I'm interested in screenwriting so I appreciated seeing hate formatting and hearing the behind the scenes of why they didn't work out for him in the end.
The stories are good in this one but somewhat lacking in the first. I'm not a big fan of the Tuf series so starting off that way might have colored the book a bit for me. It feels smaller and less expansive for some reason still an enjoyable read though.
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If you're a big GRRM fan who is low on cash, get this one, I'd say. The least good stories are the TV pitches, but they're relatively fast reads so you can get through them right quick.

This collection made me realize I'm a sucker for Martin's Federal Empire universe (that's what I'm calling it right now), a lovely collection of worlds with utterly diverse stories weaving them together (or not).

The Hedge Knight is an atypically earnest and upbeat story set in the Game of Thrones universe, so if its bleakness usually turns you off -- do not worry here, chaps!

The Skin Trade is a fun urban fantasy whodunit centered around a serial killer who targets werewolves. Martin says it's a shame he never did anything more with the world, but hey, a good story is a good story.
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