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Portraits of His Children Paperback – May 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (May 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671721240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671721244
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,159,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Martin has a loyal following for his ironic voice and his colorful imagination. This new collection, gathering stories from 14 years, puts that inventiveness at the service of a romantic and sentimental vision. In one of the earliest pieces, "With Morning Comes Mistfall," the allure of the mysterious, myth-laden Wraithworld vanishes with scientific scrutiny. The noble "Ice Dragon" gives its life to save the little girl who loves it. In the title story a novelist wallows in self pity for having devoted more time to his fictional creations than to his family. A time travel/revenge-of-the-nerd yarn, "Unsound Variations," somewhat escapes the pattern, but this remains overall a weak collection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Definitely worth an hour to read it.
Gerry D Pratt
His characters, as usual, are fully fleshed out and come with complete back stories.
larryegypt
Mr. Martin is easily becoming one of my favorite authors.
"ditship"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By B Smith on February 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
It's unfortunate that Amazon has not chosen to separate the reviews for Kindle editions from the physical editions, mainly because Kindle editions are sometimes poorly transcribed, with formatting errors and typos (while the physical editions were put through a more thorough and competent editing process).

But in the case of Portraits of His Children, the quality of the text itself is not the issue. The problem here is that the buyer is given the impression that this Kindle edition will contain the same 11 short stories found in the paperback edition of the same name. This impression is due to Amazon's practice of lumping all the reviews together, Kindle and otherwise.

However, despite Amazon's claim that you're getting the same 11-story compilation in Kindle form, you're not. This is just the one short story, "Portraits of His Children." If you want the entire compilation, you'll need to buy the paperback edition.

(If you want "Portraits of His Children" in a Kindle compilation, it's included in Dreamsongs: Volume II, which contains a total of 12 George R.R. Martin stories.)

As for the story itself: another reviewer here called it "not his best" and "average work," and I can't dispute that because it's the first of Martin's stories I've read. If "Portraits of His Children" is not Martin's best, then I can't wait to read his best. The story started out rather pedestrian in my opinion, but despite that, Martin's style of communication hooked me right away:

"'You liked me well enough when I was in your damn book, when you could control everything I did and said, right? Don't like it so well now that I'm real, though. That's your problem. You never did like real life half as well as you liked books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "ditship" on October 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mr. Martin is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. I will admit that I had not read any of his works until the `Song of Fire and Ice' series was created. I figure you have to begin somewhere though. While reading this book, I found that he not only can sweep you off to other worlds with ease, but also make you teary eyed when reviewing just what his characters are going through and the strength and/or weakness that they reveal. It's a shame that this book isn't more popular. It truly is great. From a group of men playing with all their heart in the last super bowl (only to be replaced with a computer with no emotion to emulate them), to a group of old `friends' finally confronted with their failures and being told why exactly they came to be, you'll be surprised by just how much you'll be pulled into their lives. There are eleven stories all together, and I'd recommend each and every one of them. All run the gamut of emotions. All represent a different facet of our lives.
On a further note, I don't have a clue what the `Incest' guy was talking about. The story that is the namesake of the book has a scene where a father and daughter are laying together in bed consoling each other, I assume that he might have interpreted what happened incorrectly (or then again, perhaps I did).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Robinson on March 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
The story "Unsound Variations" was just amazing! a single move in a chess tounament that one of the weaker players made ruins the lives of the rest of the team in ways both disturbing and unimaginable...
The "Ice Dragon" won an award and after reading it and wiping your tears away you will know why... its simply amazing how one man has so many stories that, in just a few pages can cut through a persons layers of bitterness and expose emotions that one may have believed to have been long since dead.
("With Morning comes Mistfall" and "Lonely Songs of Loren Dorr" fit into this category...Not to mention the Title story about a Daughters mystical Paintings...)
For you anarchists out there you will find the story "closing Time" has a pleasent way of dealing with the whole mess out there....
A total of 11 wonderous and magical stories affiriming that GRR Martin was the Master even before the Song of Ice and Fire was Created.
Buy this book! It will be [$$$], but its worth it if you want to laugh and cry again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rita M Cerniglia on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a group of richly crafted short stories that draw the reader into a brief interlude with a variety of emotions: Hatred, jealousy, indifference, deceit, love, agony, despair... Each story is different. One deals with the very last Super Bowl. Another a fatal chess move and how it effects a team of chess players the entire lives. Still one is about wishes granted for a price, that never seem to turn out as the buyer intended. One of my personal favorites is about a game of the mind with sometimes deadly -- but always irrevocable consequences. Each pearl of a story is both unique in form and color. No constant incest theme. No Fall of the House of Usher here (My deepest regards to Poe). Just a perfectly marvelous read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenya Starflight on April 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
NOTE: This review is for the paperback anthology collection, not the Kindle version of the stand-alone "Portraits of His Children" story.

A few years back, a co-worker of mine came to work raving about a movie she had seen the previous night ("The Dark Knight" for the curious). Her reaction was, and I quote, "It was fantastic! It was amazing! I'll never watch it again."

At the time I could only laugh... but after having read George R. R. Martin's "Portraits of His Children," I find myself echoing her review, only applying it to this book instead of that movie. Martin is an amazing writer, and the worlds and characters he has woven in this short-story collection fascinate and captivate. His imagination is unique and varied, and he proves adept at constructing tales of hard science-fiction, fantasy, and even contemporary fantasy and science fiction with equal skill. But all that said... I doubt I'll be reading this collection again, as though Martin's a master of his craft, his stories are often tragic, depressing, or just plain morbid.

"Portraits of His Children" collects eleven of Martin's short stories, both fantasy and science fiction. Said stories are as follows:

"With Morning Comes Mistfall" -- A scientist comes to a mist-shrouded world intending to prove that the mysterious "wraiths" the planet is famous for don't exist. But a crusty innkeeper tries to dissuade him, claiming that this world -- and mankind -- need mystery and myth, and that some mysteries are better left unraveled.

"The Second Kind of Loneliness" -- The sole worker at a remote warp gate must battle his loneliness -- and his encroaching mental demons -- while he waits for his replacement... and eventually his madness gets the better of him.
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