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Dreamsongs: Volume I Paperback – October 16, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Martin may be best known for his Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy, but this mammoth collection of short stories (the first of two volumes) highlights his work in numerous genres, including SF, horror and fantasy. Focusing on Martin's early output, volume one features The Second Kind of Loneliness, originally published in 1972, which chronicles a man's insanity-inducing introspection millions of miles from Earth; the 1975 Hugo Award–winning A Song for Lya; The Pear-Shaped Man, a disturbing horror masterpiece about a creepy apartment neighbor; and more obscure works like a 1967 fanzine story starring the Astral Avenger and an unconventional college term paper about the Russo-Swedish War of 1808. An insightful introduction by Gardner Dozois, illustrations by Michael Kaluta and extensive—and candid—author commentary make this much more than just a compilation of stories. Fans, genre historians and aspiring writers alike will find this shelf-bending retrospective as impressive as it is intriguing. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Praise for George R. R. Martin and His Body of Work
A Song of Ice and Fire Series
"Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best. In fact...this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien." --"Time
""George R. R. Martin has created the unlikely genre of the realpolitik fantasy novel. Complete with warring kings, noble heroes and backroom dealings, it's addictive reading and reflects our current world a lot better than "The Lord of the Rings,"" --"Rolling Stone
""Mainstream readers...have a great treat ahead of them in Martin....Emotionally complex, masterfully written." --"Newsday
""I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers." --Robert Jordan --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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My favorite stories in the collection were The Second Kind of Loneliness, The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr, The Ice Dragon (which takes place in a similar world to ASOIAF, nor would I be surprised if a dragon of ice did manifest there), and Nightflyers, which was apparently made into a B horror movie, mores the pity, since the story deserves far better.
All in all, it was an excellent volume revealing the earlier offerings and showing the upward progression of Martin's work.
A Song of Ice and Fire have spawned an industry of theorists, pundits, and reviewers on You Tube. These commentators attempt to predict the future of the plot. Some of the most thorough and more dedicated fans and reviewers have taken the time to read some of Martin's early works to see if they can glean the future through them. For that alone, it is worth your time to read "Dreamsongs Vol 1".
Martin was more open about his personal life. In this collection of short stories, Martin will, from time to time, write about his personal life. If you are interested in the author, you simply must have this book.
I would not say the short stories within will tell you how "A Song of Ice and Fire" will end. Martin will want to surprise his readers.
I also enjoyed spotting some of the little things that would pop up in Fire & Ice and the biographical sections. A lot of the other stuff didn't do much for me though the stories were good they just didn't really pop but then again this is his early stuff so I'm definitely going to give the second anthology a read.