Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective: Book Two (Dreamsongs, #2)

By George R.R. Martin

Rating: 4 stars

I came to this collection having never actually read any George R. R. Martin before. I’ve heard of A Song of Ice and Fire but have never read it, but I had read good reviews of this retrospective (or Rretrospective as the book itself puts it) and wasn’t disappointed. This volume contained fewer but longer stories than its predecessor but held the same format of grouping stories by theme, each with an introduction by the author. The first and third sections are single universes where Martin wrote several stories, the first being the Haviland Tuf series and the other being the WildCards superhero series. I enjoyed both of these and would certainly like to read more. Luckily for me, this is possible since the Tuf stories are collected in Tuf Voyaging and there are many books in the WildCards shared universe, which, we learn in this book, Martin created with a group of friends while roleplaying.

The book also contains a couple of screenplays that Martin has written during his Hollywood years, the first being a Twilight Zone episode that got mangled and the second being a pilot for a Sliders-esque series that never really went anywhere.

The final section is possibly the most interesting, Martin admitting that there’s no real ‘theme’ to them, and they’re just stories that he likes. They include the Song of Ice and Fire prequel The Hedge Knight and the eerie Portraits of his Children which rounds off the collection in a suitably weird and somewhat creepy way. This section contains stories that don’t follow any particular pattern, from the fantasy/imagined history of The Hedge Knight to the hard SF of The Glass Flower to the werewolf/detective story The Skin Trade.

A good collection to get a flavour of the later part of Martin’s career and should certainly be read in conjunction with Volume 1. If you only know of Martin through Ice and Fire, this will show that he’s done so much more than that.

Book details

ISBN: 9780752890098
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Year of publication: 2003

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