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Dreamsongs: A Retrospective: A Rretrospective [Hardcover]

George R.R. Martin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Sep 2006

GRRM: A RRETROSPECTIVE is a massive collection of the best of George R.R. Martin's short fiction, containing 32 short stories and novellas, including the Hugo-winning 'A Song for Lya', the Bram Stoker-winning 'The Pear-Shaped Man' and 'The Skin Trade', which won the World Fantasy Award and is generally acclaimed as the finest werewolf story of our time.

As well as the stories themselves, which span Martin's multi-faceted career, there are two television scripts, voluminous author commentary, an introduction by award-winning editor and writer Gardner Dozois and a comprehensive bibliography.

This must-have volume by one of the brightest stars in the field of imaginative fiction

Product details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (11 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575079053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079052
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


¿Half a million words of world-class storytelling.¿ (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

"Pure genius storytelling. Martin's trophy cabinet may be impressive, but your bookshelf will be just as awe-inspiring if you splash out for this collection. An essential purchase." (Sam Ashurst SFX)

"There is an immense amount of genius in this volume, too much almost to actually get through. A 1,200 page bag-breaker, but it's worth the backpain." (Anthony Brown STARBURST)

Martin is a major influence within the speculative field, surely on his way to Grand Master status if he continues to produce writing of such quality, and Dreamsongs is a major body of work, one that feels like a career summation for his short fiction. It's a must-have for any serious student of speculative literature. (STRANGE HORIZONS)

Book Description

The book every George R.R. Martin fan has been waiting for: a magnificent collection of the best-selling author's most evocative short fiction

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
This was originally published by Subterranean Press as a limited edition only print. As a lover of George R R Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF)" series, this and the few short stories I'd read of his, had left me wanting more of his work but as it covered such a variety of genres and as one not known to stray too far from my love of fantasy fiction I didn't know which of his works to read. This seemed a perfect introduction but I still had to think long and hard before I did buy it as I'd never spent so much on a single book before.

I certainly wasn't disappointed - this is the most wonderful and expansive selection of short stories and novella's - many award winning - spanning his varied and interesting career that you'll ever find.

But the highlight of the book for me is the biographies prefacing each section of stories - Martin explains what inspired him to start writing as a small boy to entertain himself and friends. From his early submissions to fanzines he tells how the twists of fate led him on his way to a career spanning various genre but all written with his brilliant understanding of what drives people and his amazing ability to put those desires and emotions down on paper. These honest, poignant, generous, "no holes barred" and often very funny introductions show the life experiences that help him to write such masterpieces as " With Morning Comes Mistfall", "A Song for Lya", "Sandkings", "The Pear-Shaped Man" and "The Skin Trade" - all included in this anthology.

I've heard many books described as a must read but if I was to be stranded on a desert island and only allowed one book, for its sheer variety and scope and its page-turning appeal, this is definitely at the top of my list. It was definitely worth every penny I spent on it knowing its something I will go back to time and again - and you lot get it for even less than I paid - so what are you waiting for?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars George Magic 15 Mar 2007
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
So you've sat down and read all of the Song of Fire and Ice novels, the wait for the next instalment is killing you, what are you going to do, well you can go out pick up this novel and bring it home, full of short stories by a master storyteller you will not be disappointed, including some pieces that a number of people may not have been aware were Georges creations, things like The Sandkings which you may well have watched in the Outer Limits.

This book is one that crosses right across his writing career and perhaps the biggest question is how did George actually arrive at his selection from so many available. This is not a complaint though, this is a compliment as personally had I had to sit down and choose a selection of his best stuff I probably would have been arguing about it from here until doomsday. This is a great little (well big actually) Stocking filler for all fans and if you know that your Dad's a fan something that is very affordable for all pockets. I love books like this, they're not only economically ideal but the sheer variety of the contents makes it a joy to read time and again, then throw in the bountiful forwards to each section by GRRM and well you've got a nice little nugget of goodness that will take a bit of time to read but can be dipped into when you wish so can be eked out to fill that need until the next instalment in that favoured series. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh my? 30 Mar 2007
By Me
Certainly there are a great many stories packed in here. Each section is preceded by an introductory paragraph from GRRM explaining his personal story at the point he was writing each of the entries.

The range varies: science fiction, horror, fantasy, TV screenplays, comicbook heroes - lots of stuff. Some stories are very short, some are novellas. The quality also varies considerably and I found myself skipping some of them altogether... while others had me hooked.

If I were to generalise I would say: he is better at fantasy than he is at science fiction; his horror stories aren't scary; it's a shame he hasn't had more luck with television; a good proportion of his stories end in a depressing way; but his characterisation is superlative whatever he's writing.

Mixed bag? You bet. It might be your cup of tea, it might not be. Personally, I found this difficult to finish and although some stories would be 5-star, I feel others would only be 1-star, hence the rating.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. 9 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed every moment reading this book. I liked the unique way to combine the biography with the short stories. In the first stories, you can observe the youth and the inexperience of the author, but nevertheless the stories are quite good, very enjoyable read.

If anybody cares, I would definitely recommended this book.
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5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader 3 Jan 2008
This is an exceptional collection. To start with, the story average is 3.80, which is pretty staggering for over 30 pieces from the same author. He also throws in a couple of screenplays, which look ok to me, but I know nothing about those, really.

It also has a cool orange cover. We need more orange books I think. John Wyndham's Wanderers of Time, the Legion of Space by Jack Williamson, etc. Also note the cute coat of arms, and its quartering to represent the genres that he loves and works in.

A fair bit of work has gone in to the book as far as introducing the material goes, and there is also quite a bit of autobiographical discussion, in the discussion sections that precede each of the nine sections that the book is broken down into, going from his childhood, right up until the later stories.

He talks about growing up, loving comics still 'bleeds four colour ink' he says, then discovering paperbacks, Heinlein, Howard, Tolkien, etc. He likes his football, and given all the mentions of SF convention parties, is probably not averse to a beer. My kind of guy. Science fiction, fantasy and horror, it is all good to him, and he is good at all of it.

There is also a complete bibliography up until the end of 2002. Although this came out now, apparently Subterranean published a collectable fancy version in 2003, hence the bibliography date. When this book started to appear he may not have had a lot more to report, either, working mostly on his fat fantasies and not short stories, or getting Wild Cards going again. All in all, I am really happy Gollancz has decided to bring this great book out for the rest of us normal mortal readers and made it accessible.
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