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A Song for Lya [Kindle Edition]

George R. R. Martin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Two telepaths investigate the newly discovered world of Shkea, where every native inhabitant, and an increasing number of human colonists, worships a mysterious and deadly parasite. Winner of the 1975 Hugo Award for Best Novella.

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More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George R. R. Martin's First Publication! 11 Dec. 2002
It was twenty-years old, and had an ugly cover, so I figured A SONG FOR LYA was out-of-print for a good reason. But since being blown away by A GAME OF THRONES, I have yet to find anything of Martin's less than superb. This short, but fabulous book turned out to be no exception.
Sci-Fi and Horror are blended to excellent result in this collection of 10 short stories, featuring telepaths, ghosts, strange life forms, and very imaginative worlds. The standouts were "With Morning Comes Mistfall", "Override", and the Hugo Award-Winning title-story, "A Song For Lya", but in truth- there wasn't a bad apple in the bunch.
My personal favorite was, "Dark, Dark Were The Tunnels" where Nuclear Armageddon has destroyed the face of the Earth long ago, and only two groups of people have survived. It took me a few pages to realize just what I was reading, but then it really pulled me in!
Finally, this great collection has been reprinted, and every last one of the stories within are certainly worth your effort. G R R Martin is an amazing short story writer, and I've read a bunch of his out of print collections- They are all excellent! I've been praying for two years now, that he would come out with a giant collection containing ALL of his novellas and short stories, but I guess they are going the route of simply rereleasing the old collections.
Keep an eye out for these stories:
The Hedge Knight
In the House of the Worm
A Song For Lya
Portraits of His Children
With Morning Comes Mistfall
You'll be glad you did!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent short story on love and religion 16 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the earlier works of George R.R. Martin, 'A Song for Lya' is a pretty intriguing short story. Two 'talents' are sent amongst the Skheen on a mission to understand why they all engage in a sort of ritual suicide. Over a period of days, they explore why an ancient civilization is perfectly happy not developing further and why they all merge with a parasitic being that devours them in the end.

The writing is certainly compelling and one can recognize elements of what later made George R.R. Martin so successful with his A Song of Ice and Fire - Volumes 1-5 Box Set. At the same time the issues of love, religion, etc. are perhaps a bit big to be dealt with in ca. 70 pages. Not saying that the treatment was unsuccessful, only that some readers may find it a bit rushed and if you do not like open endings, you may find it unsatisfying.

Still, an interesting short story and something to read while you are waiting for the new installment of 'A Song of Ice and Fire'.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic 21 Dec. 2010
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I read this novella many, many years ago and it still remains one of my all time favourite. If you can get hold of a copy of the complete collection of stories - With Morning Comes Mistfall, Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels, etc. then do, you won't be disappointed. Beautifully written and will bear reading over and over again.
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If you've an hour or so to spare you can read this all in one go, rather than having to devote months of your time to one of his more recent "novels". This was written close to the end of his short-story writing phase (the 1970s), and if you've followed his career from the word go as I have, you'll know what a superb short story writer he used to be. Often with little to say, beyond a cliche of an idea and a much-trodden plot, his talent was in how he wrote, not what he wrote, and this is a prime example of what I once called "well written rubbish". You enjoy it for the writing, not the shortcomings of the content. By no mans his best short piece, but this was the one that brought him to the attention of audiences beyond science fiction, by virtue of bagging an award or two. And once that milestone was reached, his career in writing took off, covering TV scriptwriting (Beauty and the Beast), and vast self indulgent fantasy novels (you know the ones I mean), and sadly he rarely wrote any further short works.

You'll find better short stories than this in his two anthologies, Song Of Stars and Shadows, and Sandkings, but neither sadly is yet available in kindle. But if you read for the joy of the written word alone, with no other requirement, this is a must in any collection. You'll want to read it many times over to wring out every last bit of enjoyment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George R R Martin, Sagas and shorter stories. 20 Mar. 2012
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George R R Martin is a natural story teller. Whilst strictly speaking the quality may vary. The creative story lines are still compulsive reading. It is great to read and learn from this man's writings.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Song for Lya 7 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all the published Song of Fire and Ice as well as The Hedge Knight, I was not expecting a completely different genre. From epic fantasy to introspective sci-fi. I now know that this was written long before A Song of Fire and Ice but still the variation is dramatic. A good read nonetheless and I liked the idea put forward for man's search for a divinity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting story 20 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this short story very much . The characterisation is good enough to make me interested in the characters. The plot reminds me of an intruiging incident on one of the planets in Heinlein's Methuselah's Children but goes into much more detail about human reactions and understanding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read
Published 7 months ago by J. Brazill
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I found it a little hard going.
Published 8 months ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Not as good as game of thrones. I found it a bit boring could work out at first what it was about
Published 12 months ago by Youngalot
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what expected but enjoyable
Set far into the future rather than the past, this early work of George RR Martin is defiantly worth a read if you are a fan. Read more
Published 12 months ago by James Barker
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different view
Wow ... How different from Game of Thrones. This is so far in the future ...or is it? This book is very thought provoking ... And it's all about choices ... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sue Forbes
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
Thought the story was good, readable and interesting, but too abrupt a finish. Would have liked to have read more
Published 16 months ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars emotional..
I loved the world George R R Martin manages to create in a small amount of time and the emotions this story inspires of love. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lee Baxter
4.0 out of 5 stars One to think about
Strange but compelling read. This book touches on areas other authors steer away from. Had to finish reading so I could settle.
Published 19 months ago by wendy lowe
4.0 out of 5 stars a thoroughly enjoyable sci fi read
I only read this because I so enjoyed the game of thrones series. I was really impressed with the book and found it a refreshing read.
Published 22 months ago by Andy Wardleworth
1.0 out of 5 stars dirty
fit for the bin. something you would pay 20p.,instead of nearly £5. for and it read with rubber gloves. my with wanted to disspose of it on opening the packet.
Published 23 months ago by Perry
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