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Thread: Early Martin???

  1. #1
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Early Martin???

    Anybody know much about early George R. R. Martin?

    I know he edited a bunch of stuff, and I've seen his name on some books about Cards or gambling or something.

    But I was just re-reading the blurbs inside Game of Thrones, and there's so much talk of him being "back", and already having a whole shelf of books and awards, including Hugos and Nebulas and all kinds of stuff.

    I've also heard that he took like 10 years off writing, and was producing TV's Beauty and the Beast show for awhile...

    Is any of this true? What are his early books, and why does no one talk about them? Are they good?

    Just wonderin'.

  2. #2
    Barcelona! milamber_reborn's Avatar
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    I know he write a short "The Sandkings" which was converted into the very first Outer Limits episode back in 95 or so.

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    Here's a bibliography with publication dates so you can differentiate between older and newer stuff. There is also info at his site .

    I first came across him when he edited the "Wildcards" mosaic novels, an alternate history shared series written by various famous and not so well known writers and used playing card terms as metaphors. The Wildcards world split from ours in ~1945 when the Wildcard virus was released by aliens using humans as test subjects. The Wildcard virus was lethal to 90% of people infected (called drawing the Black Queen). Of the 10% who survived, 9 out of 10 expressed undesired/grotesque mutations such as tentacles instead of a nose, lizard scales etc (called drawing a Joker), while in 1/100 of persons infected by the Wildcard drew an Ace i.e. they remained human looking but developed superhuman abilities a la comic book characters. The Wildcards series explored how history might have been as a result of the Wildcard virus.

    Although at times patchy, the collective creative energies of so many talented writers produced some sublime moments/stories in the series. iBooks are reprinting the series with new intros by Martin.
    Last edited by Soon Lee; July 13th, 2003 at 11:30 PM.

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    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    If you look through the Archives you'll find much of GRRM's earlier stuff commented on. It's a varied bunch - sf, horror, space opera, film and TV stuff.

    Personal faves - Sandkings (the original story, though all of them in the book collection are OK)

    Fevre Dream (vampires!)

    Tuf Voyaging (humourous Sf)

    Dying of the Light (sort of GRRM does Jack Vance)

    Always felt that he was a good writer before SoIaF.

    Hobbit
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    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Is that vampire one good? I've always enjoyed a good vampire story.

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    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Set in the Deep South, just been reprinted in the UK as part of the Fantasy Masterworks series. Synopsis here

    Hobbit
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    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, Hobbit. I hope I can find it here. It sounds pretty good.

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    I'm actually reading one of Martin's earlier works at the moment- Tuf Voyaging. It's not bad, a collection of short stories involving the character Havieland Tuf, which all previously appeared in various sci-fi magazines I believe. Enjoyable stuff, inventive and amusing. If it didn't have Martin's name on it I probably wouldn't have picked it as being written by the same writer as ASOIAF.

    I thought Fevre Dream was okay but nothing special.

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    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Enjoyable stuff, inventive and amusing. If it didn't have Martin's name on it I probably wouldn't have picked it as being written by the same writer as ASOIAF.
    Yes - agree.

    Read them when the majority were published in Analog in the early 1980's. Rather like the Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison, Sf with humour (not always easy to do!)

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    The Doctor... Sammie's Avatar
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    Seriously recommend 'Dying of the Light'. It doen't have the complex plot or multiple viewpoint of his recent stuff - but the writing is spot on, and the setting and concept are great. Go....buy....! Now!

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    Originally posted by Evil Agent
    Thanks a lot, Hobbit. I hope I can find it here. It sounds pretty good.
    I saw this books Fever Dreams in Forbiddon Planet London today. Sounds interesting.

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    I looked for a good place to post this, and this thread was the closest I could find . . . Many of the early Martin short stories are really good:

    Bitterblooms
    In the House of the Worm
    Sandkings
    With Morning Comes Mistfall
    Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels
    A Song for Lya

    are probably my favorites

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    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    How are they published? In a collection or something?

    I think I have a book of his short stories, called something like "Portraits of his Children", on my shelf, but I've never read it yet.

  14. #14
    'Nightwings' is another novella of his that's well worth the read, along with 'Sandkings.'

    Both, apparentley, were made into films (or I suppose that outer limits epidsode that was mentioned).

    I stumbled upon both stories in a collection called 'The Reel Stuff,' an anthology of sci-fi and horror shorts that were made into films: a book worth picking up if you see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent
    How are they published? In a collection or something?

    I think I have a book of his short stories, called something like "Portraits of his Children", on my shelf, but I've never read it yet.
    The stories I listed were all published in the either the Sandkings anthology (1981) or the A Song for Lya anthology (1976). Some of them have been included in later collections. I've also read the first Wild Cards anthology and frankly found it a pretty mixed bag (Martin only contributed one of the stories).

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