DREAMSONGS, VOLUME 1
New and old readers alike will enjoy this retrospective collection from Martin, who, although best known for the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, is also an accomplished science fiction and horror writer. From the mundane to the bizarre, this first volume is an engrossing and worthwhile anthology.
Spanning the years 1967 through '87, this retrospective collection highlights the first half of Martin's 40-year writing career. With an introduction by Gardner Dozois and short autobiographical essays from Martin explicating each stage of his career, there's plenty of meat for old and new fans alike.
From the pulpy "Only Kids Are Afraid of the Dark" to the heartbreakingly lyrical "A Song for Lya," Martin shows his mastery of short-form fiction. Horror fans will get a kick out of the delightfully creepy "Sandkings," and the fantasy novella "The Ice Dragon" is deeply moving in its simplicity. This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. There are 23 tales here, grouped by genre, painstakingly crafted and all entertaining. (Bantam Spectra, Nov., 704 pp., $27.00)