Thursday, 6 November 2008

George RR Martin - Master of Genres, Winner of Practically Everything

The Random Quote: If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look him into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die. GEORGE RR MARTIN - A CLASH OF KINGS

Most people know GRRM for his Epic Fantasy-historical-warring kingdoms-politics-and-prophecy Saga A Song Of Ice and Fire.

Firstly, let me state that this is a brilliant series - it. is. EPIC, the politics are internecine and yet believable and trackable, the characters are... incredibly unique, even the switching viewpoints and internal voices are consistent. This is A Wheel of Time done properly.

Also, Tyrion Lannister (not Lancaster, however reminiscient of Richard III the story gets XD) is a clever, crazy little hunchback.... not hunchback, sorry, mixing fictions again, dwarf strongly dominated by his father and family who reminded me increasingly of Miles Vorkosigan. This bugged me all the way through the first book and made me laugh all the way through the second (...and then I suddenly became mature. Honest).

Also, very, very much worth picking up are his short stories - recently brought out for me to seize upon in a ravenous howling of delight - Dreamsongs. In this book (or books, if you buy the parts separately) is a collection of short stories - most of which have won awards - in practically every fantastical genre, from Horror to Science Fiction, Historical to Erotic, Urban to traditional Fantasy... Go. Read them. Buy them. Give them to your friends. There is something in there that EVERYONE will love.

George RR Martin Recommended Reading:

A Game of Thrones - First book in A Song of Ice and Fire

The first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones is a brilliant introduction to one of the most gripping fantasy sagas around. I would recommend this to any fantasy reader without shame.

Dreamsongs: the short stories of GRRM

Dreamsongs part one.
I'd recommend buying Parts Two and Three as well, but let's start small, shall we?
Not only is almost every story in this award winning, not only do they display mastery in several different genres - bound to appeal to everyone - but even the nonfiction is enthralling. GRRM has written a introductory narrative about his literary history and progress in writing and publishing, as well as the stories around the stories in each section.

Urban fantasy, Horror, medieval fantasy, science fiction, auto-biographical, philosophical, futuristic, historical, humourous, thoughtful and plain terrifying... Epic fantay is rarely possible within the short story medium - but here, George RR Martin has created it.

Image copyright to Flynn the Cat

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