threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
One of the great things about George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, apart from actually reading them that is, is that its popularity means that George's back list is being re-released. Apart from the recent big collection of his short fiction, I have also purchased and read The Armageddon Rag. I liked it a lot.
Cut just because I can... )
threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
They come out from time to time. These big career collections. You know the sort of thing I mean. A big collection of the short stories across the career of a major author. I mean really big. Sometimes it is a collection of all the published works by the author and possibly some unpublished work as well. Sometimes it is a representative selection. But either way, it is big. I often struggle a bit with these collections. I read them because I like the work of the author but when so many stories by the same person are put together, you start to see the patterns. The themes , the plots, the character types - they start to repeat. No matter how good the individual stories are, the deja vu just gets a bit overwhelming and detracts from the work. The degree varies from author to author, but it always seems to be there.

I wrote the previous paragraph because I really want to make it clear just how good George R R Martin's Dreamsongs collection is. This very big volume is a selection of his shorter work from across his career mixed with some autobiographical material. The range and variety of the material is striking. There is no obvious repetition here. The stories march across the sf literary landscape and beyond with really only one thing in common - they are superbly written. From A Song for Lya to Sandkings to The Pear Shaped Man to stories of Haviland Tuf or the Wild cards and even to a story from the word of the Game of Thrones series, it is all good. From hard science fiction to fantasy to horror to the mainstream to many points in between and beyond - it is all here. The only reason you would get tired of reading this collection is because your arms would grow weary from holding its considerable bulk.

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