Monday, June 27, 2011

A Quest for Martin

George RR Martin's best known as the author of the monolithic and superlative A Song of Ice and Fire, but he'd be noteworthy even if he'd never set pen to paper and given birth to a young boy witnessing a beheading. Before A Game of Thrones, and before the television career that preceded that series, Martin wrote four highly regarded novels, edited and participated in the shared world Wild Cards series, and penned enough solo shorts to fill six collections, accumulating on the way a list of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. And yet many of the Martin fans that I talk to haven't read a word of his non-Westeros fiction, and I'm not all that much better. I've read about half of Martin's early work and, as of yet, reviewed none of it, always believing that I'd visit the rest (and revisit what I'd read long ago) at some time in the future.

Well, with A Dance With Dragons breathing delicious fire on our necks, I believe that time has come. For a few months I'd done a passable job of cutting down on my book buying, so, as my inner collector broke out of his cage, I ended up spending all that saved money (and then some) on a set of limited, first, or hardcover editions of (almost) all of Martin's work. In the next few months – perhaps, as long time readers go, more than a few months – I'll be reading through Martin's bibliography and reviewing the entirety of his work, trying to both understand the works and the man and to see if it's even possible for me to ramble on for longer than I did in my Ligotti reviews. Who knows, I might even throw up some Larry-esque, sexy, sexy book porn.

The only books I won't be covering are, for now, the graphic novels and the Wild Cards series, not because I dislike either (I've not yet read them), but just because I had to give in to wallet's weeping and pleading at some point. For the books I will be reading – seventeen to my count, as well as the three Dunk and Egg novellas, and, of course, A Dance with Dragons – I was intending to go in chronological order but abandoned that plan after seeing how beautiful the Subterranean Press edition of Fevre Dream was. The series, however, will likely be saved for last, along with A Dance with Dragons.

And no, I won't change this reading project's phenomenally epic title. A Quest for Martin this shall be, as painfully cheesy as those words are to even type…


  1. "Sandkings" is one of my favourite short story collections. "In the House of the Worm" particularly.

  2. Sandkings is indeed fantastic, though I wouldn't say that In the House of the Worm is my favorite, excellent as it is.

  3. Call me weird, but there's something about crawling around the bowels of the Earth in the pitch black that appeals to me.