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Dreamsongs Volume I (Dreamsongs #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,049 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for readers: a compendium of his shorter works, collected into two stunning volumes, that offer fascinating insight into his journey from young ...more
Hardcover, 683 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Bantam Spectra (first published 2003)
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Laura
I have never read anything by George R. R. Martin before. I am highly skeptical of science fiction writers, unless they come highly recommended by someone whose opinion I trust, because of the vast mountains of crap which exist in the genre. I came upon Dreamsongs in my local library, and decided to check it out, to put my toe in the water, as it were. I am now interested enough that I have dug out my boyfriend's copies of the Song of Fire and Ice series. I plan to dive in to those next, and Dre ...more
Stephen
4.0 stars. Even his early work showed flashes of brilliance. This is a "mostly" excellent collection of stories ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror. Definitely worth reading.
Christine Rowe
One day I might write a more comprehensive review of this. For now I'll just put down my thoughts on some of the stories.
The Fortress - A lot of fun to read, it was interesting to see Martin's take on a piece of Finnish history.
The Exit to San Breta - A scifi ghost story. Not earth-shattering or mind blowing, but definitely original and clever.
The Second Kind of Loneliness - One of my favourites. Hit very close to home, got me crying. The ending is chilling.
With Morning Comes Mistfall - A very v
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Ben Babcock
George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books were some of the first fantasy I read, back when I was in grade seven. One of my friends introduced me to fantasy by way of David Eddings' The Belgariad, and after polishing that off, I read the first three A Song of Ice and Fire books (yes, all three were out then, and the fourth one just came out recently!). Martin is one of my favourite authors, truly a brilliant combination of writer and storyteller: a master of the technique as well as the c ...more
Aia
ეს წიგნი შეიძლება წაიკითხო ორგვარად: 1. მოთხრობების კრებული; 2. ერთი მთლიანი ნარატივი. წიგნი დაყოფილია ხუთ ნაწილად და თითოეულ ნაწილს წინ უძღვის ავტორის ავტობიოგრაფიული ჩანართები, სადაც გვიამბობს, როგორ ვითარდებოდა მისი კარიერა, როგორ დაიწერა ესა თუ ის მოთხრობა და ა.შ.

The Hero (3/5) - პირველი მოთხრობა, რომელიც მარტინმა გაყიდა და პირველი მოთხრობა, რომელიც მომეწონა ამ კრებულში.
A Song for Lya (5/5) - ძალიან შთამბეჭდავია, ძალიან მაგარია; ერთ-ერთი საუკეთესო, რაც კი ოდესმე წამიკითხავს სიყვარულზე.
This T
...more
Alex Telander
DREAMSONGS VOLUME I BY GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: The two great mysteries of this world are when scientists will come up with a unification theory for quantum mechanics and relativity, and when George R. R. Martin will release the very long-awaited fifth book in his “Song of Ice and Fire” series, A Dance With Dragons. With a hopeful but doubtful release some time next year, for the time being there is thankfully Dreamsongs, a two-volume collection featuring George R. R. Martin’s short stories and nove ...more
Rebecca
This is the sort of collection that only gets made if an author is wildly, wildly successful.

I haven't read the second volume, which presumably contains a lot of Martin's more recent, mature work. The first half of this one is juvenilia--these are some of the first stories Martin got published, or in some cases, "published", as some of it only appeared in fanzines before this. And there's a reason. Honestly, most of the first third of this book is terrible. "Only Kids Are Afraid of the Dark" is
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Eyehavenofilter
I wish I could really give is 3 and 3/4 stars....If you are a GRRM fan you will gobble this up? it includes an introductory prologue to each of the 5 sections and the reader gets an inside view to the workings of GRRMs writings and the influences that he had from a very early age. From the "4 color fan boy", who loved comics, "the filthy pro", who started writing for money, "light of the distant stars", that ignited his love for SCI-FI," heirs of the turtle castle", that give us a prequel to the ...more
Lori
I'm awfully glad Game of Thrones was the first George R.R. Martin I tried. Had I stumbled across some of his early sci-fi, showcased here in Dreamsongs, I'd have never pursued more. But if I hadn't fallen in love with A Song of Ice and Fire, I would've never turned enough Dreamsong pages to get to some of the best short fiction I've ever read.

Martin's commentary is honest -- he knows the early stuff isn't good. And honestly, a lot of my problems with it are genre specific. I don't wholeheartedly
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Jay Dee
A truly wonderful compendium, with the accompanying autobiographical notes being a delight and inspiring. Martin moves in chronological order, giving us a look at his earliest writing, showing us how he developed as a writer.

being a comic fan, his earliest stories were all action packed, placing readers in the middle of explosions (so to say). As the stories progress, the explosions happens on the sidelines... then it happens on the INSIDE, if you take my meaning. By the end, Martin is philosoph
...more
Kia
Listened to most of these 19 CDs in the car over the last month. Had to fast-forward through the authors very long and complicated mono-log of each story....boring! But some of the stories will stick with me. I did not like the egotisical men and boring women charators in many of the stories - very typical of SF stuff writing mainly by men for men. It seems to me that his writing is much more humble in his later work and maybe that's why it appeals to a larger audience!
Alex
Sand Kings 5/5
The Ice Dragon 5/5
The Second Kind of Loneliness 4/5
The Way of Cross and Dragon 4/5
Meathouse Man 4/5
Song for Lya 3.5/ 5
With Morning Comes Mistfall 3.5/5
The Hero 3.5/5
The Tower of Ashes 3/5
Remembering Melody 3/5
Pamela Scott
George R R Martin is a writer I’ve always wanted to read more of but have never gotten around to. Years ago, at least ten I read his novella The Skin Trade in an anthology and it blew my mind. I’ve read none of his work since. There were always other books and writers that caught my attention. I bought both volumes of Dreamsongs because volume 2 contains The Skin Trade. I also have his A Song of Ice and Fire series to work through at some point.

Dreamsongs Volume 1 may be the strongest collection
...more
Nathan Gray
I really liked the way he described what was going on in his life, and the types of stories he wrote through that period, and then let us read a few of them. The characters were quite memorable, and I found myself thinking about them. It seemed to me that these early stories were exploring ideas, trying to find truth, and were either not successful at finding that truth, or found truth that I have not yet experienced, which left me feeling a bit at odds with those stories. I did not quite finish ...more
Deborah Spencer
I dislike science fiction. I dislike short stories. I loved this book. As I'm sure is true for most of his readers, I "found" George R. R. Martin via Game of Thrones, and when I finished the last (currently) available book in the Song of Fire & Ice series, I had a moment of weakness and allowed Audible.com to sell me Dreamsongs . . . then I almost didn't listen to it because it is, as noted, two things I don't enjoy - science fiction and short stories. So glad I caved. Gerore R R Martin is n ...more
Kyle Muntz
I should mention I didn't actually read any of the stories in this collection (since I mostly don't like short fiction, despite how interested I've been in GRRM's early work recently, and how interesting some of them seemed, especially Song of Lya and Stone City, though I'm planning to read a few in the second half of Dreamsongs). The autobiographical interludes were great, however--and surprisingly modest considering he was already probably the most popular author in the fantasy even in 2003--a ...more
Amber
Whoa… so I've been reading this Dreamsongs, a collection of short stories by George r r Martin, and there's a line in his amazing historical fiction tale "The Fortress" that completely encapsulates what I love about his work. Exhausted after trying in vain to convince another officer to dissent against surrender, and realizing in the process that the man isn't the traitor he thought he was, but just "a dreamer" (though his dreams would spell doom) Antonnen slumps against a wall and says: "There' ...more
Anthony Wilson
Until recently I, like many people, only knew George R R Martin as the author of the series A Song of Fire and Ice (adapted by HBO as A Game of Thrones). To be honest, I could take these or leave them, but I am a sucker for short story collections and so when I saw this in our local library couldn't pass it up.

I found the structure of this collection particularly interesting. The author has been allowed to briefly summarise the different stages of his career and select representative stories fro
...more
Adam Wiggins
George RR Martin has redefined modern fantasy with his incredible writing and storytelling. So it was quite a shock to discover that most of the short stories from early in his career are absolutely dreadful.

In his defense, the first stories date from the 1960s, when sci-fi was still an underground genre and he was still a teenager. I didn't finish most of them, and skipped past quite a few altogether.

By far the most interesting part was the autobiographical segments introducing each chunk of st
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Michael
As a fan of GRRM Song of Ice and Fire series I picked up Dreamsongs to get a taste of other stories written by one of my favorite authors.

Dreamsongs Volume I is a collection of Martin's early work and shows the growth of Martin's writing abilities. From simple short stories to far more complex and interesting stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and not every story is amazing, but they were able to show styles of his writing. Among the collection some of my favorite stories were a 'Song for L
...more
Jenny Sparrow
Не в первый и не в последний раз признаюсь в любви к малой форме, к рассказам. Истории, расказанные на нескольких страницах, в нескольких штрихах, видятся мне более интенсивными, более "отчаянными", чем полноценные романы. Ну, и перспектива быстро узнать, в чём там дело, тоже довольно привлекательна :)

Я читала эту книгу долго, даже откладывала на пару месяцев. Однако вернулась и закончила её, и могу сказать что мне понравилось. Забавно, кстати, что мой читательский 2012 начался Мартином, и им же
...more
Althea Ann
(Review of both Book One and Book Two)
Got both of these anthologies from the library. Together, they're a great retrospective of Martin's career.
They're worth reading, for any Martin fan, even completists who've already read nearly everything in them, as Martin introduces and arranges the contents. His commentary on the stories is worth the price of admission alone.
It starts off with a hilarious (and, admittedly, hilariously bad) fantasy story first published in an independent fanzine when Marti
...more
Lavi
This collection of short stories from George R.R Martin is a treat for anyone who loves SciFi and Fantasy, who adores good writing and interesting characters. I am a fan of Martin's works, especially "A Song of Ice and Fire" which I basically worship. The fact that I bought this collection of stories in Barcelona on a day when Martin was also there and I had no idea adds to my pain as a fan, but that has nothing to do with the awesomeness of these works.

I found this to be an interesting antholog
...more
Peter
Wonderful collection of short stories confirming that GRRM is so much more than just game of thrones. Highlights are a song for lya, and seven times never kill man, the stone city, way of the cross, the ice dragon, night flyers and the Sandkings.

Sandkings... Years ago I watched an episode of the Outer Limits which always stayed in my head. It wasn't until after I read AGOT that I discovers GRRM wrote it. It's an incredible story that gets under your skin, but te same can be said about many other
...more
Ryan
Like many people, I hadn't heard of George RR Martin before the excellent Song of Ice and Fire series made him a household name among fantasy nerds. Those books kept me busy for a while, and I ignored Dreamsongs, figuring the next one would be out soon enough. Well, not quite. After three years of waiting, I decided (in 2009) that it was as good of a time as any to check out Martin's back catalog.

What was Martin's earlier, pre-Game of Thrones Work like? As it turns out, fans who haven't checked
...more
Ana Paula
I decided to write a small text about each of the short stories as I read them. I'm not going to hide the review, but beware of spoilers.

Only kids are afraid of the dark - A little bit hard to understand what and which characters he's taking about. The story let me a little bit uncomfortable too. I didn't like it much.

Fortress - For those who aren't interested in Sveaborg, it's just an ok story, but for those who studied it like Martin did, it must be a nice experience. It was interesting to lea
...more
Neil Hepworth
Wow, I can't believe I actually finished this book. Usually if I put down a book of short stories, I never come back to it - I just have too much other stuff to read. But I picked this one back up because I was waiting for a new book to come in the mail, and, besides, I really wanted to finally read "Sandkings."

I think I last read this book two years ago, and then stopped around page 230. I must admit, I only remember anything about two of those stories: "A Song for Lya", which is completely ov
...more
Jesse Whitehead
George R. R. Martin has become something of a legend in recent years. His short stories have been winning awards for decades and he’s been in the middle of the reformation of science fiction, horror and television throughout his career. More recently he wrote the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire of which the first two books have been adapted to television in HBO’s A Game of Thrones season’s 1 and 2.

With all of those things it may be surprising to some that I have had very little interaction
...more
Debbie
It has taken me an incredibly long time to wade through this book. I started it in 2010 whilst on holiday, and it just didn't really grip me at all. I couldn't relate to any of the earlier stories, and had started to come to the conclusion that maybe I just wasn't a short story fan.

Eventually, this idea did get abandoned when I found "A Song for Lya" which was very moving, and then "Bitterblooms" which sucked me in from the word go. This was probably my favourite story in the book, with "The Ice
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Raj
This is the first volume of a retrospective of Martin's short fiction, split into four sections, each introduced by the author. It starts off with some of Martin's very early work written for the fanzines in the 40s and 50s, moving on to his professional work in the 60s and 70s before touching on some of his fantasy work and ending with a selection of his horror work.

Newer readers may be mostly familiar with Martin's fantasy work, most notably A Song of Ice and Fire but he has worked in all spec
...more
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George R. R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,
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More about George R.R. Martin...
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

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