Dying of the Light
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Dying of the Light

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,763 ratings  ·  148 reviews
In this unforgettable space opera, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin presents a chilling vision of eternal night—a volatile world where cultures clash, codes of honor do not exist, and the hunter and the hunted are often interchangeable.

A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Di...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Bantam (first published 1977)
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Jan
All right, I’m writing the first half of this review while I haven’t finished the book, but I’m having too much frustrated thoughts without an internet connection to put them into status updates, so I thought I’d write everything up into this preemptive review, and then later paste it all together into Goodreads.

Seriously, I’m having massively mixed feelings about this book. In one hand there’s the hero who just doesn’t learn and the heroine who’s just so stupid and insensitive. But in the othe...more
Kat  Hooper
3.5 stars http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

In the outer fringe of the inhabited universe, the rogue planet Worlorn falls darkly through space. But years ago it circled the Wheel of Fire, the brilliant wheel-shaped star system that is worshipped by many in the outworlds. Worlorn, the Wheel of Fire’s only planet, was lit for fifty years before it wandered off again. During that half-century, the outworlds held a cultural diversity festival on Worlorn, with each world trying to outdo the oth...more
Scot Eaton
I only gave it a 5 because I couldn't give it a 6. This is truly one of the best books ever written. Martin truly creates a culture that jumps right off the page, and before you even get to appreciate the beauty of it, he throws it into conflict with a culture modeled after 20th century America. The planet Worlorn itself is also very believable. But the characters... my gosh, the characters! You will not find a single character in this novel that is not fully formed. There is a depth of writing...more
Nigel
An interesting, complex debut novel from George RR Martin, Dying Of The Light is an old-school planetary romance that reminded me quite strongly of both Cordwainer Smith and CJ Cherryh, oddly enough, though the setting is pure Jack Vance. Worlorn is a wandering world that enjoyed a brief heydey when, passing near a specatcular star system, it was transformed into a festival world where all the primary centres of human civilisation built cities to house thousands and even millions of inhabitants...more
Andrew
I went back this month to re-read some of Martin's early SF. This was his first published novel, I believe -- he already had a short-fiction Hugo and a couple of nominations in his pocket.

Like nearly all of Martin's SF, this book is set in the Thousand Worlds: a loose far-future history spanning millennia of time and a range of narrative styles. The planet Worlorn is wonderfully named and wonderfully gothic: a rogue planet which happened to drift into the multiple star system called the Hellcrow...more
Bryn Hammond
I was in love with this novel early in life and have it indelibly stamped upon me. The atmosphere: ruins on an abandoned planet, a few people left there, devoted to things lost or old-fashioned or with nowhere else to go. It used to be a festival world and different races built their festival-houses, alien architectures now derelict. The mood known in the planet's name, Worlorn. A war culture (on its way out) where teyn is the closest bond, a chosen brother, fight together, sleep together, women...more
Lilja
I completely loved this book. I think the biggest accomplishment of this stand alone novel is that it never feels dated. It was written in the late 1970s. I've read lots 70's sci-fi. Many (not all) of GRRM's contemporaries were ripping off Asimov, Bradbury, Herbert, Roddenberry, and the Star Wars movies, as well as many others. This book is stand out for feeling fresh and new, as if it were released just last week.

Another great accomplishment of this book is that it is a perfect example of Marti...more
Aaron
Jun 23, 2010 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
A strong planetary romance in the tradition of that genre, with a constant element of suspense. This is a book about life and death which lives and dies by its science-fiction premises, more than by its characters' own confrontations with its life and death motifs. For the most part, this is simply because its characters aren't all they could be, and their relationships are in many cases not at all well fleshed out. Some resolution is offered in its final ten pages, but this is really all that i...more
Jeremy Baker
This, Martin's debut novel, reminds me of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Just as we can see the seeds of Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello in Shakespeare's first tragedy, Dying of the Light gives us an excellent preview of Martin's complex characters, richly detailed worlds, and compelling storylines.

For my fellow Game of Thrones aficionados there is an added bonus on page 203 during a discussion about the history of a Vance-esque dying world:

"Perhaps they are no longer in place. Once, th...more
David
Worlorn is an asteroid that is floating through space and, for the first time, a solar system that will allow it to sustain life (for the 50 years it will be in the solar system). In honor of this, it is being used as a festival planet, with each culture of the 13 other planets creating a city on it. But by the time Dirk finds himself drawn there by a former lover, Worlorn is dying. Leaving the system, it is getting colder and darker by the day, and Dirk finds himself in danger from the world's...more
Sakura87
C'è un pianeta che vaga nei profondi abissi dell'universo: avvicinatosi al sistema solare Ruota di Fuoco, Worlorn è stato identificato, esplorato e parzialmente colonizzato. Ora che la sua orbita lo sta conducendo nuovamente lontano dall'universo conosciuto, quelle città sono disabitate, il Festival del Margine è stato smantellato, e sulla sua superficie vagano poche centinaia di abitanti provenienti da diversi mondi. Quando Dirk t'Larien, avaloniano, riceve la pietra dell'anima appartenuta a Gw...more
Terry Barker
Take Game of Thrones and move it to outer space, and you've got this novel. Not that Martin can only write only one type of novel--it works very well, and Mr. Game does a very nice job of writing in a completely different genre. The world that we're taken to is in another solar system, where this particular planet (Worlorn) has such an extreme elliptical orbit that it has seasons that are decades long.

In the story, the planet is headed into Fall, and because of the coming harsh winter, most peop...more
April
Feb 01, 2013 April rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Dying of the Light is George R.R. Martin's first published novel. Originally released in 1977, it shows Martin as a rising star in worldbuilding. As a debut effort, it's outstanding, but not without flaws.

Worlorn is a rogue planet, cold and lifeless. As it approaches the great black sea, a vast empty area of space, it is terraformed and made into a place of celebration for a few short years before continuing on into the void. The nearby "Fringe" planets each build a city on Worlorn and celebrat...more
Carrotkhan
It was pretty good. I started reading it because Mr. Martin was talking about it on his blog. I thought I'd give it a try. It reminds me of the classic sci-fi. Or, rather, the sci-fi I started reading when I was young, all written in the 70's. It had that 70's feel to it. I don't know that I ever understood the main character. Both he and the female lead seemed so wishy-washy in how they'd oscillate between standing their ground and being talked out of their supposed firm conviction. The Princes...more
Youssef
George R.R. Martin created an incredibly rich universe where human civilisation is rebuilding itself after war and collapse, then, in its midst, placed an ephemeral planet in advanced decay. Used, then discarded by civilisation, it's being slowly engulfed by cold and darkness.
But then, he chose to put against this backdrop the sorriest characters in that universe. Dumb, fickle, inconsiderate, cowardly and thoroughly uninteresting. The result is a tedious story where you grow frustrated by the v...more
Luisa
Although it was an OK book, I actually found that the development of the world and scenery was astounding, and I can see where George Martin came from very clearly. It's his first book, so I guess I wasn't exactly expecting a masterpiece, but I found the characters really quite weak, and I was never on the side of the main character. He was absolutely weak and boring, and the plot left a lot to be desired. The world itself was amazing and incredible, I really wished that it was more well develop...more
Alexandra Jones
I didn't know what to expect with this. Like many, I started off on Martin's ASOIF series, which I loved. I went onto Fevre Dream next, which was okay, and the The Armageddon Rag, which I didn't like at all. So I really wasn't sure, but wanted to read anyway because the premise and blurb was really more my thing than the previous two mentioned.

It's definitely a product of it's time; there's a kind of spacey sci-fi fantasy book that you can only find in the 70's. I love that kind of book, all ad...more
Ujjwal
In search of a fix for my Song of Ice and Fire addiction, I decided to try out George R.R. Martin's first novel ...

... to discover a very different kind of book. Here too, the characters are multi-faceted, and the story line largely avoids becoming predictable. But where ASOIAF is grim and realistic, this aims for the melancholic and the poetic.

It manages to do a pretty decent job of that. The world of Worlon is dying, and it is no surprise that its inhabitants are largely those in pursuit of a...more
Jesse
Absolutely AMAZING.

This is the first book of George R. R. Martin's that I've read, however I am in the middle of watching the Game of Thrones series, and debates about not judging movies by their books/books by their movies aside, since Mr. Martin is quite involved in the production of Game of Thrones, I think it is safe to say that you can learn more about his style than watching some other adaptation where the author has little or no say in the final product.

So with that being said, I recogniz...more
Annaliese
I only have one more Martin (plus his graphic novel) left after this, so I doled this one out over my second week of vacation. Fantastic. I love the way Martin writes characters that are mostly well meaning but still have real conflicts. This book delves into issues around morality, what anchors us, and promises. I think I'll recommend this one to my dad. Moving, sad, and a fantastically rich setting.

Julio
Una interesante y mas bien poética novela de ciencia ficción del creador de Juegos de Tronos. Un planeta errante, sin sol, que atraviesa un grupo de estrellas y permite un periodo, inevitablemente fugaz, de vida, es el escenario de un festival de culturas que por el sólo placer construyen cada una una ciudad a su imagen y semejanza. Pero es también, y sobre todo, el ambiente del encuentro de dos viejos amantes, buscando cada cual resolver su propio destino.

Una característica que encuentras aquí...more
Amanda Greenslade
An interesting little scifi with characters on an isolated world having to deal with socio-religious problems on a planet devoid of any infrastructure, government or bureaucracy. Reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies, but with adults.
Laura
I think I expected too much when I went into this book. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't great. The setting was wonderful and there was excellent world-building, and just enough action when needed. A few moments got me really excited. Then again, the characters were a little iffy. I liked Garse...and that was about it. Dirk made for an interesting narrator, but his place in everything was a little, and he has too many close calls. Everyone likes to speak in monologues too... Anyways, it's a goo...more
Cathy S
I LOVED this book. I read this after the Game of Thrones series (2005) and wanted to read ANYTHING by GRRM. This book did not dissappoint! What a fabulous,creative and unexpected world. Well crafted as only GRRM can do with the unexpected surprises. I was so enamoured that he could make me enjoy "SciFI" so much...the characters are real, the feelings are pulled and drawn from you, the world is imaginative and interesting. Fast moving as well. This is probably his most underrated work. Highly rec...more
Adam
Dying of the Light is slow-paced and lacks the strengths of Martin's great works. There are only a few characters (literally, in the whole world of the story), and for most of the book none of them are particularly interesting. The world-building is creative - anticipating Westeros in the gradually falling winter and how political/cultural conflict enacted in individuals - but never goes far beyond its premise. What makes it interesting, and this is maybe something I haven't said before?, is the...more
Michael
This is George RR Martin first novel and even early in his career, readers can see the world building and realistic character development of his future novels and series.

Dying of the Light is one of the many stories GRRM has written in his intricate futuristic universe. The whole story takes place on the dying planet of Worlon. The planet will shortly move out of its orbit and no longer be able to sustain life.

Dirk t'Larien received a whisperjewel from his former lover Gwen Delvano and keeping...more
Theresa
the dying of the world, the dying of the love they shared two lovers are traped on the planets as it slowly melts into oblivion ...wow a powerful piece, this story talks about love, and grief, memories, and obligations. lost loves and cultural beliefs, fire the drama and suspense of the story, and shows that the individual is reactive to the world through all the ties that bind. A wonderful story to read and learn the depth and obligation of true heartfelt love.
wow a powerful piece, this story...more
Althea Ann
Written well (1977) before Martin's highly-acclaimed but not-yet-with-an-end-in-sight Song of Ice and Fire series, Dying of The Light is a novel that shows many of the skills that that series has been appreciated for - complex interpersonal relationships, deft characterizations, believable world-building, to the degree that you want to just step right in and look around the corners to see what else is there - because you *know* that something is...
I actually finished this book really wishing tha...more
Ryan
This is George RR Martin’s earliest novel, and I daresay it anticipates A Game of Thrones in a few ways. The notable difference is that it’s science fiction instead of fantasy. Regardless of genre, though, Martin has always had a talent for imaginative world-building, for conveying a sense of universes that are very old, full of history, and home to many other stories besides the immediate one.

The setting here is cool and gothic, a rogue planet named Worlorn which had a brief heyday as a sort of...more
Tim Giauque
George R. R. Martin's first novel, “Dying of the Light,” is a look at characters, and a world, going through a state of irreversible transition. The theme of death and change runs strong throughout the story, and the decisions characters make are colored by impending doom.

The setting is pretty great – a rogue planet, Worlorn, that has been captured by the gravitational pull of a system of six stars. Within another few generations, the orbit of the planet will spiral out too far for it to be reta...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,...more
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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