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Dying of the Light

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  2,457 ratings  ·  215 reviews
A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Dirk imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight. Gwen needs Dirk’s protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Bantam Books (first published 1977)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsRingworld by Larry NivenThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Classic Science Fiction - 1970-1979
62nd out of 125 books — 82 voters
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Books I wish I had never read
181st out of 807 books — 916 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lau
3.5

Este es el primer libro que escribió George R.R. Martin, y se publicó antes de que tuviera 30 años. No esperaba encontrar la misma calidad que se ve en sus novelas más actuales, es más, casi tenía miedo que fuera un libro malo... pero si hay algo que afortunadamente ya se evidencia desde el principio, es su imaginación y gran habilidad para narrar.

El prólogo nos cuenta un resúmen de la extensa historia de Worlorn, un planeta vagabundo que no pertenece a ninguna estrella, por lo que flota libr
...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
Gertie
Feb 05, 2015 Gertie marked it as partial
This book is annoying. Well, I didn't finish, so I guess I can only say that about 22% of it.

So much backstory and history and characters I frankly just don't get. It's a little much for me. I like a little of that for sure, because all simple dialog makes a story dull. But at some point I just feel like saying "Get to the point already!". As a very straightforward person it's a little painful to listen to people speaking in riddles. It just feels a little too dragged out for my tastes. So, clea
...more
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
Daniorte
Un libro que va de más a menos. Al principio crea un mundo genial. Crea mundos ricos en detalles, los describe a la perfección así como la fauna que los rodea y la cultura que esta detrás. Muchos toques al estilo Canción de Hielo y Fuego; el crear una historia de clanes, muertes contadas de la manera más brusca, personajes con dos caras (El kimdissi bien podría ser la araña de Canción de Hielo y Fuego) y la historia de amor que vertebra el libro.

Digo que el libro va de más a menos porque, tras
...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
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
Marquise
For being his first-ever, this novel by GRRM is quite good. Took me time to get into the plotline, and wasn't particularly impressed by the protagonists but rather was more drawn towards the secondary characters. There's a number of small details that will have veteran "A Song of Ice and Fire" fans (amongst which I am) chuckling in recognition, because certain details that are read about in the much more famous ASOIAF series germinated here.

Overall, a decent book and great for comparison and ana
...more
Vagner Stefanello
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

O primeiro livro escrito por Martin já começa a mostrar uma das várias características do autor: a complexidade dos personagens. Este foi um livro que não me prendeu a atenção no começo, pois eu havia ficado um pouco confuso com os nomes dos planetas e seus mundos, mas no momento em que a história de Dirk t'Larien e Gwen Delvano começou a se desenrolar eu não conseguia tirar o olho do livro em algumas partes. A ação no livro é frenética, misturada com
...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
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
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
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
Jennifer
I can't say that I particularly enjoyed this book. It had it's moments of thrilling action and poetry, that almost makes me want to like it. I really didn't like the first half of the book, but the second half goes a long way toward redeeming it. The world building in this book is fantastic. The characters, however, I feel like there was more depth to them than was explored. I hated the viewpoint character, Dirk.

It may just be that this book has a very nihilistic theme, and that's just not my th
...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
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.

Nicolas
Quel roman sinistre !
On y suit les pas de Dick tLarien (ça n'est pas une faute de frappe) qui, en souvenir d'un amour passé, s'n va sur la planète de Worlorn. Cette planète est errante : elle se balade à travers la galaxie et a frôlée une génate rouge, suite à quoi elle a été utilisée pour un festival (autrement dit une sacrée manifestation d'égocentrisme des planètes participantes). Malheureusement, elle s'éloigne maintenant de cette géante et de notre galaxie. Du coup, chaque jour y est un peu
...more
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.
Lukuoli
This book was a huge disappointment:

Characters with no depth.
An exotic idea for a world left undeveloped and unexplored.
The "plot" is nonexistent.

So, in short, people who leave me cold and indifferent of their fates run around in a world that's as lifeless and empty of soul as the poorest of theatre backdrops, and even when the book ends I still haven't seen a plot anywhere. (Probably because I'm not of the opinion that 254 pages of juvenile and imbecile whining and pining equals a plot under an
...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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