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Dreamsongs. Volume I (Dreamsongs #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,291 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Even before A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin had already established himself as a giant in the field of fantasy literature. The first of two stunning collections, Dreamsongs: Volume I is a rare treat for readers, offering fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.

Gathered here in Dreamsongs: Volume I are the very best of George R
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Published October 30th 2007 by Bantam (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
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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
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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Franzi
Every fan of George R. R. Martin should read it. All of the stories are really really good. I've personally never read Science Fiction, but I loved the book and I'm looking forward to read more from Martin, no matter what genre.
Andy Downe
I picked up this book after becoming a huge fan of the Song Of Ice And Fire series by George RR Martin.
I wanted to see if I would be as interested in his other work and what better way than to read some of his short fiction.

I was mostly disappointed with the outcome. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed some of the stories 'The Second Kind Of Loneliness' 'Sandkings' 'The Monkey Treatment' 'The Pear-Shaped Man' and my favourite 'The Way Of Cross And Dragon' which was a story of religion and our ne
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Abe Musselman
Just a wonderful collection of short stories from a modern speculative fiction master. I ordered the stories from my favorite to least favorite and included a short review for each.

"A Song for Lya" - Martin explores our need for human connection and the ways we try, and often fail, to understand someone on every level of their being. Alternately heartbreaking and fascinating, with an ending that will haunt you long into the night. 5/5"

"Sandkings" - Creeping, crawling, heart-pounding sci-fi horro
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Célia
Aproveitei o embalo com que estava a ler contos do autor e decidi pegar nos volumes originais que incluem, entre outros, os contos incluídos em O Cavaleiro de Westeros & Outras Histórias e O Dragão de Inverno & Outras Histórias, publicados em Portugal e que já comentei por aqui. Optei por ler apenas os que ainda não tinha lido, principalmente porque ainda os tenho muito frescos, sendo que a única exceção foi a releitura de With Morning Comes Mistfall, que já tinha encontrado numa revista ...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
Kyle
A little uneven, but an overall excellent collection of short stories. "With Morning Comes Mistfall," "A Song for Lya." "The Ice Dragon," Meathouse Man," and "Sandkings" are a few of my favorites.
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
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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
Jess Saxton
Like many people, I was introduced to George R.R. Martin's writing with 'A Song of Ice and Fire." I actually listened to a couple of these stories before I read the whole book because they were narrated by Claudia Black. I was super-impressed with those stories, which were 'With Morning Comes Mistfall' and 'In the Lost Lands,' which remain two of my favorite stories from this collection.

I think anyone who thinks 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is all you need to read to get a sense of the kind of write
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Alexis
3.6*
The first five stories are among Martin's earliest and do not escape mediocrity except perhaps "the fortress". It is in The Second Kind of Loneliness that things get interesting, a painfully poignant story, which however perhaps didn't need this ending. With Morning Comes Mistfall, another early highlight, has a great premise and setting but lacks a little action to propel it past its somewhat overexplained message. A Song for Lya is (/minor spoiler/) proof things don't work out between Rob
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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
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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
Klytia
“I was a lot better at starting stories than I was at finishing them.”
Per fortuna lo ammetti George R.R. Martin!

Ed è la ragione per cui ho abbandonato la lettura delle Cronache del Ghiaccio e del fuoco. Seguire per pagine e pagine le traversie dei numerosi personaggi per vederli morire in modo violento mi ha dato l'impressione che il buon Martin si stesse divertendo a spese dei lettori. Se lo fai una o due volte è anche originale ma se la cosa è sistematica a me fa sorgere qualche dubbio sull'
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Valar Morghulis--...: In the Lost Lands based on a song? 4 19 Apr 20, 2015 12:11PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Dreamsongs (2 books)
  • Dreamsongs Volume II (Dreamsongs, #2)
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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“Oh yes, it hurts at times to be alone among the stars. But it hurts a lot more to be alone at a party. A lot more.” 6 likes
“Bad horror stories concern themselves with six ways to kill a vampire, and graphic accounts of how the rats ate Billy's genitalia. Good horror stories are about larger things. About hope and despair. About love and hatred, lust and jealousy. About friendship and adolescence and sexuality and rage, loneliness and alienation and psychosis, courage and cowardice, the human mind and body and spirit under stress and in agony, the human heart in unending conflict with itself. Good horror stories make us look at our reflections in dark distorting mirrors, where we glimpse things that disturb us, things that we did not really want to look at. Horror looks into the shadows of the human soul, at the fears and rages that live within us all.
But darkness is meaningless without light, and horror is pointless without beauty. The best horror stories are stories first and horror second, and however much they scare us, they do more than that as well. They have room in them for laughter as well as screams, for triumph and tenderness as well as tragedy. They concern themselves not simply with fear, but with life in all its infinite variety, with love and death and birth and hope and lust and transcendence, with the whole range of experiences and emotions that make up the human condition. Their characters are people, people who linger in our imagination, people like those around us, people who do not exist solely to be the objects of violent slaughter in chapter four. The best horror stories tell us truths.”
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