Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nightflyers” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.52  ·  Rating details ·  6,062 ratings  ·  780 reviews
Nine misfit academics on an expedition to find the volcryn, a mythic race of intersteller nomads, and the only ship available for this strange quest is the Nightflyer, a cybernetic wonder with a never-seen captain...

Nine innocents are about to find themselves in deep space, trapped with an insane murderer who can go anywhere, do anything, and intends to kill them all.
Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Published November 15th 1987 by Tor Books (first published 1985)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nightflyers, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Colin Buck 1. Nightflyers
2. Override
3. Weekend in a War Zone
4. And Seven Times Never Kill Man
5. Nor the Many-Colored Fires of a Star Ring
6. A Song for Lya…more
1. Nightflyers
2. Override
3. Weekend in a War Zone
4. And Seven Times Never Kill Man
5. Nor the Many-Colored Fires of a Star Ring
6. A Song for Lya(less)
Joseph The quantity is spread throughout the book but never described in any graphic detail.
Blindsight by Peter WattsHyperion by Dan SimmonsShip of Fools by Richard Paul RussoLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. CoreyHull Zero Three by Greg Bear
Space horror
267 books — 231 voters
Neverwhere by Neil GaimanSuperfudge by Judy BlumeStargirl by Jerry SpinelliEventown by Corey Ann HayduCloudstreet by Tim Winton
Two Words Into One
306 books — 22 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,062 ratings  ·  780 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nightflyers
Manuel Antão
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Indistinguishable SF: "Nightflyers and Other Stories" by George R.R. Martin

Dragons have always been cool, Video games have always been cool, real ale has always been cool. (Union) Rugby has always been cool, Science Fiction has always been cool, and Fantasy has always been cool. Football has always been shit, same as radio 4 depressing plays that the controller seems to think everyone has been to Cambridge/Oxford and therefore they lik
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a huge A Song of Ice and Fire fan, but I haven’t ventured out into Martin’s other writing before Nightflyers. I wanted to really love this novella since it has a very interesting premise. How could a haunted house in space not intrigue you? Unfortunately, Nightflyers is an okay read with mediocre characters.

What hindered me from rating Nightflyers anything about three stars are the flat characters and the repeated use of the same descriptors. I had a hard time remembering who was who and dif
Spook-A-Thon: Read a book with a spooky setting

3.5 Stars

I received Nightflyers last year from the publisher Bantam Books unsolicited.

And I still don't know why?

This is my first George R.R. Martin novel. I've never read his most famous work which is The Game of Thrones. And I've only watched 15mins of the first episode of the show, I tried watching it 2x. The first time fell asleep on it and the second time I just realized I hated it.

But I'm an open minded person and Nightflyers seemed interes
Timothy Urges
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting and clever; a few plot holes, but I enjoyed it.

The concept of xenomythology is a fascinating one. Good ideas abound in this. I would love for this to be longer or to have another book set in this universe and expanded upon. Good stuff.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that, although I love George R.R. Martin's writing, I didn't have the highest of hopes for this collection of short stories by him, written in the 1970's., simply because author's early works are not always as good as later ones.. and the cheesy cover art didn't help either, I must admit.

However - I was wrong. The stories in this collection are truly top-flight sci-fi, with a horror edge. All demonstrate Martin's amazing talent for characterization, and are both emotionally effec
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, sci-fi
Nightflyer's was quite good. G.R.R. Martin is best known for his fantasy tales- but his sci-fi tales are also quite excellent. My only previous experience with his sci-fi stories were the Tuf Voyaging series and the Wild Cards stories. Nightflyers continues this excellent trend.

A mysterious phenomena is traveling through space. It is called the Volcryn. A team of human scientists charter the space ship- Nightflyer to take them on a rendezvous with the Volcryn. But all is not as it seems. The Nig
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
Ohhh, dear GRRM,

You sneaky son of Nebula and Hugo! How dare you?!? You tricked me. Yes, you did. All I expected was some nice sci-fi, maybe some aliens, maybe some laser guns and tons of flying spaceships. And I would have been satisfied. Completely. But you... You... You made me read horror instead of sci-fi! And it was scary!


Detailed opinions:
Nightflyers - sneaky. Weird. But good. But it's pure horror. The idea is interesting and I also loved the secondary story about volcryn. Even if I still
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nightflyers was ok. I wanted to give this a read before the show comes out. The others were kinda meh. They arent related to Nightflyers. I've never really felt like Martin was an amazing writer, he just has fun plots. If youre in the Mood for awesome scifi where youre wanting the world buidling and plotting of TSOIAF then read The Expanse series. I read one of the short stories a night. Its an easy read but ive read much better scifi. I honestly can see why this didnt really take off to the sam ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This is the basis for the soon to be released* television show by the same name. Space, science, and a touch of the supernatural sum up the quest of a small band of scientists/linguists as they attempt to make first contact with an unknown alien race. The research team, on a typical academic budget, book a slightly shady source of transportation, the Nightflyer, piloted by a reclusive captain who only appears as a computer projection.

Shortly after their departure strange things start to happen
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

In the introduction to Nightflyers, Martin discusses how he thinks horror fiction should be. In his opinion, there should be comedy and characterization, not just terror, because those moments make the horror elements more impactful. Reading that, I felt some optimism; horror as a genre has never worked well for me, because without investment in the characters I feel bored rather than scared.

Unfortunately, there was no humor or characterization here. At all. Instead, there's sexism like wh
aPriL does feral sometimes
I see why George R. R. Martin’s ‘Nightflyers’ is being made into a Syfy movie! This is a five-star floating-intestines-in-the-vacuum gorefest!

The plot, an investigative B-team of slightly bent scientists sent out to explore an interesting phenomenon, organized by a benighted obsessed leader scientist with obviously too much money, is not new. However, I eventually was howling at the ironic humor in Martin’s plot (and reading with my eyes closed - don’t ask me how I do that, but hint: skimming an
Jacqueline Patricks
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read the first printing of this back when I was a teen, and I remember it stayed with me for a long time. Such a cool, creepy novella! I loved the two MCs of Nightflyers specifically and their strange romance. I loved the space sci-fi. I loved it so much I still have the original paperback. I go through a lot of books and many of them end up being resold or given away. I have a very short list of books that I keep forever. This was one of them.
Weird people on a spaceship, and one is crazy about an alien species that’s almost mythical. People begin dying off, and it’s up to Melantha to figure things out.
The story was ok. Kind of interesting. A whodunit that’s a little creepy. I only liked the main character Melantha; everyone else was kind of forgettable.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really 2 and a half stars. 1980 novella that's a mix of science fiction and horror, set aboard a spaceship. The writing is very plot-centric, with little character development. I thought it was slow in the beginning, but the pace picked up halfway through the story. I did like that a particular horror trope was given a futuristic setting. This book was released with a number of color illustrations, and in anticipation of the new SyFy Channel series (premiering December 2, 2018) adapted from this ...more
Angus McKeogh
This is no fantasy epic. A good dose of sci-fi and my first foray into Martín. Not bad. Certainly enjoyable. A good length compared to the intimidating colossal books that normally come from his pen. Perhaps not the greatest ending I’ve ever read and one plot line seemed to wither and crap out. But it still might be worth a read all considered.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Deutsche Rezension weiter unten]
Wow okay. So this wasn't actually good. But it also wasn't particularly bad either. I am a bit conflicted - the story was definitely interesting but sadly the characters never really grew on me and I couldn't care less about any of them. But because it was a quick read and I definitely wanted to know how this ends, I'm giving this book a weak 3 Star rating.

Bei „Nightflyers“ geht es um acht Wissenschaftler, die sich in den Tiefen des Weltalls auf eine gewagte Expe
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This science-fiction novella has a really interesting premise but slightly less interesting execution.

The setting here deserves a lot of praise. The author could easily have produced something quite bland, with a (at first glance) paint-by-numbers environment: it's far in the future; we're following a cast of science academic-types on a high-minded quest; the whole story takes place on a spaceship. Yet, George RR Martin manages to pull off something very cool and compelling with the atmosphere.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I've never read anything by George R.R. Martin, and someone had recommended this book.
Nightflyers is a collection of short stories, starting with the titular story.

I was EXTREMELY disappointed.
The story is about a scientist who's hired a scientific team & a ship to rendezvous with a supposedly mythical ship that has been traveling the universe for eons. The ship's captain doesn't reveal himself to the scientists, except by hologram, and this becomes a problem for them. They start to speculate wh
Jim C
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review is for the novella with the same name of this book.

Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

This novella is about a crew who explore deep space to observe a mythical race of species. They end up getting more than they bargained for. This is your basic horror story that has deep space as its setting.

I am the type of person who needs to read the source material before the visual rendition is shown and SyFy has made this novella into visual form. Sometimes I am glad that I read the material beforehan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nightflyers grabbed my attention because it contains three things I love – space, murder, and George R. R. Martin. Thus, I entered Nightflyers with high expectations and the hope to be wowed.

In truth, Nightflyers was not what I had expected it to be. There were times when I was invested in the story, when I was desperate to see how everything came together, but as a whole I failed to feel the depth of emotion I had expected to feel towards this one. I wanted to be obsessed, instead I took a stro
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nightflyers - 3 stars
Override - 4 stars
Weekend in a War Zone - 4 stars
And Seven Times Never Kill Man - 3 stars
Nor the Many-Coloured Fires of a Star Ring - 5 stars
A Song for Lya - 5 stars
Jim Lay
My review is for the novella "Nightflyers" only. I wanted to read it before the SyFy mini-series came out. I wasn't overly impressed, I'm sorry to say. 3.5 stars.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nightflyers & Other Stories is a collection of odd sci-fi stories with varying amounts of horror added in. The great thing about odd stories is that they are surprising. They have the potential to really hit a sweet spot for a reader. Two hit that spot for me. Your mileage may vary.

"Nightflyers" is a good sci fi story. A small science team sets out to study a legendary sublight alien armada called the volcryn. Unfortunately, they find themselves traveling on a haunted house in space. The science
Katie Bayford
May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read this last year and it was so dire that I forgot to log it. Lazy, uninspired, obvious. It also disintegrated in my hands, which felt like a blessing.
Ruth Harwood
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like a bit of Science Fiction to break up the monotony of ground novels lol! I know it was the Author who first attracted me, & most, to reading this, but it's most definitely a collection very different to any Game of Thrones the reader kinda thinks of! It's a fab collection of short stories that I got so I could have something bite-size to read as a change - I was thinking of putting it down after each and breaking them up with a novel each time, but I couldn't stop reading, I can't leave a ...more
Janne Janssens
George R.R. Martin is one of my favorite authors. This fact made me buy Nightflyers, even though I never read or watch horror. I am easily scared and I don't have a reference because it was my first horror story, and so I cannot really tell you if this one was scary, but it creeped me out at times. However, in a good way. I enjoyed the creepiness. I think I will watch the Netflix series, now I know what will come and hopefully will be less scared.
The plot was great, but this story also had t
A short sci-fi thriller, written well before this author conceived the mega-successful Game of Thrones fantasy series.
Not bad. Sometime in the distant future a small team are onboard a ship, pursuing a mythical race of aliens. The captain of the ship keeps himself isolated, only appearing as a hologram.
Fear and paranoia increase as the team members die one by one.
Mark Tallen
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed this scifi story. Martin blends a number of genre fiction types into the story which kept and held my interest throughout.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 2 18 Feb 04, 2019 08:48AM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: SyFy making GRRM's Nightflyers as series 7 38 Nov 24, 2018 05:53PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Nightflyers: And other stories (Kindle) 8 20 Mar 27, 2018 06:09PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Meathouse Man
  • 1979 Short Stories: The Way of Cross and Dragon (Study Guide)
  • Orígenes secretos
  • Ett enda andetag
  • Lago negro de tus ojos
  • Don't Turn on the Lights
  • Timetrap
  • Civil War II: Choosing Sides
  • If It Bleeds
  • Camping with Unicorns (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, #11)
  • Våreld
  • Star Wars, Vol. 12: Rebels and Rogues
  • Пясъчния човек: разкази на ужаса
  • Event Horizon
  • El arcano y el jilguero
  • Pequeno Manual Antirracista
  • Dagger Point
See similar books…
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,

Articles featuring this book

You know winter is coming. You don't blink around statues. You're a true believer. When it comes to escapism, you're an expert. To...
81 likes · 21 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I accept what I am, but I did not choose it. I experience human life in the only way I can, vicariously. I am a voracious consumer of books, tapes, holoplays, fictions and drama and histories of all sorts. I have experimented with dreamdust.” 2 likes
“Man invents gods because he’s afraid of being alone, scared of an empty universe, scared of the darkling plain.” 0 likes
More quotes…