Posts Tagged ‘George RR Martin’

The Dangerous Women anthology contains following stories:
– Introduction by Gardner Dozois
– “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – A Red Country story
– “My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
– “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
– “The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
– “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story
– “Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
– “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale
– “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
– “I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
– “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson – A Cosmere story
– “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman
– “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story
– “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
– “City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland
– “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon – An Outlander story
– “Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon
– “Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling – An Emberverse story
– “Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
– “Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
– “Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector – A Wild Cards story
– “The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire story

Published by Harper Voyager

Supplied by Harper Collins

Reviewed by Steve

While Gardner Duzois and George R.R. Martin are better known for fantasy/science fiction anthologies and writing respectively, they have collaborated here as editors of a collection that purports to be about dangerous women. The range of fiction collected is very broad – historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, crime, and fantasy/science fiction. Most of the authors I had heard of, but there were one or two new faces and they didn’t disappoint.

I could discern no obvious pattern in the ordering of the stories, which may have been intentional. Historical fiction camped by science fantasy and crime fiction. Which meant I had to at least sample the style if I wanted to do a good job of reviewing. As well as the volume’s introduction, each author and story was introduced. A good idea as I doubt any but the most vociferous reader would know all of the authors and their genres.

As with all anthologies, there were some stories I felt didn’t jibe, primarily from the historical authors – when writing about medieval royalty, historical reality has to be contended with. That said, historical fiction, and Carrie Vaughn’s Raisa Stepanova could loosely be claimed as such, also produced a couple of winners in the above Vaughn piece and Diana Gabaldon’s Virgins. Jim Butcher’s Bombshells was an excellent piece of urban fantasy, and also gives hope to every Harry Dresdon fan alive (and maybe one or two of the dead, it is fantasy, you know). And while George R.R. Martin is frustrating all by not finishing the A Song of Fire and Ice saga, he is at least still alive and whets our appetite with the final tale in the volume, a prequel in that universe.

I enjoyed the anthology

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The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

They say I’m half a man.  What does that make the lot of you?

Full of pithy quotes from Tyrion broken into sections – such as ‘On Being A Dwarf’ and ‘The Human Condition’ – this book is a selection of short quotes we’ve heard him utter.  Tyrion is the dwarf with a brain the size of a planet and a heart of (tarnished) gold in the saga A Song of Ice and Fire.  The illustrations by Jonty Clark are cleverly drawn and catch the image of the Imp for every section.

It’s a great little book to carry around to give you a chuckle.  Now excuse me, I’m off to re-watch my Game of Throne dvds.

HarperVoyager

Supplied by HarperCollins New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

xtuf voyagingNow, we all know that George R.R. Martin has made himself a bestseller with the “Song of Ice and Fire”, the series of fantasy bricks that spawned the TV series “Game of Thrones”. I’m not a big fan of fantasy bricks, and I failed to get anywhere with the “Song of Ice and Fire”, but one of the consequences of getting to be a big name author is that publishers will re-print an author’s earlier books, and in the case of “Tuf Voyaging” this is a very good thing!

First, it’s an excellent read, a well-constructed fix-up of a series of short stories first published in the 70’s and 80’s – but not at all dated. Second, it’s proper SF, something I’m not seeing nearly enough of. Third, it’s a novel with an environmental message that really needs saying again – primarily that humans must control population growth before we destroy both our environment and each other.

This told with a dark sardonic humour and a cool central character that loves cats. What more could you ask for? I’m fairly certainly I’ve read this book before, years ago, but it’s as fresh today; it certainly bears re-reading and I heartily recommend it.

Gollancz

Supplied by Hatchette New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

a dance with dragonsThe 998th Lord Commander of the Night Watch, Jon Snow has enemies within as well as outside the wall.  He’s made some decisions that are not popular.  Stannis has left the Wall to declare war on the North and claim it.

The North is still teaming with suspicion with distrust and making nice with enemies.  The Fry’s still have weddings, despite them hosting the Red Wedding.  Bolton’s son is preparing to marry Arya

Cersei gets her trial and punishment from the High Septon and I now feel sorry for her.  Her uncle Kevan returns to look after Tommen, who is being influenced by the Tyrell’s.  After turning his back on Cersei, Jamie is involved in brokering peace on terms rewarding Lannister allies.  Tyrion ends up as a slave in a marketplace near Daenerys.

Dorne sends its Crown Prince to find and marry Daenerys as part of an alliance agreed to years ago.  Dany is busy fighting a war though and about to marry to bring peace to her city.  Her dragons are not happy with being caged.

Briane now as another quest despite being hanged in the last book.  Or was she?  No, he can’t be dead!  Will he stay dead?  I have a theory how ColdHands is but need to wait to see.  I want to know how the task Davos was given turns out, despite Davos being officially dead.

This book was 1117 pages but not long enough.  Mr Martin, please finish The Winds of Winter.  I need to know!

HarperVoyager

Supplied by Broderick Wells

Reviewed by Jan

a feast of crowsThe Night Watch has won the battle but is still fighting the war against the Others.   Nothing is said about Jon but we follow Samwell Tarly on a quest, with a mother, a baby, and a 103 yr old blind man.

The country of Dorne was pulled into the plotting for the Iron Throne, with the Martell family plotting for vengeance for their dead.  They have Myrcella as a hostage and according to Dornish law; she inherits the Iron Throne now Joffrey is dead.

Lord Tywin was slain by his son Tyrion, who is fleeing his sister’s wrath.  His brother Jamie shows more honesty and honour than in previous books and he’s more likeable.  Cersei and her schemes are shown in more detail and she’s currently in a silent war over Tommen, the 7yr old boy king, with his wife Margery, whose father is a Lannister ally.

Briane was on a quest to find Sansa, who’s hiding in the Eyrie with Petyr.  Some of his plotting is finally revealed, though I think he’s got a few more schemes up his sleeve.  Arya has left the country and is hiding in Pentos pretending to be someone different.  The war for the North has ended but new rivalries have risen.

I was constantly surprised in this book – she came back from the dead, he was banished, she was killed, who IS he? I was happy that Cersei’s manipulations are finally exposed and she gets what she deserves.  An interesting read, lots of action and unravelling of secrets.  You learn more of the story of the series.

HarperVoyager

Supplied by Broderick Wells

Reviewed by Jan

storm of swords 2The Night Watch is still fighting the Wildlings, who were shown the Wall’s weaknesses by Jon Snow.  Returned to his brothers, Jon is now Lord Commander of the Night Watch and leads his men in defending the Wall from attacks.

Lady Catelyn finally leaves her sons side and lets him concentrate on fighting a war.  Robb has deeply offended one of their allies though, breaking a pact to marry a daughter of theirs in return for support for his war.  Arya has been found by the Hound, who keeps her safe to ransom back to her mother.  Arya still wants him dead for killing her friend though, but bides her time.  Sansa finds an unexpected ally at court, though she still longs for a knight in shining armour to come to her rescue.

Freed by his father’s men, Jamie now rescues Brienne from death in a bear pit and is occupied with furthering Lannister interests.  Joffrey wed his bride and all of Cersei’s schemes seem to be falling into place.  For a short time.  Ha!  Stannis is still gathering support for his bid to reclaim the throne and ignores his advisors.

Daenerys prepares to fight for her city’s survival against the Yunakai forces.  She battles friendly enemies inside the city as well as the foes outside.  Meanwhile the dragons grow.

I did not see the Red Wedding coming and was shocked at the betrayal.  Something was confirmed that I always suspected but I was surprised at the instigator behind it – though it’s obvious now.  Treachery, betrayal, and cold-bloodness feature strongly in this story.  Good characters do bad thing (Stannis), bad characters do good things (the Hound), and characters who do bad things make you like them (Jamie).  You definitely need to read the previous books in order to grasp who is who but book 3 (both parts) is a must read, weighing in at 607 pages.

HarperVoyager

Supplied for Broderick Wells

Reviewed by Jan

storm of swords 1The Night Watch is fighting the Wildlings while its men plot against their brothers.  The Others give them a ferocious battle, which only a few survive.  Jon Snow spends time among the Wildlings, fighting his former brothers after having renounced the vows he made to the Night Watch.

Brianne of Tarth has been tasked by Lady Caitlyn to rescue and release Jamie Lannister, so he will then release her daughters, held hostage by the court.  She doesn’t know that Arya escaped and has fled to find her and Robb, while Sansa ends up forced to wed.  Bran and Rickon have fled the ruins of Winterfell, separated to keep them safe.

Daenerys Targaryan fights a few battles while trying to find a safe place for her children and three dragons.  Stannis is greatly influenced by the Red Priestess and honours her god by giving sacrifices to the flames.

Lots of action, intrigue and adventure, with alliances made and broken and loyalties bought.  The characters are growing and you understand more of their motivations.  Book 3 is split into two books, this is the first and a manageable 623 pages and easy to hold.
HarperVoyager

Supplied for Broderick Wells

Reviewed by Jan