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Dreamsongs Volume II    by George R. R. Martin order for
Dreamsongs Volume II
by George R. R. Martin
Order:  USA  Can
Spectra, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

In this second volume of George R. R. Martin's short works, readers are treated to his writings of the 1980s leading up to the 90s when his career took off with the success of the Song of Ice and Fire series. In Dreamsongs Volume II we learn more of Martin's dabbling in television and screenwriting, as well as his inroads in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

The collection is divided into four parts. The first has two stories featuring Martin's eccentric character Haviland Tuf, an animal seller who is the last surviving member of the ancient and defunct Ecological Group. Tuf and his menagerie travel the universe in The Ark, a ship many miles in length. All the stories involving Tuf were eventually collected and published in a book, Tuf Voyaging, which Martin recommends fans seek out (in used and out-of-print stores) for more of the redoubtable Tuf.

The second part covers Martin's screenwriting, specifically for TV shows. He worked on the 1980s incarnation of The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. Scripts for two episodes of The Twilight Zone - The Road Less Traveled and Doorways - are included here. While this ended Martin's involvement in TV, he is quick to point out that he learned a great deal from the experience, which was one of the stepping stones that led to the creation of his epic fantasy series, still some years away.

In the third section, Martin discusses the surprising success of the Wild Cards series, which began with role-playing games amongst a group of writers including Martin when he moved to Santa Fe. The worlds, ideas and set-ups created for the different games were the impetus for Wild Cards which is still doing very well and now has its own website at

In the final part of the book, Martin leads up to the start of his epic series with some popular stories along the way, including the novella The Hedge Knight set ten years before the start of Song of Ice and Fire. And for hardcore fans, at the end there is a comprehensive listing of all George R. R. Martin's works, should one feel the compunction to read absolutely everything the man has ever written.

While the completion and release dates for the fifth Song of Ice and Fire book, A Dance With Dragons, are still unrevealed, fans can enjoy taking tangents into Martin's other writings through these two varied Dreamsongs collections.

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