Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Plain, Simple Tailor

Best GRRM Short Stories

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I'm making my way through the Dreamsongs collections to fill that ASOIAF-sized hole in my heart, and I wanted to see everyone's opinions on what they think the best GRRM short stories are. 

Right now, out of the ones I've read, my favorites are (in no particular order) The Second Kind of Loneliness, Nightflyers, The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr, With Morning Comes Mistfall, and his Twilight Zone script, "The Road Less Traveled". 

(I haven't read Sandkings yet, so it's not on the list) 

EDIT: Oh my god, I completely forgot about The Ways of Cross and Dragon, which I adored when I read it. 

Edited by Plain, Simple Tailor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The prologue and first story of "Tuf Voyaging" (SciFi, don't remember the exact titles) are very good. The rest is readable and pretty good but most of the time a step or two below that beginning (some get preachy and predictable). Other than that I only read the first two dunk & egg and one from an older "Aces"? collection I hardly remember anything about that last one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read all his short stories/novellas.  So far, my favourites are In the Lost Lands, Sandkings, and The Pear-Shaped Man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loooooove that monster collection of stories. My favourites are -- in no particular order -- The Monkey Treatment -- Who am I kidding? This is the best.

Unsound Variations

The first Dunk and Egg story.

I have a soft spot for The SandKings and many others too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GRRM's 70s and 80s short stories are excellent.  Furthermore, if you have time to read through the entire Thousand World tales the overall story arcs are very telling in terms of what we see in ASOIAF.

Some of my favorites are:

Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels, 1973

In the House of the Worm, 1976

The Men of Greywater Station, 1976

Sandkings, 1979

The Plague Star, 1985 (Became the first full chapter of Tuf Voyaging)

The Pear-Shaped Man, 1987

The mixture of elements of horror within the conventions of science fiction in all of the stories above is very effective, and his continual return to the main themes of his writing, but from different viewpoints, makes reading his pre-ASOIAF very rewarding once you have it all in front of you at once.

For someone reading the stories as they came out in 197X or so, however, they must have been tremendously unsettling and counter-cultural.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meathouse Man, Pear shaped Man, and Song for Lya are all quite memorable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is an excellent collection, with the possible of exception of some of the earliest stories I thought every story in it was good or very good.

My favourites included The Hedge Knight, Sandkings, A Song for Lya, And Seven Times Never Kill Man and The Skin Trade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my favorites were...sandkings, nightflyers and meathouse man.  obviously i enjoyed many more but these were the ones that had me saying, "holy shit! that was awesome."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meathouse Man I found very unpleasant, without being particularly gripping.

i'd add The Skin Trade to the ones I recommended above.  Also, The Stone City.

if I  had to choose one, it's In the Lost Lands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Martin is a better short story writer than he is a novelist.

Anyway, my top three are:

  • The Way of Cross and Dragon
  • In the Lost Lands
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Martin is a better short story writer than he is a novelist.

I think this is one reason why SoIaF has basically failed (or very probably will fail) and never be finished properly. While he did well for three books, already in them the short-story-like parts are often among the best ones, e.g. the first (in the first book actually both the "prologue" north of the wall as well as next chapter with the beheading are basically short stories) and sometimes last chapters. Overall it shows that he is both good at and loves these shorter forms, often more vignettes than even real short stories. But this feature, combined with the multi-viewpoint technique (so we often get a distracting, completely unimportant episode to introduce an unimportant character like Hota, only because we need a another viewpoint in Dorne) makes the already too long and sprawling narrative ever worse and ever less focussed on the longer plot lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do read through GRRM's short works, I highly recommend Preston Jacob's series of analytic videos on The Thousand Worlds stories.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 5 favorite non ASOIAF short stories, in no particular order, are:

  • The Pear Shaped Man
  • Sandkings
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • A Song For Lya
  • The Meathouse Man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×