My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every time I read an anthology, I kick myself for not making notes along the way of the stories that kick me in the teeth. And it would have been so easy to do so in this one because I read it as an e-book…
Regardless, here’s the gist. George R.R. Martin is gifted. The stuff he published in his early 20s is far better than anything I could write at that age (or today, even, and better than stuff some of his contemporaries publish today, as well). It’s enlightening and just plain fun to read these stories in the (more or less) chronological order of their publication; the chance to study the evolution of Martin’s talent is priceless.
Although I didn’t make notes, I do recall the titles of a few stories that really struck me. “With Morning Comes Mistfall” and its capitalist-vs-environmentalist theme is still relevant 40+ years later; “A Song for Lya” broke my heart; “The Ice Dragon” sets a new bar for the children’s “fairy tale”; and “Nightflyers” is simply stunning.
I picked this up from Amazon a few weeks ago because the Kindle edition was on sale for $1.99. Of course that means I must now pay full price for Volume 2.
It will be worth every penny.