OLDIES BUT GOODIES
June 10, 2004
Some of the fans of A Song of Ice and Fire seem to believe that I burst onto the writing scene full-grown with the publication of the first book of the series, but actually I had been a professional writer for twenty-five years when A GAME OF THRONES was published in 1996.
My older novels have long been out of print, alas, but that’s about to change. Bantam Books is bringing three of those books back in brand new trade paperback editions, to give all my new readers a chance to have a look at them. They are not a part A Song of Ice and Fire. They are not even epic fantasy. But I do think they’re pretty good.
DYING OF THE LIGHT was my first novel, originally published way back in 1977. It’s science fiction, a tale of doomed love and betrayal on a dying world, part of the “Thousand Worlds” future history that much of my early work was set in. It was a finalist for the best novel Hugo (the “big one”) in 1978, losing to Fred Pohl’s GATEWAY (but it’s an honor just to be nominated).
FEVRE DREAM came out in 1982, and represented my first major departure from science fiction. This one is a historical horror novel, a tale of vampires on the Mississippi in the antebellum period, during the heydey of the great steam packets. Bram Stoker meets Mark Twain. Before A Song of Ice and Fire, it was the most popular and successful of my novels, and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in 1983, losing to Michael Shea’s NIFFT THE LEAN (but it’s an honor just to be nominated).
THE ARMAGEDDON RAG followed in 1983. The RAG is my strangest novel, a blend of horror, mystery, dark fantasy, and a mainstream novel of character, a look back at the tumult of the Sixties and the music that provided the sound track for my generation. It got great reviews, and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in 1984, losing to John M. Ford’s THE DRAGON WAITING (but it’s an honor just to be nominated). Sadly, no one bought it. I hope that won’t be true this second time around.
I am still at work on A FEAST FOR CROWS and I know that all of you are waiting. While you wait, you might try some of these.