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My First Novel Has Come Out...

... again.

DYING OF THE LIGHT was first published by Pocket Books back in the dawn of time (that's 1977 to you young punks), when Jimmy Carter was in the White House, and I was a college journalism instructor with dark brown hair. I had already been writing and publishing science fiction for six years, many of the stories set against the same future history, a very loose background I later named the Thousand Worlds. Novels were long and scary, but I finally decided I was ready to tackle one in 1976. I wrote the entire thing start to finish before giving it to my agent to sell. My title was AFTER THE FESTIVAL. Pocket, after winning the auction against three other publishers, decided that wasn't science fictional enough and made me change it. I didn't mind... much. DYING OF THE LIGHT fit the book just as well.

By any title, it was a Thousand Worlds book, probably the culmination of that phase of my career. A melancholy, romantic, elegiac sort of novel it was, but then I was a melancholy romantic myself in those days. It did pretty well. Even made the Hugo ballot that year, losing to Fred Pohl's GATEWAY at Iguanacon II in Phoenix, 1978. The reviews were good too.

But don't take my word for it. Subterranean Press has just published a lovely new hardcover of the book, copiously illustrated by the talented Tom Kidd, signed by both of us, and limited to 500 numbered and 26 lettered copies.

Dying_Light cvrA

The lettered edition is already sold out, I fear, but SubPress still has copies of the numbered edition available at $125. To order yours (and see some more of Tom Kidd's gorgeous artwork), go the Subterranean website at:


I hope you will enjoy your visit to my past... and the distant world of Worlorn on the edge of the galaxy, in the far distant future.


Oct. 23rd, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Just ordered a copy. I have enjoyed the Thousand Worlds from the Tuf perspective and I am excited to read it from another perspective.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
Some of us dedicated fans have already read it, thank you very much.
Oct. 24th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)
If you were a truly dedicated fan, ser, you would fork out the $125 to buy this edition! ;)
Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
I loved Dying Of The Light. Not to spoil anything, but apart from the beautiful melancholy atmosphere, it has perhaps the most satisfying ending to a book I've ever read. :)
Anthony Concannon
Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:10 am (UTC)
Meteorite, they said.
1977...is that before or after the dinosaur mass extinction? Will definitely add Dying of the Light to my ever-growing list of George Martin authored or recommended readings along with the recently discovered, Pillars of the Earth. I actually finished Fevre Dream a few months back and immensely enjoyed it. Finally reading A Dance with Dragons and as thousands (millions? (BILLIONS?!))of people have already confirmed, A Song of Ice and Fire is easily one of the greatest literary accomplishments in modern history. Just super flippin' duper.
A fan definitely born after '77,
Jezabel Nightroad
Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)
Got my signed copy and it's awesome! Thank you for providing the link Mr Martin. :)
Oct. 23rd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
"Dying of the light" is a very good story, I think. Read it a few years ago and liked it much.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 08:04 am (UTC)
your first novel
was actually the first book I read from you and it induced me to look for more, so no false modesty. I would have liked more from that universe but understand if you concentrate on the Ice and Fire universe.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 08:56 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Dying of the Light when I read it. I found it to be a very moving and sad story of love and loss.
Mauro Pipponzi
Oct. 23rd, 2012 09:12 am (UTC)
Such a wonderful novel. Still under the fascination of "a song for Lya" I rushed to read it as soon as it was released (translated in Italian), and I loved it ever since.
So glad younger people have the possibility to rediscover it !
Oct. 23rd, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
This is very good news, George - I still have an old copy of DOTL. An outstanding novel. Years ago I came across some short stories of yours that I think were set in this universe. Have I misremembered, and if not, is there any chance that these might see the light of day again?
Oct. 23rd, 2012 09:57 am (UTC)
+1 on the "an outstanding novel"!
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:46 am (UTC)
A number of George's "Thousand Worlds" stories have been republished in Dreamsongs. In the US (and maybe the UK, I'm not sure) the first volume contains the bulk of these stories, but the second volume contains two of the Haviland Tuf stories (collected in Tuf Voyaging), which are also within the setting.

I really recommend the lot of them. Stories like "The Stone City" and "And Seven Times Never Kill Man" are unforgettable.

Oct. 23rd, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will check this out.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
Wonderful! I've been enjoying discovering your past works. Looking forward to this one!
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:24 am (UTC)
There's a book that stood the test of time. Congratulations!

Also, Jimmy Carter was right about those thermostats ;)
Brandon Lilly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
That must be the shipping notice I received from Subterranean yesterday. I've read several of the other Thousand Worlds stories, and look forward to my first read of DotL.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
My review. I love that book.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 12:01 pm (UTC)
Last week also saw the release of the audio book of Dying of the Light, as read by Iain Glen. Posted links here, as there's also Ron Donachie reading Fevre Dream.

Alas, it looks like Michelle didn't end up reading Windhaven after all, but Harriet Walter sounds great in the sample at Audible.

Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
Ms Walter
As Christopher Lee, aka Count Dracula, is Ms Walter's uncle, perhaps she should have read 'Fevre'? (Mr Lee was acquainted with JRRTolkien).

Edited at 2012-10-23 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oct. 23rd, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
I love this book ,just reread it for the billionth time about a fortnight ago.
Linda Storey
Oct. 23rd, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
I got my copy in the mail a few days ago--going to bring it with me this weekend to Austin Comicon. Can't wait to start reading it!
Steven Townshend
Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Game of Thrones may have been my gateway to the Martinverse, but Dreamsongs is perhaps my favorite book I have ever read. I've purchased the physical books, the Kindle versions, and the audiobooks. That's how obsessively much I've come to love the Thousand Worlds.

I keep evangelizing A Song for Lya, The Way of Cross and Dragon, Bitterblooms, The Skin Trade, The Ice Dragon, With Morning Comes Mistfall, In the Lost Lands, and so on and so forth, but have had a hard time convincing friends to pick it up by themselves. I've bought Dreamsongs and given it out as a gift half a dozen times. Dying of the Light is another great chapter in the story of that world; living in Chicago, it's always somewhere on my mind.
Ilse Chan
Oct. 23rd, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
I did read this novel two months ago, I like it a lot. I was very sad for Garse and Jaantony :( and dirk too.

I love Worlorn, the seven suns, all was beautiful.. But I don't understand some things like why garse slapped jaantony or the true intentions of gwen's friend, ruak(? i don't remember pretty well his name). Maybe i need to read "Dying of the light" one more time.

I would love to get this version of the novel. And yes, i could see you were a melancholy romantic. The dedication is charming.

Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
I read this one years ago, the ending in particular just stays with you. Beautiful.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm pretty certain I remember shelving that book in the science fiction section at Classic Bookshop at the World Trade Center about thirty years ago.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
Was this written on the same Wordstar IBM that you still use today?
Oct. 23rd, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Wordstar
I have never used an IBM.

No, DYING OF THE LIGHT was written on an artifact from ages past, called a TYPEWRITER. Mind you, it was an electric typewriter. Very cutting edge. I leave the manual typewriters to Harlan Ellison and Howard Waldrop.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
OOoo.... *want*
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
New audiobook versions
Looks like I've got something to replace A Song of Fire and Ice on my commute. It's kept me enthralled during my drive to and from work for a lot of this year. I was wondering what I was going to listen to next, and now I know! At least until (fingers crossed it's not another six years) Winds of Winter is finally with us.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
dying of the light
I found this novel very well written followed with a very fitting end. You managed to create a world in a very short amount of time that we, the reader, would want to know more about but in the end we must accept the world's inevitable demise.
Oct. 23rd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
I probably won't jump for the numbered version, but I'll try to track down a copy!
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Whom do we need to petition for a collection of the various Thousand Worlds short stories, novelettes, and novellas (excluding the Tuf stories), anyways?

It'd be nice to have them all gathered in one place.
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Read this!
I read Dying of the Light when it was serialized (in Analog?) back in the 70s. It's probably one of the reasons I became a science fiction reader (and eventually writer). It's a terrific book, and well worth picking up. I can see how it lost to Gateway, but I might well have gone the other way as a judge.

This is a book that has stuck in my head for years (especially the whisperjewel), and that I've re-read several times. I'm glad to see it's out again. Now if we could just get a comprehensive Complete short stories (so far)...

B. Morris Allen
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Read this!
FWIW, the ANALOG serial was abridged.
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Read this book!
I still have that old Analog (at least one part of the serial); maybe I should re-read both and compare. In any case, I bought the book years later - after I'd discovered Loren Darr and realized "Hey! Same guy!" (Those Complete-ish Stories again...)
Zach Overstreet
Oct. 25th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love this book. To me it's on a level with your SOIAF works. It sort of feels like one too, from a single POV. What really got me was the depth that you were able to give to the characters and setting with a shorter novel.
Omer Belsky
Oct. 28th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
Dying of the Light v. Fevre Dream
I read Dying of the Light some time after I read Fevre Dream, and I always wondered whether the later novel was the final version of the former. Its been a while since I read them, but the similarities are striking. Both novels take place in a dying world - literally so in DoTL, figuratively in the world of steam engines and the antebellum South. They involved a violent ancient race that has to deal with a new reality for which its old ways are no longer suited. They have a visionary character of this race that wants to lead its people into a new way, and faces opposition from his own people. Both novels even contain 4 major characters, two of the race and two outsiders.


I would love to know George's view about this. And anyone else's, for that matter.




George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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