25 June, 2012

(short story) Review - Sandkings by George R.R. Martin

While studying for the bar (you're not the only one sick of hearing about this, believe me), I've had the hardest time focusing on one single book, especially if that book is over a couple hundred pages. My mind's just gone and I'm getting really worried it's not coming back.

Luckily, I have a couple short story collections and whatnot and short stories have been the perfect size for my overwhelmed and overstressed brain. You may have noticed a couple short story reviews in the last month or so and I don't see that abating for at least another month.

Sandkings is a collection of short stories from George R.R. Martin in the 80s. I plan on reading them all, but so far I've only read the title story, Sandkings, which is the last story in this book. I'm telling you, I really can't focus.

I actually found this copy in a used bookstore while hanging out in SLC with the amazing Sarah from Bookworm Blues, her husband, and little rascal, Fiona. She was nice enough to let me buy it ... after a knock-down drag-out Michael Jackson's Bad style fight, which she won.


Reasons you should NOT read Sandkings by George R.R. Martin:

- if you don't like short stories
- if you don't like science fiction
- if you don't like elements of horror
- if you don't like tiny 6-legged creatures
- if the thought of tiny 6-legged creatures crawling around gives you the creeps and makes you imagine things are crawling all over you when you really know nothing is
- if you HATE amazingly creative ideas
- if you CAN'T STAND a book that won't let you put it down
- if it DRIVES YOU NUTS that some people are just that much more gifted than you (or anyone else)

Sandkings is easily the best short story I've ever read and one I would put ahead of most full-length novels. Not only could I not stop reading until the end (only about 50 pages anyway), but I already want to reread it and I NEVER want to reread anything at least not this soon.

I was absolutely in love with the ideas presented. So much so that I was giddy while reading, I just couldn't wait to see what was next.

I know this is a tough book to get your hands on, but DO IT, it's so worth it if only for this short story. AMAZING!

5 out of 5 Stars (Theft might even be allowed, it's that good)

Here's the Goodreads summary if you're wondering what it's actually about:

"When Simon Kress returned to his home planet of Baldur from an offworld business trip, he was amused to find that his tank of Earth piranhas had cannibalized themselves into extinction, and of the two exotic animals that roamed his estate, only one remained. Now, in search of some new pets to satisfy his cruel pursuit of amusement, Simon finds a new shop in the city where he is intrigued by a new lifeform he has never heard of before ... a collection of multi-colored sandkings. The curator explains that the insect-like animals, no larger than Simon's fingernails, are not insects, but animals with a highly-evolved hive intelligence capable of staging wars between the different colors, and even religion--in the form of worship of their owner."

Note on finding a copy: Sandkings can be found in this short story collection (which is semi-difficult to find) as well as in Dreamsongs Volume I and probably a few other anthologies like The Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer


Unknown said...

wow..I'd dive straight into this..but...the 6 legged thing..the tiny 6 legged thing...


I am SUCH a girl :(

Daniel B. said...

Good luck on the bar. You may never be the same again.

Bryce L. said...

@Zoe - I'll give you those were pretty creepy, but this story is sooo worth any creeps it gives you.

@Daniel - Thanks, I keep complaining about it, but to be honest it's a pretty good capstone to the whole thing. A really crappy capstone. :D

james said...

Love to read?

Visit www.trueleefiction.wordpress.com for some short reads of superb fiction, or for a more immersive read, check out The Mediator Pattern (full length novelette), also available on TrueLee Fiction.

New flash fiction works always posted. flash fiction = stories in 1000 words or less.

Read. Enjoy. Share.