Dying of the Light
George R. R. Martin
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In this unforgettable space opera, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin presents a chilling vision of eternal night—a volatile world where cultures clash, codes of honor do not exist, and the hunter and the hunted are often interchangeable.
A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Dirk imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight. Gwen needs Dirk’s protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it’s becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies. In this dangerous triangle, one is hurtling toward escape, another toward revenge, and the last toward a brutal, untimely demise.
“Dying of the Light blew the doors off of my idea of what fiction could be and could do, what a work of unbridled imagination could make a reader feel and believe.”—Michael Chabon
“Slick science fiction . . . the Wild West in outer space.”—Los Angeles Times
“Something special which will keep Worlorn and its people in the reader’s mind long after the final page is read.”—Galileo magazine
“The galactic background is excellent. . . . Martin knows how to hold the reader.”—Asimov’s
“George R. R. Martin has the voice of a poet and a mind like a steel trap.”—Algis Budrys
rise to his feet. It had bitten his left arm and drawn more blood. But it had not killed him, had not torn out his throat. Trained, he thought, it was trained. It circled him, circled, its eyes never leaving him. Pyr had sent it out ahead and was coming behind with his teyn and his other dogs. This one would keep him trapped here until they arrived. He jumped to his feet suddenly, lunged toward the trees. The dog leaped, knocked him over again, wrestled him to the ground, and almost tore loose
in them was gone. He felt confused. “I trust you received my letter?” “I got it right here,” Marsh said, pulling the folded envelope from the pocket of his coat. The offer had seemed an impossible stroke of fortune when it arrived, salvation for everything he feared lost. Now he was not so sure. “You want to go into the steamboat business, do you?” he said, leaning forward. A waiter appeared. “Will you be dining with Mister York, Cap’n?” “Please do,” York urged. “I believe I will,” Marsh
But it’s hard to speak of them. Give me time. Wait, if you will, and be my friend again.” The lake was very still in the perpetual red-gray sunset. He watched the water, thick with its spreading scabs of fungus, and he flashed back to the canal on Braque. Then she did need him, he thought. Perhaps it was not as he had hoped, but there was still something he could give her. He clung to that tightly; he wanted to give, he had to give. “Whatever,” he said as he rose. “There’s a lot I don’t
incredible disarray. “I don’t see what the folly is,” he said stubbornly. Even as he spoke, his eyes were wandering. He had never seen the workroom before. It was about the same size as the living room in the Kavalar compartment, but seemed much smaller. A bank of small computers lined one wall. Across from it was a huge map of Worlorn in a dozen different colors, stuck full of various pins and markers. In between were the three worktables. This was where Gwen and Ruark pieced together the bits
out the door he softened, hesitated, turned back. “Stay here, Gwen,” he told her. “Just stay. You’re still hurt. If you have to run, Jaan said something about a cave. You know anything about a cave?” She nodded. “Well, go there if you have to. Otherwise stay here.” He waved a clumsy farewell at her with the rifle, then spun and walked away too quickly. Down in the airlot the walls were just walls—no ghosts, no murals, no lights. Dirk stumbled over the aircar he wanted in the dark, then waited