Under Siege by George R.R. Martin
Section: Reactionaries and Revolutionares
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5 Rating
Excellent concept of time-travel
About the author:
George R.R. Martin is an American writer of fantasy and science fiction best known for his A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series, now the HBO original series Game of Thrones. According to myth, he began his career selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies. Subsequent work has won many awards, including the Hugo and World Fantasy awards. In this story, first published in Omni magazine in 1985, a wise-cracking mutant travels from the future to save the world from cataclysmic war.
So, I read this short story last Tuesday (02/16/16) but I am writing the review now, 02/22/16, because, well, life got in the way last week, and I wanted to read in my free time instead of writing a review. So, this will posted tomorrow (02/23/16), before the regularly scheduled Time Travel Almanac short story is posted on Thursday… with that being said, this is going to be an extremely short review. Like, a mini-review-bite.
I think George R.R. Martin is amazing. He is one of my favorite writers, and ASOIAF is my favorite fantasy series of all-time. But, outside of those books, I have only read the first two stories of Dunk and Egg and that is it for GRRM.
Did I enjoy this short? Heck yes. GRRM has beautiful prose, and is an author who descriptions paint the more beautiful pictures in my head.
The wind was a knife drawn from a sheath of ice…Out upon the frozen sea, it snapped and shrieked at the Russian artillery, and sent puffs of snow from the drifts running and swirling over the ice like strange white beasts, ghostly animals all sparkle, wearing first one shape and then another, changing constantly as they ran.
The best part about this story was how the time-travel worked. The time-travelers bodies were not actually sent into the past, but, what I am guessing, was their consciousness; their thoughts would get send back into another person. What was cool about this, was they they could not control, nor could they even talk to that person. What they could do though, was influence that person by talking to telling and telling them things. Essentially, the time-travelers became a selected person’s subconscious. Cool, right?
Our main character is a very a particular and difficult situation, and do feel for him and the decision he has to make at the end, but where the time-travel was taking place, back to the wars and general of the mid-1800’s, isn’t really my slice of cake.
Spolierific Speculations: (Highlight to read)
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Like I said, I enjoyed this. Maybe I would have been more into it, had I more time to read and think about this story, but it still easily gets a passing grade.
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See you next Thursday for Where or When by Steven Utley