George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones. BY GEORGE R. R. MARTIN B Y GARDNER DOZOIS A Song of Ice and Fire Book One: A Game of Thrones Book Two: A Clash of Kings Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors--including a new A Game of Thrones story by.
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Like Warriors and Dangerous Women, our previous crossgenre anthologies, Rogues is meant to cut across all genre lines. Our theme is universal, and Gardner and I both love good stories of all sorts, no matter what time, place, or genre they are set in, so we went out and invited well-known authors from the worlds of mystery, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, science fiction, romance, mainstream, mystery cozy or hard-boiled , thriller, historical, romance, Western, noir, horror ,,, you name it.
Not all of them accepted, but many did, and the results are on the pages that follow. Our contributors make up an all-star lineup of award-winning and bestselling writers, representing a dozen different publishers and as many genres.
We asked each of them for the same thing-a story about a rogue, full of deft twists, cunning plans, and reversals. No genre limits were imposed upon on any of our writers. Some chose to write in the genre they're best known for.
Some decided to try something different. In my introduction to Warriors, the first of our crossgenre anthologies, I talked about growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, in the s, a city without a single bookstore.
I bought all my reading material at newsstands and the corner "candy shops," from wire spinner racks. The paperbacks on those spinner racks were not segregated by genre. Everything was jammed in together, a copy of this, two copies of that. Max Brand rubbed up against Barbara Cartland. Wodehouse, and H.
Lovecraft were crammed in with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Mysteries, Westerns, gothics, ghost stories, classics of English literature, the latest contemporary "literary" novels, and, of course, SF and fantasy and horror-you could find it all on that spinner rack, and ten thousand others like it.
I liked it that way. I still do. But in the decades since too many decades, I fear , publishing has changed, chain bookstores have multiplied, the genre barriers have hardened. I think that's a pity. Books should broaden us, take us to places we have never been and show us things we've never seen, expand our horizons and our way of looking at the world. Limiting your reading to a single genre defeats that.
It limits us, makes us smaller. It seemed to me, then as now, that there were good stories and bad stories, and that was the only distinction that truly mattered. We think we have some good ones here. You will find rogues of every size, shape, and color in these pages, with a broad variety of settings, representing a healthy mix of different genres and subgenres. But you won't know which genres and subgenres until you've read them, for Gardner and I, in the tradition of that old wire spinner rack, have mixed them all up.
Some of the tales herein were written by your favorite writers, we expect; others are by writers you may never have heard of yet.
It's our hope that by the time you finish Rogues, a few of the latter may have become the former. Enjoy the read ,,, but do be careful. Some of the gentlemen and lovely ladies in these pages are not entirely to be trusted.
Joe Abercrombie Joe Abercrombie is one of the fastest-rising stars in fantasy today, acclaimed by readers and critics alike for his tough, spare, no-nonsense approach to the genre. His most recent novel is Red Country. In addition to writing, Abercrombie is also a freelance film editor, and lives and works in London.
In the fast-paced thriller that follows, he takes us deep into the dirty, rank, melodious, and mazelike streets of Sipani, one of the world's most dangerous cities, for a deadly game of Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? The bloody blinding fogs and the bloody slapping water and the bloody universal sickening stink of rot.
The bloody parties and masques and revels. Fun, everyone having bloody fun, or at least pretending to. The bloody people were worst of all. Rogues every man, woman, and child. Liars and fools, the lot of them. Carcolf hated Sipani.
Yet here she was again. Who, then, she was forced to wonder, was the fool? Braying laughter echoed from the mist ahead and she slipped into the shadows of a doorway, one hand tickling the grip of her sword. A good courier trusts no one, and Carcolf was the very best, but in Sipani, she trusted ,,, less than no one.
Another gang of pleasure-seekers blundered from the murk, a man with a mask like a moon pointing at a woman who was so drunk she kept falling over on her high shoes. All of them laughing, one of them flapping his lace cuffs as though there never was a thing so funny as drinking so much you couldn't stand up. Carcolf rolled her eyes skyward and consoled herself with the thought that behind the masks they were hating it as much as she always did when she tried to have fun.
In the solitude of her doorway, Carcolf winced. Damn, but she needed a holiday. She was becoming a sour ass. Or, indeed, had become one and was getting worse. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire.
Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis, as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand, in this rogues gallery of stories that will plunder your heart—and yet leave you all the richer for it.
Praise for Rogues "Not a single bad story in the bunch. The table of contents alone will make fans from all genre aisles salivate. Fantasy Fiction Short Stories Thriller. Publication Details Publisher: Sometimes they are villains. More often they are something in between, grey characters ,,, and grey has long been my favorite color.
It is so much more interesting than black or white. I guess I have always been partial to rogues. When I was boy in the fifties, it sometimes seemed that half of prime-time television was sitcoms, and the other half was Westerns.
My father loved Westerns, so growing up, I saw them all, an unending parade of strong-jawed sheriffs and frontier marshals, each more heroic than the last. Marshal Dillon was a rock, Wyatt Earp was brave, courageous, and bold it said so right in the theme song , and the Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers were heroic, noble, upstanding, the most perfect role models any lad could want ,,, but none of them ever seemed quite real to me.
My favorite Western heroes were the two who broke the mold: Paladin, who dressed in black like a villain when on the trail and like some sissified dandy when in San Francisco, "kept company" ahem with a different pretty woman every week, and hired out his services for money heroes did not care about money ; and the Maverick brothers especially Bret , charming scoundrels who preferred the gambler's attire of black suit, string tie, and fancy waistcoat to the traditional marshal's garb of vest and badge and white hat, and were more likely to be found at a poker table than in a gunfight.
And, you know, when viewed today, Maverick and Have Gun, Will Travel hold up much better than the more traditional Westerns of their time. You can argue that they had better writing, better acting, and better directors than most of the other horse operas in the stable, and you would not be wrong ,,, but I think the rogue factor has something to do with it as well.
But it's not just fans of old television Westerns who appreciate a good rogue. Truth is, this is a character archetype that cuts across all mediums and genres. Now, it's true, when I was in college I knew a girl who preferred Ashley Wilkes, so noble and self-sacrificing, to that cad Rhett Butler, gambler, blockade-runner ,,, but I think she's the only one.
Every other woman I've ever met would take Rhett over Ashley in a hot minute, and let's not even talk about Frank Kennedy and Charles Wilkes. Harrison Ford comes across rather roguishly in every part he plays, but of course it all started with Han Solo and Indiana Jones.
Is there anyone who truly prefers Luke Skywalker to Han Solo? Sure, Han is only in it for the money, he makes that plain right from the start ,,, which makes it all the thrilling when he returns at the end of Star Wars to put that rocket up Darth Vader's butt. And Indy ,,, Indy is the very definition of rogue. Pulling out his gun to shoot that swordsman wasn't fair at all ,,, but my, didn't we love him for it?
But it's not just television and film where rogues rule. Look at the books. Consider epic fantasy. Now, fantasy often gets characterized as a genre in which absolute good battles absolute evil, and certainly that sort of thing is plentiful, especially in the hands of the legions of Tolkien imitators with their endless dark lords, evil minions, and square-jawed heroes.
Conan of Cimmeria is sometimes characterized as a hero, but let us not forget, he was also a thief, a reaver, a pirate, a mercenary, and ultimately a usurper who installed himself on a stolen throne ,,, and slept with every attractive woman he met along the way. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are even more roguish, albeit somewhat less successful. It is unlikely either one will end up a king. And then we have Jack Vance's thoroughly amoral and thoroughly delightful Cugel the Clever, whose scheming never quite seems to produce the desired results, but still ,,, Historical fiction has its share of dashing, devious, untrustworthy scalawags as well.
The Three Musketeers certainly had their roguish qualities. You cannot really buckle a swash without some.
Rhett Butler was as big a rogue in the novel as he was in the film. Michael Chabon gave us two splendid new rogues in Amram and Zelikman, the stars of his historical novella Gentleman of the Road, and I for one hope we see a lot more of that pair. If you haven't read MacDonald's Flashman books you can skip the Hughes, unless you're into Victorian moralizing , you have yet to meet one of literature's great rogues.
I envy you the experience. Hell, the whole Wild West teemed with rogues. The outlaw hero is just as common as the outlaw villain, if not more so. Billy the Kid? Jesse James and his gang? Doc Holliday, rogue dentist extraordinaire? And if we may glance back at television once again-pay cable this time, though-we also have HBO's fabulous and much-lamented Deadwood, and the dastard at the center of it, Al Swearengen.
As played by Ian MacShane, Swearengen completely stole that show from its putative hero, the sheriff. But then, rogues are good at stealing. It's one of the things that they do best. What about the romance genre? The rogue almost always gets the girl in a romance.
These days the rogue IS the girl, oft as not, which can be even cooler.
It is always nice to see conventions standing on their head. Mystery fiction has entire subgenres about rogues. Private eyes have always had that aspect to them; if they were straight-up, by-the-book, just-the-facts-m'am sort of guys, they would be cops. They're not. I could go on. Literary fiction, gothics, paranormal romance, chick lit, horror, cyberpunk, steampunk, urban fantasy, nurse novels, tragedy, comedy, erotica, thrillers, space opera, horse opera, sports stories, military fiction, ranch romances ,,, every genre and subgenre had its rogues, as often as not they're the characters most cherished and best remembered.
All those genres are not represented in this anthology, alas ,,, but there is part of me that wishes that they were. Maybe it's the rogue in me, the part of me that loves to color outside the line, but the truth is, I don't have much respect for genre barriers.