The Needle Men- transcribed and noted…

Hello my friends.

I just wanted to send out a quick update to let you know that I finished transcribing the 1981 George RR Martin story The Needle Men. Follow the link to get the juicy details of GRRM’s organ harvesters set in contemporary Chicago. However, don’t let the setting fool you as there are still plenty of in-world myth and mystery to read about. Yeah, I noted it up, but that’s what I am here for 🙂

The Needle Men -> https://fattestleechoficeandfire.com/the-needle-men/

I hope you like this short story. For me it was a really fun read without being too sappy. Plenty, plenty of A Song of Ice and Fire prototyping as well. Gotta love it!

I have started a book club re-read for the older works of George R.R. Martin for purposes such as research, scholarship, and teaching. I own all copies of material that is used for this book club. If you have not yet a story listed, please check with your local bookstore for your own reading material to purchase. (Indie Bookstore Finder) The full list of GRRM stories outside of the A Song of Ice and Fire series that I have read can be found on this page here.

Thanks for reading along with my jambles and jumbles,

The Fattest Leech


Sneak Peek

Living in Uptown, Jerry had seen a lot of things he never dreamt of in places like Forest Park and Wilmette. But he had learned to mind his own business as well. So it was no wonder that he hardly thought twice about the guy with the needle until he bumped into the cops on the steps of his building.

  • Right off the bat we get a similar setting like that of The Skin Trade, including the upper mid-western town setting, and the mysterious villain with needle or knife (Skinner) hands that invades the main protagonists residence. These hands also dispense venom, much in line with the same “fiery hands” throughout near all of Marin’s work. I discussed venom in ASOIAF in this Lilith page.

He hadn’t really seen anything suspicious, after all. It was a Friday night when it happened, and Jerry had been down on Rush Street, checking out the action at some singles bars, with a notable lack of success. He’d had a few Michelobs too many and was close to getting sloshed. So when the cute brunette he’d been talking to went off with someone else, he made up his mind to call it a night. He rode the el back to Argyle, staring pensively out at the weathered sooty brick and grey windows of the building near the tracks, blinking whenever blue-white sparks came crackling off the third rail to etch hard, intense shadows on the tenement walls.

keep reading


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  1. The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr – Discarded Knights guards the gates as Sharra feels the Seven while searching for lost love. Many Sansa and Ashara Dayne prototyping here as well.
  2. …And Seven Times Never Kill Man– A look into a proto-Andal+Targaryen fiery world as the Jaenshi way of life is erased. But who is controlling these events? Black & Red Pyramids who merge with Bakkalon are on full display in this story.
  3. The Last Super Bowl– Football meets SciFi tech with plenty of ASOIAF carryover battle elements.
  4. Nobody Leaves New Pittsburg– first in the Corpse Handler trio, and sets a lot of tone for future ASOIAF thematics.
  5. Closing Time– A short story that shows many precursor themes for future GRRM stories, including skinchanging, Sneaky Pete’s, catastrophic long nights…
  6. The Glass Flower– a tale of how the drive for perfection creates mindlords and mental slavery.
  7. Run to Starlight– A tale of coexistence and morality set to a high stakes game of football.
  8. Remembering Melody– A ghost tale written by GRRM in 1981 that tells of long nights, bloodbaths, and pancakes.
  9. Fast-Friend transcribed and noted. Written in December 1973, this story is a precursor to skinchanging, Bran, Euron, Daenerys, and ways to scheme to reclaim lost love.
  10. The Steel Andal Invasion– A re-read of a partial section of  The World of Ice and Fire text compared to the story …And Seven Times Never Kill Man. This has to do with both fire and ice Others in ASOIAF.
  11. A Song for Lya– A novella about a psi-link couple investigating a fiery ‘god’. Very much a trees vs fire motif, and one of GRRM’s best stories out there.
  12. For A Single Yesterday– A short story about learning from the past to rebuild the future.
  13. This Tower of Ashes– A story of how lost love, mother’s milk, and spiders don’t mix all too well.
  14. A Peripheral Affair (1973)When a Terran scout ship on a routine patrol through the Periphery suddenly disappears, a battle-hungry admiral prepares to renew the border war.
  15. The Stone City– a have-not surviving while stranded on a corporate planet. Practically a GRRM autobiography in itself.
  16. Slide Show– a story of putting the stars before the children.
  17. Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark– rubies, fire, blood sacrifice, and Saagael- oh my!
  18. A Night at the Tarn House– a magical game of life and death played at an inn at a crossroads.
  19. Men of Greywater Station– Is it the trees, the fungus, or is the real danger humans?
  20. The Computer Cried Charge!– what are we fighting for and is it worth it?
  21. The Needle Men– the fiery hand wields itself again, only, why are we looking for men?
  22. Black and White and Red All Over– a partial take on a partial story.
  23. Fire & Blood excerpt; Alysanne in the north– not a full story, but transcribed and noted section of the book Fire & Blood, volume 1.

If you want to browse my own thoughts and speculations on the ASOIAF world using GRRM’s own work history, use the drop-down menu above for the most content, or click on the page that just shows recent posts -> Recent Posts Page.


Thank you for reading the jambles and jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire, by Gumbo!

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