I know I am distracted by shiny things. What can I say? I find just about all of GRRM’s work falls into the shiny thing category for me. This is a story I have been working on transcribing for a while now. I have many other essays in the works, but this is one I had to finish chomping on before I continue other work.
This novelette was co-authored in 1976 with George R.R. Martin’s personal friend and cohort, Howard Waldrop. In the portion of the fandom that extends beyond Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, during my passings through that wonderful world of online chats, it is this story that brings about a squicky amount of contention, moreso than how incest brings about a downfall of dynasties, no matter the story.
The basic synopsis of this story takes place in George R. R. Martin’s fictional science fiction universe called The Thousand Worlds. This happens to be an unnamed planet as opposed to the many that he gives name to, usually based off of an element in Norse mythology. It follows a group of seven scientist living in a fortified base called Greywater Station as they try to use a native species to make weapons. (more after the link)
This story brings about many ideas such a possibly neverborn “Noborn”, genetics, collective consciousness, inter-species misunderstandings, survival of nature, bio-warfare, and what toll war takes on someone when they are pressured to make a choice. This choice is the key. You can have all the prophetic fevre dreams you want, but it is up to you how you chose to use that information. Cup of ice, cup of fire?
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do.
Men of Greywater Station by George R.R. Martin
The men of Greywater Station watched the shooting star descend and they knew it for an omen. They watched it in silence from the laser turret atop the central tower. The streak grew bright in the northeast sky, divided the night though the thin haze of the spore dust. It went through the zenith, sank, fell below the western horizon.
Sheridan, the bullet-headed zoologist was the first to speak. “There they went,” he said, unnecessarily.
Delvecchio shook his head. “There they are,” he said, turning towards the others. There were only five there, of the seven who were left. Sanderpay and Miterz were still outside collecting samples.
“They’ll make it,” Delvecchio said firmly. “Took too long crossing the sky to burn up like a meteor. I hope we got a triangulation on them with the radar. They came in slow enough to maybe make it through the crash.”
Reyn, the youngest of the men at Greywater, looked up from the radar console and nodded “I got them, all right. Though it’s a wonder they slowed enough before hitting the atmosphere. From the little that got through jamming, they must have hit pretty hard out there.”
“I’m in the final stages now. It’s only a matter of getting the mutant to breed in the Fyndii atmosphere. And I’m near. I’m so near.” He looked at each of them in turn, eyes imploring. “If you let me continue, I’ll have it soon. And they could dump in on the Fyndii homeworlds, and well, it would end the war. All those lives saved. Think about all the men who will die if I’m delayed.”
He stopped suddenly, awkwardly. There was a long silence around the table. Granowicz broke it. He stroked his chin and gave a funny little chuckle. “And I thought this was such a bold, clean venture,” he said, his voice bitter. “To grope toward new intelligence, unlike any we had known, to try to find and talk to a mind perhaps unique in this universe. And now you tell me all my work was…
Other Transcribed Stories
I have provided a few other GRRM stories that are not widley available. Transcribed and noted in each link:
- Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark
- A Night in the Tarn House
- The Computer Cried Charge!
- The Needle Men
- Black and White and Red All Over, partial novel partially noted 🙂
Thanks for reading along with the jambles and jumbles of Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire, by Gumbo!