And now, let’s get back to the future!
Slide Show is a 1973 short story written by George R.R. Martin and published in OMEGA. This story is steeped with themes and motifs carried on in his Thousand Worlds universe, other stand alone works, as well as the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Think of it as another piece of the patchwork quilt sewn together to create the larger fabric, no doubt.
Here we see a great example how Martin manages to stay consistent with his themes by delivering the universal personal vs global struggles, the absolute line blurring between space and sea, voyeurism, color coordination’s, fire people versus children, and a so called birthright (so to speak). I have always said that Martin shines brightest in his short stories, and the balance between tension and world-building here doesn’t fail.
Slide Show was the last ‘to-read’ on the list of literary works by the author casually known as GRRM. Upon first glance of this story, which which turned into a full reading, the hook took me fast and deep. If you want to see my full GRRM list, click here. Should there be anything I have missed that is GRRM specific, please let me know and we’ll be weirwood friends forever.
I have made my usual notes throughout, but they are easy to ignore and read around if you so chose. Not a problem 🙂
Slide Show by George R.R. Martin
… Even in the darkened living room, he cut a much more imposing figure than the doctor, and he knew it. He was big and broad of shoulder, and the soft gray uniform he wore hinted at his athletic build. He had a classic profile, a decisive chin, and thick black hair with just a touch of gray at the temples. And his steel-blue eyes were perfectly matched by the leather of his boots and belt, and the scarf that was casually knotted about his neck, under the open collar.
He looked very much like a SPACE recruiting poster. Of late, he’d regretted that. There were times, in recent years, when he’d have given anything for a hook nose, or weak chin, or a receding hairline.
The holocaster was set up and humming, and the audience was waiting. Becker pushed thoughts aside and thumbed the first slide.
In the circle the women had cleared, a cube of deeper darkness appeared. Darkness touched by stars. In one corner of the cube, Earth floated in silent blue-green majesty. But the center of the holograph was occupied by the ship. a fat silver cigar with a pot belly. Or a pregnant torpedo. There were many ways to describe it, and most of them had been used at one time or another.
Appreciative murmurs sounded from the audience. The holoslide was very real, and very striking. Becker, smiling, began smoothly. “This is the Starwind, one of the four SPACE starcruisers. The cruisers are stellar exploration ships, each with a crew of more than a hundred. Anti-spacejump generators give them speeds many times that of light. These four frail ships, even as I speak, are carrying the destiny of our race, and making man’s age-old dream a reality. They are giving man the stars.”
Other transcribed stories, in part or whole, can be found here:
- Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark– rubies, fire, blood sacrifice, and Saagael- oh my!
- A Night at the Tarn House– a magical game of life and death played at an inn at a crossroads.
- Men of Greywater Station– Is it the trees, the fungus, or is the real danger humans?
- The Computer Cried Charge!– what are we fighting for and is it worth it?
- The Needle Men– the fiery hand wields itself again, only, why are we looking for men?
- Black and White and Red All Over– a partial take on a partial story.
- 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!