cover image Portraits of His Children

Portraits of His Children

George R. R. Martin. Dark Harvest, $0 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-913165-19-5

Martin has a loyal following for his ironic voice and his colorful imagination. This new collection, gathering stories from 14 years, puts that inventiveness at the service of a romantic and sentimental vision. In one of the earliest pieces, ""With Morning Comes Mistfall,'' the allure of the mysterious, myth-laden Wraithworld vanishes with scientific scrutiny. The noble ``Ice Dragon'' gives its life to save the little girl who loves it. In the title story a novelist wallows in self pity for having devoted more time to his fictional creations than to his family. A time travel/revenge-of-the-nerd yarn, ``Unsound Variations,'' somewhat escapes the pattern, but this remains overall a weak collection. (July 20)