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Encyclopedia > Dying of the Light

Dying of the Light (1977) is a science fiction novel by George R. R. Martin, who later wrote the epic fantasy Series A Song of Ice and Fire. See also: 1976 in literature, other events of 1977, 1978 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... George R. R. Martin at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow George R. R. Martin, circa 1986 George Raymond Richard Martin (sometimes called GRRM by fans; born September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, and also a screenwriter and producer. ... A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF) is an epic fantasy series of novels by George R. R. Martin. ...


The book mentions a race of beings called the githyanki, and the name was taken from it for use with a much different race in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. See the Githyanki article for more details on both versions. The githyanki are a fictional race, first created by George R. R. Martin in his science fiction novel Dying of the Light. ... For other uses, see Dungeons & Dragons (disambiguation). ... The githyanki are a fictional race, first created by George R. R. Martin in his science fiction novel Dying of the Light. ...

The title is clearly drawn from Dylan Thomas' great poem with the well known lines : Dylan Marlais Thomas, (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer. ...

Rage, rage against the dying of the light;
Do not go gently into that good night.

Dylan Thomas wrote the poem for his father (who was then blind and close to death), urging him to battle, rather than surrender. So it is but natural to find that "Dying of the Light" is a story of death. Death on many levels, and how death is faced by the dying.


To start with, the planet of Worlorn, the locale for the book, is itself dying; a rogue planet whose erratic course is taking it irreversibly far from its neighboring stars into a region of cold and dark where no life will survive. Worlorn's 15 cities, built during the interval when it passed close enough to a red giant star to permit a brief window for life to thrive, are dying too. Built to celebrate the diverse cultures of 15 planetary systems, they have largely been abandoned. Their systems and maintenance are failing, and soon they will be cold, dead shells.


The cast of characters is also flirting with death. Dirk t'Larien, the protagonist, finds life empty and of little attraction after his girlfriend Gwen Delvano drops him. Most poignant of all, the Kavalar race, into which she has "married" (the relationship is complex) is itself dying in a cultural manner of speaking. Their home planet has survived a numerous attacks in a planetary war, and in response they have evolved social institutions and human relationship patterns to cope with the depredation of the war. Yet now that the war is long past, they find themselves trapped between those who would recognise that the old ways need to be reviewed for the current day and those who believe that any dilution of the old ways spells the end of Kavalar culture.


The battles, then, of all these varying actors are played out beneath the dying light falling on Worlorn. At the end, many of the characters have indeed died (Martin leaves some endings deliberately ambiguous), but having faced their fears of death and of life.


  Results from FactBites:
 
CBC Super Store: Marvel Books: Dying of the Light (1247 words)
Dying of the Light was the first novel published by acclaimed fantasy author George R. Martin.
Dying of the Light is a clash of cultures, science fiction, and could be considered something of a Western.
Dying of the Light is small on action, though near the end we get to the action and the chase sequences.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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