The Book of Swords, a new anthology of epic fantasy edited by Gardner Dozois, will feature a new short story by George R.R. Martin from the A Song of Ice and Fire series: “The Sons of the Dragon” traces the personal history of Aenys I Targaryen and Maegor the Cruel, the second and third Targaryen kings to rule from the Iron Throne. Though both descended from Aegon the Conqueror, the brothers couldn’t be more opposite, with Maegor living up to his name, while Aenys was the more thoughtful ruler of the two.
According to Martin (via Winter Is Coming), the story was compiled out of unused material from The World of Ice and Fire, the massive compendium of the history of Westeros. The story of Aenys and Maegor will read more like a nonfiction history book-style entry than a fictional narrative—not unlike “The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens,” Martin’s story from the Dangerous Women anthology.
The anthology also includes epic fantasy stories by Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Bear, and many more. More about the collection:
Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction—and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.
Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters—many of them set in their authors’ best-loved worlds. Join today’s finest tellers of fantastic tales, including George R. R. Martin, K. J. Parker, Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, C. J. Cherryh, Daniel Abraham, Lavie Tidhar, Ellen Kushner, and more on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.
The Book of Swords will be available October 10 from Penguin Random House.