George R. R. Martin's 'Thousand Worlds' Universe Wiki
Advertisement

The Hero (Galaxy, 1971): This short story is set on an unknown planet in the Manrealm during the Double War. It is about a soldier who is seeking retirement from the military and hoping to live a more exciting life on Earth. His superior officer however does not want him to retire, and tries to convince him to re-enlist.

With Morning Comes Mistfall (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1973): This short story is set on the planet of Wraithworld during the period of the Federal Empire. It is about a journalist tasked with covering a new scientific expedition to map the planet. The scientists also seek to prove or disprove the existence of Wraiths, legendary lifeforms that purportedly haunt the planet's wilderness.

Override (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1973): This novelette is set on the Fyndii Space planet of Grotto during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a corpse-handler mining stones on a lush planet, when a rich investor threatens shut down the mines.

A Song for Lya (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1974): This novella is set on the Fyndii Space planet of Shkea during the post-Interregnum period. It is about two Talents who visit an alien planet to find out why the inhabitants worship a mold-like parasitic organism and ultimately choose to be consumed by it.

And Seven Times Never Kill Man! (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1975): This novelette is set on the Jambles planet of Corlos during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a conflict between the pacifist tribes of the Jaenshi and an invading militant religious sect called the Steel Angels.

The Runners (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1975): This short story is set on the Manrealm planet of Old Poseidon during the post-Interregnum period. It is about telepath who is approached by a paranoid man who believes there is a conspiracy against him.

Men of Greywater Station (Amazing Stories, 1976): This novelette is set on the Manrealm planet of Greywater during the Double War. It is about a group of a scientists working on a hostile alien planet, who witness a soldier transport ship crash landing on the planet's surface.

This Tower of Ashes (Analog Annual, 1976): This short story is set on the Jambles planet of Jamison's World during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a man who is heartbroken over a failed relationship and has exiled himself to an alien wilderness.

A Beast for Norn (Andromeda I, 1976): This novelette, which would become chapter five in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Manrealm planet of Lyronica during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). It is about Haviland Tuf, a trader who offers the services of an ancient ecological engineering seedship he possesses. A man from a planet obsessed with gladiator fighting approaches Tuf for an animal that can reverse his faction's ailing fortunes.

Meathouse Man (Orbit, 1976): This novelette is set on the Manrealm planets of Skrakky and Vendalia during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a lonely corpse-handler who has trouble connecting with people and visits corpse brothels to feel human intimacy. 

Starlady (Science Fiction Discoveries, 1976): This novelette is set on the Jambles planet of Thisrock during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a young woman who finds herself trapped on a dangerous crime-ridden planet and is forced into a life of prostitution.

Nobody Leaves New Pittsburg (Amazing Science Fiction, 1976): This short story is set on the Manrealm planet of New Pittsburg during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a corpse-handler returning to his home planet, which is controlled by a sinister and oppressive company.

In the House of the Worm (The Ides of Tomorrow: Original Science Fiction Tales of Horror, 1976): This novella is set on an unknown planet during the Interregnum period. It is about a young man who lives a life of privilege in a crumbling underground city. When he is humiliated at the hands of a crafty hunter, he and his high-born friends plot revenge.

The Stone City (New Voices in Science Fiction: Six Stories by Campbell Award Nominees, 1977): This novelette is set on the Damoosh Space planet of Grayrest during the post-Interregnum period, around the year ai-800. It is about a man whose ship and crew have been stranded on an alien planet for months, and whose only chance of escape is to explore an ancient underground city.

Dying of the Light (Simon & Schuster, 1977): This novel is set on the Fringe planet of Worlorn during the post-Interregnum period, around the year ai-600. It is about a man named Dirk t'Larien, who is summoned across the galaxy to Worlorn by a whisperjewel, held by a love he thought he'd lost. But he discovers that Worlorn is dying, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew.

Bitterblooms (Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, 1977): The novelette is set on an unknown planet during the Interregnum period. It is about a girl who gets lost is the woods in deep winter. She is rescued by a magical woman who takes her back to her spaceship.

Call Him Moses (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1978): This novelette, which would become chapter six in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the planet of Charity during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). Haviland Tuf is called in to deal with a terrorist who has brought a colony to its knees by recreating the Biblical plagues.

Warship (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1979): This short story is set in space on a return journey to Earth during the period of the Federal Empire. It is about a warship whose crew has become infected with a deadly virus, killing all but one of them.

The Way of Cross and Dragon (Omni, 1979): This novelette is set on the Fyndii Space planet of Arion during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a priest of the Interstellar Catholic Church of Earth investigating a sect that reveres Judas Iscariot.

Sandkings (Omni, 1979): This novelette is set on the Manrealm planet of Baldur during the post-Interregnum period. It is about a jaded dilettante who purchases a few organisms of an alien species for entertainment, but when he fails to care for them properly they develop into a threat.

Nightflyers (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1980): This novella begins on Avalon, but mostly takes place in a distant region of Jambles space, during the post-Interregnum period. It is about the crew of a starship which is heading into the outer reaches of known space in search of a legendary alien race. Soon, however, the crew discovers that there is something dangerous onboard.

Guardians (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1981): This novella, which would become chapter three in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Jambles planet of Namor during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). Haviland Tuf is contracted by the people of a water world, to solve the problem sea monsters who are attacking them.

The Plague Star (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1985): This novella, which would become chapter one in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Jambles planet of ShanDellor and near Hro B’rana, during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). It is about a group of scientists who hire a trader named Haviland Tuf to investigate a disease-inflicting space object. They discover that it is actually a lost seedship of the Federal Empire's Ecological Engineering Corps developed to rewrite genetic coding for entire planets, for good or for ill.

Loaves and Fishes (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1985): This novella, which would become chapter two in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Fyndii Space planet of S'uthlam during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). Havaland Tuf takes his newly-acquired seedship to a technologically advanced planet in order to get some alterations made. However, he finds that S'uthlam has problems of its own - the the population is overbreeding and the planet is on the brink of famine.

Second Helpings (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1985): This novelette, which would become chapter four in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Fyndii Space planet of S'uthlam during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). It is about Haviland Tuf's return to S'uthlam to pay off part of a debt. He finds things have gotten worse since his last visit.

Manna From Heaven (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 1985): This novella, which would become chapter seven in Tuf Voyaging, takes place on the Fyndii Space planet of S'uthlam during the post-Interregnum period (around the year ai-1000). Haviland Tuf returns to S'uthlam to pay off the final part of his debt. Things are worse than ever though, and the newly-elected Expansionist government has an entire solar system on the brink of war. Tuf decides to solve the problem of S'uthlam once and for all, whether they like it or not.

The Glass Flower (Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, 1986): This novelette is set on the Fyndii Space planet of Croan'dhenni during the post-Interregnum period, around the year ai-750. It is about a bodyswapper who has lived for generations. She is challenged by a cyborg who also wants to gain the ability to bodyswap, not to extend his life, but to end it.

Unfinished Works

Avalon (????): This is an unfinished novel set on the Jambles planet of Avalon. Martin began working on it in 1991, and according to him, it was to be "the story of three students from very different cultures thrown together at Avalon’s Academy of Human Knowledge, the opening act of a much larger story that I thought of as an SF War and Peace." Writing was purportedly going "pretty good," but then after 30 pages, Martin had the sudden idea of a boy seeing a man's beheading and finding direwolves in the snow, which would eventually become the first non-prologue chapter of A Game of Thrones. Martin recalls that:

"It just came to me so strongly and vividly that I knew I had to write it. I sat down to write, and in, like, three days it just came right out of me, almost in the form you’ve read."

He put Avalon aside, and after a few more chapters, Martin perceived his new book as a fantasy story and started making maps and genealogies. These drafts would eventually develop into his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. In 2001, when he was asked whether he would ever finish Avalon, he replied: "Well, perhaps. Hard to say. Just now I am not looking past A Song of Ice and Fire."

Semi-Canonical Works

These three works do not contain any obvious connections to the "Thousand Worlds" universe. They do not mention any shared events, worlds or species. Also, they are primarily fantasy texts, rather than science-fiction. However, they do cite an element of mythology which appears in the story And Seven Times Never Kill Man! Namely, they each contain references to a deity known as Bakkalon of Corlos, or the "Pale Child". In the "Thousand Worlds" universe this deity is worshipped by the Steel Angels, a military-religious sect. It is unclear whether Martin is linking these stories into the shared canon, or if he is merely recycling a concept or offering a meta-textual nod to a previous work. The three works in question are:

Only Kids Are Afraid of the Dark (Star-Studded Comic #10, 1965): This is a fantasy superhero short story by Martin. It was his contribution to the comic book series Dr. Weird, created by Larry Herndon, Buddy Saunders and Howard Keltner, and running from 1963 to 1972. Martin's story takes place in the realm of Corlos, an evil dimension of demonic horrors ruled by Saagael. Saagael is waiting to be unleashed upon Earth to destroy human souls. Jasper and Will, two treasure thieves that are fleeing from the natives of Corlos, seek refuge in the temple of Saagael.

  • While neither Bakkalon nor the "Pale Child" are mentioned, the story is set in the realm of Corlos, which in And Seven Times Never Kill Man! is described by the Steel Angels as the mythical kingdom of Bakkalon. However, it should be noted that this Corlos is nothing like the world described in Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark.
  •  Martin states in the anthology Dreamsongs that he created the deity of Bakkalon for future use in his contributions to the Dr. Weird series, but never ended up using it. 

The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr (Fantastic, 1976): This is a fantasy short story by Martin. It is about a lady named Sharra who traverses the gates between worlds and on a mysterious quest. These gates are guarded by the Seven dark gods. The story is about the brief time she pauses in the world of the lonely singer Laren Dorr.

  •  When Sarra expresses her desire to continue exploring other worlds, Laren Dorr warns her: “Be careful how you go. Even your crown will not help you should they move on you directly. And the pale child Bakkalon will tear at you, and Naa-Slas feed upon your pain, and Saagael on your soul."
  •  Like Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark, this story was meant to be an entry in the Dr. Weird comic book series, which may explain the reference to Bakkalon and Saagael. 

A Song of Ice and Fire (Bantam Books, 1996⁠–): This is an series of epic fantasy novels by Martin. Five novels have been published so far, with two more planned for future release. The series tells three main interweaving stories: a dynastic war among several families for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in northernmost Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king's exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. The novels are extremely successful, both critically and commercially, with 90 million copies being sold worldwide and the series being adapted into one of the most-viewed television shows of all time, Game of Thrones.

  •  In the fourth book A Feast for Crows, Arya Stark notices the statue of a pale infant with a sword. She learns that this statue, the statue of Bakkalon, is most commonly visited by soldiers.
  •  In a preview chapter of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, Tyrion Lannister mentions the Pale Child to Penny, during the second siege of Meereen, as being another name for death. In another preview chapter, Aeron Damphair has a nightmare of several foreign gods impaled upon the Iron Throne, which includes an image of the Pale Child Bakkalon.
  •  In the companion history book Fire and Blood (2018), Princess Larra Rogare of Lys, wife of Prince Viserys Targaryen, rejects the gods of Westeros, and continues to worship only Lysenni gods, such as "the pale child Bakkalon of the Sword [and] faceless Saagael, the giver of pain."
Advertisement