The Second Kind of Loneliness (1972) by George R. R. Martin

A science-fiction story in the vein of Martin’s later work “A Song for Lya” and “Dying of the Light”; one where what seems to be some of Martin’s personal relationship experiences are worked through as emotional inspiration for stories.

The story is told in a diary format (first-person, past tense), which I’m not a big fan of, but does situate the reader in the character’s head more directly than just thinking from a third-person perspective might.

The concepts of different types of loneliness (distance and fear being the differentiator as described here) is interesting, and feels born out of Martin’s own personal thoughts and development.


The science-fiction worldbuilding was neat and appropriately scaled for the story – no big infodumps or complicated concepts, but some nice touches.

It was an enjoyable, very introspective science-fiction story, that didn’t overstay its welcome, and focused on emotions over plot. I give it three vortexes, and a bottle of scotch.


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