George R. R. Martin
|George R. R. Martin|
|Born|| September 20, 1948 (age ~63) |
Bayonne, New Jersey
|Genres||Science fiction, horror fantasy|
|Notable work(s)||A Song of Ice and Fire|
|Spouse(s)|| Gale Burnick (1975–1979) |
Parris McBride (2011–present)
George Raymond Richard Martin (born September 20, 1948), sometimes referred to as GRRM, is an American author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He is best known for his A Song of Ice and Fire series of bestselling epic fantasy novels, which has recently been adapted into Game of Thrones, an ongoing dramatic series on HBO. He was selected by TIME magazine as one of the "2011 Time 100," a list of the "most influential people in the world." In 2012 he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. He was married to Gale Burnick from 1975 to 1979. He married Parris McBride in 2011.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Themes
- 3 Fan relationship
- 4 Bibliography
- 5 Awards
- 6 External links
- 7 References and Notes
George R. R. Martin was born on September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey the son of a longshoreman, whose working class family lived not far from the Bayonne docks. As a youth, Martin became an avid reader and collector of 1960's "silver age" superhero comic books. Fantastic Four #20 (Nov 1963) features a letter to the editor he wrote while still in high school. He credits the attention he received from this letter, as well as his following interest in comics fandom and its fanzines, with his interest in becoming a writer.
Martin began to write science fiction short stories in the early 1970s, and while his start into a career as a professional writer was not easy (one of his stories was rejected by different magazines forty-two times), he was never discouraged; several years later he went on to win the first of several Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards for his short fiction. His first story nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Award was With Morning Comes Mistfall, published in 1973 by Analog magazine. The story lost both awards, but Martin didn't mind too much, noting that joining "Hugo-and-Nebula Losers" Club was a big enough accomplishment for him.
In 1976 for Kansas City's MidAmeriCon, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), Martin, along with his friend and fellow writer Gardner Dozois, conceived of and organized the very first Hugo Losers Party. It was a gathering spot, held the final evening of MidAmeriCon, for the losing writers (and their friends and family) to commiserate following KC's Hugo Awards ceremony the previous night. The large party had been planned well in advance, and perhaps fittingly, being the party's undisputed host, Martin had lost again in 1976; this time it was for two Hugo Awards: the Novelette "...and Seven Times Never Kill Man" and the Novella "The Storms of Windhaven," co-written with Lisa Tuttle. In the years and decades that have followed, the Hugo Losers Party become an annual event, evolving into one of the largest social gatherings held at the annual Worldcon, while adopting a more politically correct title along the way.
Although much of his work is fantasy or horror, a number of his earlier works are science fiction occurring in a loosely-defined future history, known informally as 'The Thousand Worlds' or 'The manrealm'. He has also written at least one piece of political-military fiction, "Night of the Vampyres", collected in Harry Turtledove's anthology The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century.
During the 1980s Martin also began to write for television and work as a series book editor. For television, he worked in Hollywood on the revival of Twilight Zone and the new Beauty and the Beast series. As a book series editor, he oversaw the development of the lengthy and still on-going Wild Cards cycle, which takes place in a shared universe in which an alien virus, released during an air battle over New York City, bestowed strange powers or disfigurements on a slice of humanity during World War II, affecting the history of the world thereafter. (The premise was inspired by comic book superheroes and the Superworld superhero role-playing game, of which Martin was gamemaster with local science fiction writers and friends.) Contributors to the long-running Wild Cards series have included Pat Cadigan, Stephen Leigh, Lewis Shiner, Howard Waldrop, Walter Jon Williams and Roger Zelazny. His own contributions to the series often feature Thomas Tudbury, "The Great and Powerful Turtle", a powerful psychokinetic whose flying "shell" consisted of an armored VW Beetle. The Wild Cards series continues under Martin's direction and editorship, with more than twenty volumes having been published; in 2012 the series will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Martin's novella, Nightflyers, was adapted into a 1987 feature film that saw national release.
In 1991 Martin briefly returned to writing novels, and began what would eventually turn into his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire (ostensibly inspired by the Wars of the Roses and Ivanhoe), which will run to seven volumes. The first volume A Game of Thrones was published in 1996. In November 2005, A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in this series, became The New York Times #1 Bestseller and also achieved #1 ranking on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. In addition, in September 2006 A Feast for Crows was nominated for both a Quill award, and the British Fantasy Award. The series has received praise from authors, readers and critics alike.
HBO Productions purchased the television rights for the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series in 2007. The first season of Games of Thrones began on April 17, 2011, running weekly for ten, hour-long episodes; it is based on the first novel in the series. During the run-up period in the months before the first season premiered, numerous advance trailers and behind-the-scenes short features were shown on HBO and made available at various Internet sites. This was part of HBO's extensive media blitz promoting their most expensive premium cable series to date, estimated to have cost more than 60 million dollars for the first season. On Sunday April 3, 2011, two weeks before the premiere of the series, HBO showed the first fourteen minutes of the first hour-long episode, ratcheting-up further expectations for the new series. Two days after its premiere on Sunday April 17, 2011, HBO announced that Game of Thrones had been renewed for a second season, following universally positive reviews and an initial viewership of 4.2 million for its three evening showings.
In 2003 Fantasy Flight Games released the board game "The Game Of Thrones" and in 2010 "The Battles of Westeros," a miniatures board game based on the battles depicted in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Additional games and related products continue to be published.
Martin has been a college instructor in journalism (in which he holds a master's degree) and when he was younger a chess tournament director. In his spare time he collects medieval-themed miniatures, reading and collecting science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, and treasuring his still-growing comics collection, which includes the first issues of Marvel's "silver age" Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
On February 15, 2011 Martin was married to his longtime paramour Parris McBride during a small ceremony at their Santa Fe, New Mexico home. The couple exchanged custom made, Celtic-inspired wedding rings made for them by local artisans. Area friends were in attendance and helped them celebrate the occasion.On August 19, 2011, they held a larger wedding ceremony and reception at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, in Reno for their larger circle of friends within the fantasy and science fiction fields.
A Song of Ice and Fire
Main article: A Song of Ice and Fire
In 1991 Martin briefly returned to writing novels, and began what would eventually turn into his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire (reportedly inspired by the Wars of the Roses and Ivanhoe), which will run to at least seven volumes. The first volume A Game of Thrones was published in 1996. In November 2005, A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in this series, became The New York Times #1 Bestseller and also achieved #1 ranking on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. In addition, in September 2006, A Feast for Crows was nominated for both a Quill Award and the British Fantasy Award. The fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, was published in July 2011, quickly becoming a huge international bestseller, including a #1 ranking on the New York Times Bestseller list and many others. The series has received critical praise from authors, readers, and critics alike.
HBO series production
Main article: Game of Thrones
During completion of A Dance with Dragons and other projects, George R. R. Martin was also heavily involved in the production of a television series adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire books named after the first book, A Game of Thrones. Martin's involvement included the selection of a production team and participation in scriptwriting; he is listed in the opening credits as an executive producer of the series.
HBO Productions purchased the television rights for the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series in 2007. Game of Thrones (the series title) began on April 17, 2011 and ran weekly for ten episodes, each approximately an hour long. The first season covered events that occurred in the first novel in the series. During the run-up period in the months before the first season premiered, numerous advance trailers and behind-the-scenes short features were shown on HBO and made available at various Internet sites. This was part of HBO's extensive media blitz promoting one of their most expensive premium cable series to date, estimated to have cost more than 60 million dollars for the first season. On Sunday April 3, 2011, two weeks before the premiere of the series, HBO showed the first 14 minutes of the first episode, further ratcheting up expectations for the new series. Two days after its premiere on April 17, 2011, HBO announced that Game of Thrones had been renewed for a second season, following universally positive reviews and an initial viewership of 4.2 million during its three debut evening showings; by the end of the first week, nearly nine million had viewed the first episode. Not long after the series' first season finale, it was announced the show had received 13 Emmy Award nominations, including Best Dramatic Series and Best Supporting Actor; the series won two of those Emmy Awards, for Best Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage) and for Best Main Title Design.
Critics have described Martin's work as dark and cynical. His first novel, Dying of the Light, set the tone for most of his future work; it is set on a mostly abandoned planet that is slowly becoming uninhabitable as it moves away from its sun. This story, and many of Martin's others, have a strong sense of melancholy. His characters are often unhappy, or at least unsatisfied — trying to stay idealistic in a ruthless world. Many have elements of tragic heroes in them. Reviewer T. M. Wagner writes, "Let it never be said Martin doesn't share Shakespeare's fondness for the senselessly tragic."  This gloominess can be an obstacle for some readers. The Inchoatus Group writes, "If this absence of joy is going to trouble you, or you’re looking for something more affirming, then you should probably seek elsewhere." 
Martin's characters are multi-faceted, each with surprisingly intricate pasts, inspirations, and ambitions. Publisher's Weekly writes of his ongoing epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire, "The complexity of characters such as Daenarys [sic], Arya and the Kingslayer will keep readers turning even the vast number of pages contained in this volume, for the author, like Tolkien or Jordan, makes us care about their fates."  No one is given an unrealistic string of luck, however; so misfortune, injury, and death (and even false death) can befall any character, major or minor, no matter how attached the reader has become. Martin has described his penchant for killing off important characters as being necessary for the story's depth: "...when my characters are in danger, I want you to be afraid to turn the page, (so) you need to show right from the beginning that you're playing for keeps."
In addition to writing, Martin is known for his regular, decades-long attendance at various science fiction conventions and comics conventions and his accessibility to both genre's many fans. In the early 1970s critic and writer Thomas Disch identified Martin as a member of the "Labor Day Group", writers who congregated at the annual Worldcon, usually held on or around the Labor Day weekend.
Martin has a good relationship with his official fan club, the Brotherhood Without Banners, and has praised them in the past for their convention parties and gatherings. His many fans also gather at website forums devoted to both the "Fire and Ice" epic fantasy series and to his long-running Wild Cards series.
Martin has been criticized by a number of his many fans worldwide for the long delays between books in that series, notably the many-year gap between the fourth volume A Feast for Crows and the fifth volume A Dance with Dragons. This led him to respond online in kind, accusing angry fans of unfairly demanding he devote all of his time to the epic fantasy series, something he is unwilling to do; Martin has long-term writing and book-editing commitments on other projects, in addition to his best-selling series of epic fantasy novels. Many of these fans have expressed concern that Martin will leave his fantasy series unfinished, in the same fashion as deceased author Robert Jordan did with his lengthy Wheel of Time series. (In March 2011 Martin announced online in one of his regular livejournal "Not A Blog" posts that his publisher will release on July, 12, 2011 the long-anticipated fifth novel, A Dance With Dragons; this will be several weeks after HBO's ten episode first season run of Game of Thrones has ended on their premium cable TV channels.)
Martin is strongly opposed to any type of fan fiction, believing it to be copyright infringement and a bad exercise for all aspiring writers. He never gives permission for any of his intellectual property to be used in fan fiction.
- Dying of the Light (1977) -- Hugo Award nominee, 1978; British Fantasy Award nominee, 1979 
- Windhaven (1981, with Lisa Tuttle) -- Locus SF Award nominee, 1982
- Fevre Dream (1982) -- Locus SF and World Fantasy Award nominee, 1983
- The Armageddon Rag (1983) -- Locus SF and World Fantasy Award nominee, 1984
- A Song of Ice and Fire series:
- A Game of Thrones (1996) -- Locus Fantasy Award winner, Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominee, 1997
- A Clash of Kings (1998) -- Locus Fantasy Award winner, Nebula Award nominee, 1999
- A Storm of Swords (2000) -- Locus Fantasy Award winner, Hugo and Nebula Awards nominee, 2001
- A Feast for Crows (2005) -- Hugo, Locus Fantasy, and British Fantasy Awards nominee, 2006 
- A Dance with Dragons (2011) -- Hugo, Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Award nominee
- The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)
- A Dream of Spring (forthcoming)
- Hunter's Run (2007, expanded version of the novella "Shadow Twin", with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)
- "A Song for Lya", originally in Analog, June 1974.
- Night of the Vampyres, originally in 'Amazing, 1975, re-published in The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century
- "The Skin Trade" (1989, from the three-author collection Dark Visions); optioned for film by Mike the Pike Productions) 
- "Dunk and Egg" series - set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire
- "Shadow Twin" (2004, with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)
- Shadow Twin (2005, published in hardcover as an illustrated, signed, and numbered limited-edition)
- A Song for Lya (1976)
- Songs of Stars and Shadows (1977)
- Sandkings (1981)
- Songs the Dead Men Sing (1983)
- Nightflyers (1985)
- Tuf Voyaging (1987, collection of linked stories)
- Portraits of His Children (1987)
- Quartet (2001)
- GRRM: A RRetrospective (2003; reissued 2006 and 2007 as Dreamsongs)
- The Twilight Zone
- The Last Defender of Camelot (1986) - writer (teleplay)
- The Once and Future King (1986) - writer (teleplay), story editor
- A Saucer of Loneliness (1986) - story editor
- Lost and Found (1986) - writer (teleplay), from a published short story by Phyllis Eisenstein
- The World Next Door (1986) - story editor
- The Toys of Caliban (1986) - writer (teleplay), from an unpublished short story by Terry Matz
- The Road Less Travelled (1986) - writer (story and teleplay), story editor
- Beauty and the Beast
- Terrible Saviour (1987) - writer
- Masques (1987) - writer
- Shades of Grey (1988) - writer
- Promises of Someday (1988) - writer
- Fever (1988) - writer
- Ozymandias (1988) - writer
- Dead of Winter (1988) - writer
- Brothers (1989) - writer
- When the Blue Bird Sings' (1989) - writer (teleplay)
- A Kingdom by the Sea (1989) - writer
- What Rough Beast (1989) - writer (story)
- Ceremony of Innocence (1989) - writer
- Snow (1989) - writer
- Beggar's Comet (1990) - writer
- Invictus (1990) - writer
- Doorways (1993, unreleased pilot) - writer, producer, creator; (IDW Publishing issued the pilot's storyline as a graphic novel miniseries (2010))
- A Game of Thrones
- Pilot - writer (story, teleplay), producer, creator
- The Pointy End - writer (story, teleplay, 1st Season)
- Blackwater - writer (story, teleplay, 2nd Season)
Wild Cards (also contributor to many volumes)
- Wild Cards I (1987) (Expanded 2010 with three new authors/stories)
- Wild Cards II: Aces High (1987)
- Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild (1987)
- Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad (1988)
- Wild Cards V: Down & Dirty (1988)
- Wild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole (1990)
- Wild Cards VII: Dead Man's Hand (1990)
- Wild Cards VIII: One-Eyed Jacks (1991)
- Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle (1991)
- Wild Cards X: Double Solitaire (1992)
- Wild Cards XI: Dealer's Choice (1992)
- Wild Cards XII: Turn of the Cards (1993)
- Wild Cards: Card Sharks (1993) (Book I of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Marked Cards (1994) (Book II of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Black Trump (1995) (Book III of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Deuces Down (2002)
- Wild Cards: Death Draws Five (2006) (solo novel by John J. Miller)
- Wild Cards: Inside Straight (2008) (Book I of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Busted Flush (2008) (Book II of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Suicide Kings (2009) (Book III of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Fort Freak (2011) (A stand-alone novel)
- Wild Cards: Lowball (forthcoming 2012; sequel to Fort Freak)
Cross-genre anthologies edited (with Gardner Dozois)
- Warriors, a massive, cross-genre anthology featuring stories about war and warriors (published on March 16, 2010)
- Songs of the Dying Earth a tribute anthology to Jack Vance´s seminal Dying Earth series, initially published by Subterranean Press (2009)
- Songs of Love and Death a cross-genre anthology featuring stories of romance in fantasy and science-fiction settings, originally entitled Star Crossed Lovers (2010)
- Down These Strange Streets another cross-genre anthology, blending classic private eye detective stories with fantasy and science fiction (2011)
- Dangerous Women forthcoming; a cross-genre anthology focusing on women warriors and strong female characters, originally titled Femmes Fatales
- "A Song for Lya" 1975 Hugo Award for Best Novella
- "Sandkings" 1980 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and Nebula Award for Best Novelette (the only one among Martin's stories to achieve that double)
- "The Way of Cross and Dragon" 1980 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
- "Portraits of His Children" 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novelette
- "The Pear-Shaped Man" 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Long Fiction
- "The Skin Trade" 1989 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella
- "Blood of the Dragon" 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella
- A Feast for Crows 2006 Quill Award and British Fantasy Award (nominated)
- Declared by Time Magazine "One of the Most Influential People of 2011"
- Named Author of the Year 2011 by USA Today
- 2012 w:World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
- George R. R. Martin official site
- Not A Blog: George R. R. Martin's Livejournal
- So Spake Martin, collection of George R. R. Martins interviews, correspondence with fans etc.
References and Notes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 www.time.com The 2011 TIME 100: George R.R. Martin By John Hodgman, Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011
- ↑ www.time.com The 2011 TIME 100: Full List] Retrieved June 5, 2011
- ↑ Turtledove, Harry, ed, with Martin H. Greenberg. The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century. New York: Ballantine, May 2001, p. 279-306.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows award nominations
- ↑ http://www.thrfeed.com/2010/03/hbo-greenlights-game-of-thrones.html
- ↑ A Feast for Crows award nominations
- ↑ HBO greenlights Game of Thrones to series (pic), [[w:The Hollywood Reporter|]], November 30, 2010
- ↑ "The American Tolkien" by Lev Grossman, a Times article on Martin. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
- ↑ T. M. Wagner. (2003),Review of A Storm of Swords. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
- ↑ "Review of A Game of Thrones". Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20080325003052/http://www.inchoatus.com/Reviews/Review--A%20Storm%20of%20Swords,%20George%20Martin.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
- ↑ Review of A Storm of Swords by Publisher's Weekly
- ↑ [|Flood, Alison] (16 February 2010). "Excitement as George RR Martin announces he's 1,200 pages into new book". Guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/16/george-rr-martin-new-book. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- ↑ Kay, Guy Gavriel (Apr. 10, 2009). "Restless readers go bonkers". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/article8003.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 www.thehugoawards.org Hugo Award History retrieved June 5, 2011
- ↑ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1979 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1979. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 www.locusmag.com The Locus Index to SF Awards retrieved June 5, 2011
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 www.worldfantasy.org World Fantasy Convention: Award Winners & Nominees retrieved June 5, 2011
- ↑ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1999 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1999. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- ↑ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2001. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- ↑ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2006. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- ↑ www.locusmag.com
- ↑ http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Mike-The-Pike-Productions-Inc-1042223.html Press release
- ↑ http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/article/1348/
- ↑ http://grrm.livejournal.com/225206.html
- ↑ George R.R. Martin is our Author of the Year, Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, 12/28/2011
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