George R. R. Martin
|George R. R. Martin|
Martin at the 2011 Time 100 gala
|Born||George Raymond Richard Martin
September 20, 1948
Bayonne, New Jersey, USA
|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 screenwriter and author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He is best known for A Song of Ice and Fire, his international bestselling series of epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted for their dramatic series Game of Thrones. Martin was selected by Time magazine as one of the "2011 Time 100", a list of the "most influential people in the world".
George R. R. Martin was born on September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of longshoreman Raymond Collins Martin and his wife Margaret Brady Martin who also had two daughters, sisters Darleen and Janet. The family lived in a federal housing project near to the Bayonne docks. Being poor, the young Martin lived in his imagination and began writing and selling monster stories for pennies to other neighborhood children, dramatic readings included. He also wrote stories about a mythical kingdom populated by his pet turtles; the turtles died frequently in their toy castle, so he finally decided they were killing each other off in "sinister plots." Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and then later Marist High School. While there he became an avid comic book fan, developing a strong interest in the innovative superheroes being published by Marvel Comics. Fantastic Four No. 20 (Nov 1963) printed a letter Martin wrote to the editor, the first of many sent, e.g., FF #32, #34, and others from his family's home at 35 E. First Street, Bayonne, NJ. Other fans wrote him letters, and through such contacts Martin joined the fledgling comics fandom of the era, writing fiction for various fanzines. In 1965 Martin won comic fandom's Alley Award for his prose superhero story "Powerman vs. The Blue Barrier," the first of many awards he would go on to win for his fiction.
In 1970 Martin earned a B. S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude; he went on to complete his M. S. in Journalism in 1971, also from Northwestern. Eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War, to which he objected, Martin applied for and obtained conscientious objector status; he instead did alternative service work for two years (1972–1974) as a VISTA volunteer, attached to the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation. He also directed chess tournaments for the Continental Chess Association from 1973 to 1976. Then from 1976 to 1978 he was an English and journalism instructor at Clarke University (then Clarke College) in Dubuque, IA, becoming Writer In Residence at the college from 1978 to 1979.
Martin began selling science fiction short stories professionally in 1970, at age 21. His first story, "The Hero", sold to Galaxy magazine and was published in its February 1971 issue; other sales soon followed. The first story of his nominated for the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award was With Morning Comes Mistfall, published in 1973 by Analog magazine. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Martin became the organization's Southwest Regional Director from 1977 to 1979; from 1996 to 1998 he served as its vice president.
In 1976, for Kansas City's MidAmeriCon, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), Martin and his friend and fellow writer-editor Gardner Dozois conceived of and organized the first Hugo Losers Party for the benefit of all past and present Hugo-losing writers, their friends, and family the evening following the convention's Hugo Awards ceremony. Martin was nominated for two Hugos that year but ultimately wound up losing both awards, for the novelette "...and Seven Times Never Kill Man" and the novella The Storms of Windhaven, co-written with Lisa Tuttle. The Hugo Losers Party became an annual Worldcon event thereafter, its formal title eventually evolving into something a little more politically correct as both its size and prestige grew.
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.
The unexpected commercial failure of Martin's fourth book, The Armageddon Rag (1983), "essentially destroyed my career as a novelist at the time", he recalled. It began his career in television, however, as a result of a Hollywood option on that novel that then led to him being hired, first as a staff writer and then as an Executive Story Consultant, for the revival of the Twilight Zone. When the CBS series ran its course, Martin and other Twilight Zone staff writers migrated over to the already underway satirical science fiction series Max Headroom. While there he wrote scripts and created the show's Ped Xing character, the president of the Zic Zak corporation, Network 23's primary sponsor. Before his completed scripts could go into production, the ABC show was canceled in the middle of its second season. Martin then became a producer on the dramatic fantasy series Beauty and the Beast; in 1989 he became the show's co-supervising producer. During this same period, he also worked in print media as a book series editor, overseeing the development of the lengthy and still on-going Wild Cards series, which takes place in a shared universe in which a small slice of post–World War II humanity gains superpowers after the release of an alien-engineered virus. In Second Person Martin "gives a personal account of the close-knit role-playing game (RPG) culture that gave rise to his Wild Cards shared-world anthologies". Martin's own contributions to the multiple-author series often feature Thomas Tudbury, "The Great and Powerful Turtle", a powerful psychokinetic whose flying "shell" consisted of an armored VW Beetle. As of June 2011, 21 Wild Cards volumes had been published in the series; earlier that same year, Martin signed the contract for the 22nd volume, Low Ball, which has since been completed and will be published by Tor Books in mid-summer of 2014. In early 2012 Martin signed another Tor contract for the 23rd Wild Cards volume, High Stakes.
Martin's novella, Nightflyers, was adapted into a 1987 feature film of the same title; he was not happy about having to cut plot elements for the screenplay's scenario in order to accommodate the film's small budget.
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[by whom?] inspired by the Wars of the Roses and Ivanhoe), which will be seven volumes. The first A Game of Thrones was published in 1996. In November 2005 A Feast for Crows, the fourth novel in this series, became The New York Times No. 1 Bestseller and also achieved No. 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 No. 1 ranking on the New York Times Bestseller List and many others; it remained on the NY Times list for more than a year. The series has received critical praise from authors, readers, and critics alike. In 2012 A Dance With Dragons made the final ballot for science fiction and fantasy's Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, Locus Poll Award, and the British Fantasy Award; the novel went on to win the Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel.
HBO series production 
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. HBO began airing the fantasy series (titled "Game of Thrones") on their U. S. premium cable channel April 17, 2011; it ran weekly for ten episodes, each approximately an hour long. The series was renewed shortly after the first episode aired. The first season was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, ultimately winning two, one for its opening title credits and for Peter Dinklage as Best Supporting Actor. The second season of ten episodes, based on the second Ice and Fire novel A Clash of Kings, began airing on HBO in the U. S. April 1, 2012; the second season was nominated for twelve Emmy Awards, including another Supporting Actor nomination for Dinklage. It went on to win six of those Emmys in the Technical Arts categories, which were awarded the week before the regular televised 2012 awards show. The first season of 10 episodes was also nominated for a 2012 Hugo Award, fantasy and science fiction's oldest award, presented by the World Science Fiction Society each year at the annual worldcon; it went on to win the 2012 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, at Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention.
Martin's work has been described by the Los Angeles Times as having "complex story lines, fascinating characters, great dialogue, perfect pacing", while the New York Times sees it as "fantasy for grown ups", others feel it is dark and cynical. His first novel, Dying of the Light, set the tone for some of his future work; it unfolds on a mostly abandoned planet that is slowly becoming uninhabitable as it moves away from its sun. This story has a strong sense of melancholy. His characters are often unhappy or, at least, unsatisfied – holding on to idealisms 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, aspirations, and ambitions. Publishers Weekly writes of his ongoing epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire, "The complexity of characters such as Daenerys, 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."
Major themes and areas of exploration in his short fiction include loneliness, connection, tragically doomed love, idealism, romanticism, and hard truth versus comforting deceit. Many of these occur in his magnum opus as well, but most of them are more abundant and obvious in his shorter works.
Relationship with fans 
Martin is known for his regular attendance through the decades at science fiction conventions and comics conventions and his accessibility to fans. In the early 1980s, critic and writer Thomas Disch identified Martin as a member of the "Labor Day Group", writers who regularly congregated at the annual Worldcon, usually held on or around the Labor Day weekend. Since the early 1970s he has also attended regional science fiction conventions, and since 1986 Martin has participated annually in Albuquerque's smaller regional convention Bubonicon, near his New Mexico home.
Martin's official fan club is the "Brotherhood Without Banners," who have a regular posting board at the Forum of the large website, westeros.org, which is focused on his Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. At the annual World Science Fiction Convention every year, the BWB hosts a large, on-going hospitality suite that is open to all members of the Worldcon; their suite frequently wins by popular vote the convention's best party award.
Martin has been criticized by some of his readers for the long periods between books in the Ice and Fire series, notably the six-year gap between the fourth volume, A Feast for Crows (2005), and the fifth volume, A Dance with Dragons (2011). In 2010 Martin responded to these criticisms by saying he was unwilling to write only his Ice and Fire series, noting that working on other prose and compiling and editing different book projects has always been part of his working process.
Personal life 
While attending an east coast science fiction convention he met his first wife Gale Burnick; they were married in 1975, but the marriage ended in divorce, without children, in 1979.
On February 15, 2011, Martin married his longtime paramour Parris McBride during a small ceremony at their Santa Fe, New Mexico, home; the couple exchanged Celtic-inspired wedding rings custom-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, Nevada for their larger circle of friends within the fantasy and science fiction fields.
Martin maintains a LiveJournal account called "Not A Blog" where he posts about his works and various unrelated topics such as politics and the NFL: he is a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party and claimed Jimmy Carter, during an interview with Authors@Google, to be "clearly the best human being to be president during my lifetime". He has recently expressed admiration for Barack Obama and strongly condemned attempts at voter suppression, likening it to the behavior of Democrats of the Solid South and citing the pro-voting rights Republicans of his youth as a far better rolemodel for the conservative movement, citing youthful admiration for specifically Everett Dirksen, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Clifford Case, William Scranton and Barry Goldwater. Martin is an avid, lifelong fan of both the New York Jets and New York Giants. His LJ "Not a Blog" posts have been reposted at times by someone else to a George R. R. Martin Facebook page, but Martin has never been a member of that online community or a reader of its posts; he also does not use Twitter.
Martin spends his spare time reading voraciously on a variety of topics, collecting medieval-themed miniatures, watching professional football on television (in season), reading and collecting science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, and treasuring his large comics collection, which includes the first issues of Marvel's "silver age" Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
In response to a question regarding his religious views, Martin replied, "I suppose I’m a lapsed Catholic. You would consider me an atheist or agnostic. I find religion and spirituality fascinating. I would like to believe this isn’t the end and there’s something more, but I can’t convince the rational part of me that makes any sense whatsoever. That’s what Tolkien left out — there’s no priesthood, there’s no temples; nobody is worshiping anything in the Rings." 
- 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 Girl I Married (1987) - story editor
- The World Next Door (1989) – story editor
- The Toys of Caliban (1986) – writer (teleplay), from an unpublished short story by Terry Matz
- The Road Less Traveled (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
- The Outer Limits (1995 TV Series)
- The Sandkings (1995) - writer (story)
- Doorways (1993, unreleased pilot) – writer, producer, creator; (IDW Publishing issued the pilot's storyline as a graphic novel miniseries in 2010)
- Game of Thrones
- New Voices in Science Fiction (1977: new stories by the John W. Campbell Award winners)
- New Voices in Science Fiction 2 (1979: more new stories by the John W. Campbell Award winners)
- New Voices in Science Fiction 3 (1980: more new stories by the John W. Campbell Award winners)
- New Voices in Science Fiction 4 (1981: more new stories by the John W. Campbell Award winners)
- The Science Fiction Weight Loss Book (1983) edited with Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg ("Stories by the great science fiction writers on fat, thin, and everything in between")
- The John W. Campbell Awards, Volume 5 (1984, continuation of the New Voices in Science Fiction series)
- Night Visions 3 (1986)
Wild Cards series editor (also contributor to many volumes) 
- Wild Cards (1987; contents expanded in 2010 edition with three new stories/authors)
- 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)
- Wild Cards: Lowball (delivered; forthcoming summer 2014; sequel to Fort Freak)
- Wild Cards: High Stakes (announced; forthcoming)
Cross-genre anthologies edited (with Gardner Dozois) 
- Songs of the Dying Earth (2009; a tribute anthology to Jack Vance´s seminal Dying Earth series, first published by Subterranean Press)
- Warriors (2010; a massive, cross-genre anthology featuring stories about war and warriors; winner of the 2011 Locus Poll Award for Best Original Anthology)
- Songs of Love and Death (2010; a cross-genre anthology featuring stories of romance in fantasy and science fiction settings, originally entitled Star Crossed Lovers)
- Down These Strange Streets (2011; a cross-genre anthology that blends classic detective stories with fantasy and science fiction)
- Old Mars (delivered and awaiting publication in October 2013; an anthology featuring new, retro-themed Mars science fiction stories)
- Dangerous Women (delivered and awaiting 2013 publication; a cross-genre anthology focusing on women warriors and strong female characters, originally titled Femmes Fatales)
- Rogues (delivered and awaiting publication; a cross-genre anthology featuring new stories about assorted rogues)
- Old Venus (forthcoming; an anthology of new, retro-themed Venus science fiction stories)
- "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 Game of Thrones 2003 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Novel
- A Clash of Kings 2004 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Novel
- A Feast for Crows 2006 Quill Award; British Fantasy Award (nomination)
- A Storm of Swords 2003 Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel; 2006 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Novel
- Warriors (co-edited with Gardner Dozois) 2011 Locus Poll Award for Best Original Anthology
- Declared by Time Magazine "One of the Most Influential People of 2011"
- A Dance With Dragons 2012 Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel
- Game of Thrones Season 1 (10 episodes) 2012 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (Co-Executive Producer of the HBO series)
- 2012 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
- "KPCS: Damon Lindelof #117". Blip.tv. June 27, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- Mühlbauer, Peter (February 19, 2012). "RTL2 zeigt ab 23. März Game of Thrones". Telepolis. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Choate, Trish (September 22, 2011). "Choate: Quest into world of fantasy books can be hobbit-forming". Times Record News. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- The 2011 TIME 100: George R.R. Martin, John Hodgman, April 21, 2011
- The 2011 TIME 100: Full List Retrieved June 5, 2011
- "Life & Times of George R.R. Martin". George R.R. Martin (official website). Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Berwick, Isabel (2012-06-01). "Lunch with the FT: George RR Martin". Financial Times. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Rutkoff, Aaron. "Garden State Tolkien: Q&A With George R.R. Martin", The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2011. "Mr. Martin, 62 years old, says that he grew up in a federal housing project in Bayonne, which is situated on a peninsula.... My four years at Marist High School were not the happiest of my life,” the author admits, although his growing enthusiasm for writing comics and superhero stories first emerged during this period."
- Dent, Grace (interviewer); Martin, George R. R. (2012-06-12). Game Of Thrones – Interview with George R.R. Martin. YouTube.
- "[[George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight]], interview with Martin". CBC.ca. March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "With Morning Comes Mistfall". Hugo Awards. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- The Locus Index to SF Awards. Retrieved Aug 14, 2012
- Turtledove, Harry, ed., with Martin H. Greenberg. The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century. New York: Ballantine, May 2001, p. 279–306.
- Kerr, John Finlay. 2009. Second person: Role-playing and story in games and playable media, edited by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin [book review]. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 2. http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2009.0095.
- Peter Sagal (September 15, 2012). "'Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Plays Not My Job". NPR. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- A Feast for Crows award nominations
- HBO greenlights Game of Thrones to series (pic), The Hollywood Reporter, November 30, 2010
- VanderMeer, Jeff (July 12, 2011). "Book review: 'A Dance With Dragons' by George R.R. Martin". Los Angeles Times.
- Jennings, Dana (July 14, 2011). "In a Fantasyland of Liars, Trust No One, and Keep Your Dragon Close". New York Times.
- "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. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
- Review of A Storm of Swords by Publishers Weekly
- Miller, Laura (April 11, 2011). "Onward and Upward with the Arts: Just Write It!: A fantasy author and his impatient fans.". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- Kay, Guy Gavriel (April 10, 2009). "Restless readers go bonkers". Globe and Mail. Canada. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- Flood, Alison (February 16, 2010). "Excitement as George RR Martin announces he's 1,200 pages into new book". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- Martin, George R R. "Frequently Asked Questions - George R. R. Martin's Official Website". Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- Martin, George R R (May 7, 2010). "Not A Blog - Someone Is Angry On the Internet". LiveJournal. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "In Love With Lisa". Life & Times. George R.R. Martin Official Website. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- "Big, Big, BIG News". Not A Blog. LiveJournal. 17. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- IDW's November Previews, IDW Publishing, August 18, 2010
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: George R. R. Martin|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: George R. R. Martin|
- Official website
- Not A Blog: George R. R. Martin's Livejournal
- George R. R. Martin's Podcast
- George R. R. Martin at the Internet Movie Database
- George R. R. Martin Complete Bibliography
- George R. R. Martin at the Internet Book List
- George R. R. Martin at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Works by or about George R. R. Martin in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Martin's awards and nominations at The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards.