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George Raymond Richard Martin (born September 20, 1948), sometimes referred to as GRRM, is an Americanmarker author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He is best known for his ongoing A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels.


George R. R. Martin was born on September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jerseymarker. As a youth, Martin became an avid reader and collector of comic books. Fantastic Four #20 (Nov 1963) features a letter to the editor he wrote while in high school. He credits the attention he received from this letter, as well as his following interest in fanzines, with his interest in becoming a writer.

Martin wrote short fiction in the early 1970s and while his start into the professional writer career was not easy (one of his stories was rejected by different magazines forty-two times) he was not discouraged and later won several Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards. His first story to be nominated for Hugo and Nebula Award was With Morning Comes Mistfall published by the Analog magazine in 1973. 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.

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.

In the 1980s he turned to work in television and as a book editor. On television, he worked on the new Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast series. As an editor, he oversaw the lengthy Wild Cards cycle, which took place in a shared universe in which an alien virus 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 a Superworld superhero role-playing game of which Martin was gamemaster). Contributors to the Wild Cards series included Stephen Leigh, Lewis Shiner, Howard Waldrop, Walter Jon Williams and Roger Zelazny. His own contributions to the series often featured Thomas Tudbury, "The Great and Powerful Turtle", a powerful psychokinetic whose flying "shell" consisted of an armored VW Beetle.

Martin's novella, Nightflyers, was adapted into a 1987 feature film.

In 1991 Martin briefly returned to writing novel-length stories, 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 is projected to 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.

It was announced January, 2007 that HBO Productions has purchased the broadcast rights for the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series, with the author also serving as co-executive producer on the project. The plan calls for each book from the series to be filmed over an entire season's worth of episodes. Production will take place in the UK and Martin is reported to have agreed to script one episode per season. A pilot episode for the proposed series went into production in October 2009 starring Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage. HBO will evaluate the pilot and make a final decision on a full season commitment.

Martin has also been an instructor in journalism (in which he holds a master's degree) and a chess tournament director. In his spare time he collects medieval-themed miniatures and continues to treasure his comic collection, which includes the first issues of Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. Although he is fairly active on the internet, he notes: "I do my writing on a completely different computer than the one I use for email and the internet, in part to guard against viruses, worms, and nightmares like this. (...) I write with WordStar 4.0 on a pure DOS-based machine."


George R.
Martin, circa 1986
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."

His characters are often considered multi-faceted, each with surprisingly intricate pasts, inspirations, and ambitions. Publisher's Weekly writes of his on-going 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."

Fan relationship

In addition to writing, Martin is known for his regular attendance at science fiction conventions and his accessibility to fans. In the early 70s, critic and writer Thomas Disch identified Martin as a member of the "Labor Day Group", writers who congregated at the annual Worldcon, usually held around Labor Day.

Martin has a good relationship with his official fan club, the Brotherhood without Banners, and has praised them in the past for their parties and philanthropic efforts. As of December 2006, the organization has over 1,000 official members listed on its website.

Martin is strongly opposed to fan fiction, believing it to be copyright infringement and bad exercise for aspiring writers. He does not give permission for any of his intellectual property to be used in fan fiction.




Selected novellas

The werewolf novella "The Skin Trade," has been optioned for film by Mike the Pike Productions. You can read some of the details here:

Selected novelettes

  • Sandkings, Martins most anthologized story to date and the only one of his to win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.
  • Meathouse Man, first published in 1976, in Orbit 18. (Originally intended for Harlan Ellison's notorious "The Last Dangerous Visions" anthology, GRRM has admitted that this is probably the darkest, most depressing story he has ever done and that he still finds it painful to re-read nearly thirty years after its publication.)

Children's books

  • The Ice Dragon (Originally printed in 1980 as a short story, illustrated and re-printed as a children's book in October, 2006)



  • The New 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)
    • The World Next Door (1986) - story editor
    • The Toys of Caliban (1986) - writer (teleplay)
    • 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


Wild Cards (also contributor to many volumes)

  • Wild Cards: Deuces Down (2002)
  • Wild Cards: Death Draws Five (2006)
  • 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 (forthcoming in December 2009) (Book III of the Committee triad)
  • Wild Cards: Fort Freak (announced) (A stand-alone novel)

Others (with Gardner Dozois)


A more complete list of Martin's awards and nominations can be found at The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards.


  1. Official site: Speech at Electracon, 23 June 1984. URL accessed 21 November 2006.
  2. From fanboy to filthy pro
  3. Turtledove, Harry, ed, with Martin H. Greenberg. The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century. New York: Ballantine, May 2001, p. 279-306.
  4. A Feast for Crows award nominations
  7. Michael Fleming. (2007-01-16), HBO turns 'Fire' into fantasy series: Cabler acquires rights to Martin's 'Ice'. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  8. The Hollywood Reporter Livefeed
  9. George R. R. Martin: Official website Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  10. LiveJournal post by grrm, putatively George R. R. Martin. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  11. "The American Tolkien" by Lev Grossman, a Times article on Martin. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  12. T. M. Wagner. (2003), Review of A Storm of Swords. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  13. The Inchoatus Group. (2004-08-21), Review of A Game of Thrones. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  14. Review of A Storm of Swords by Publisher's Weekly
  15. Geekson interview with George RR Martin, 08/04/06
  16. "Literature, Bowling, and the Labor Day Group" Essay by GRRM discussing his status as a member of the "Labour Day Group." Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  17. "A Welcome From George". Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  19. "Members". Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  20. (1999-05-09), The Citadel. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  23. Review of The Ice Dragon with a footnote on the original printing

External links


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