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George R.R. Martin

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George Raymond Richard Martin, popularly known as 'GRRM' to fans, is an American science fiction, horror and fantasy writer. He has written short stories, novellas, novels and scripts for television. He is currently resident in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

BiographyEdit

George R.R. Martin was born on 20 September, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. He became an avid fan of comic books whilst in high school: Fantastic Four #20 (November 1963) contains a letter he wrote to the editor. He subsequently became involved in the comic book fanzine scene, and attended the very first Comi-Con convention in New York City. In his youth he also became a fan of science fiction and fantasy literature, such as the works of Robert Heinlein, Robert E. Howard, Jack Vance and J.R.R. Tolkien. After college he held jobs as a journalist, chess tournament organiser and English teacher at a Christian women's college. He was married briefly in the mid-1970s, and has lived with his partner Parris in Santa Fe since 1981. They married in 2011. Martin was included in the Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube series, battling J.R.R Tolkien in the premiere of Season 5 of the series. Jon Snow. Daenerys Targaryen and Hodor were included as cameos.

Short fictionEdit

Martin began writing his first short fiction in the late 1960s, but wasn't published professionally until 1971. A lot of Martin's early work was set in the 'Thousand Worlds', an SF setting millennia into the future where humanity has slowly spread into space and encountered other races. His 1973 story from this setting, A Song for Lya, won Martin his first Hugo Award. In 1980 he achieved significant acclaim when Sandkings won both the Hugo and the Nebula for Best Novelette and The Way of Cross and Dragon won the Hugo for Best Short Story. Sandkings was for many years his best-known story and was adapted for television as the pilot episode of the new Outer Limits in 1996.

NovelsEdit

Martin moved into novel-length fiction with Dying of the Light, an SF novel set in the Thousand Worlds. It was published in 1977 and was nominated for a Hugo the following year. He followed up on this book with Windhaven in 1981, co-written with Lisa Tuttle. In 1982 he achieved significant critical and commercial success with Fevre Dream, a vampire novel set on the Mississippi around the time of the American Civil War which was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. His publishers eagerly signed up his follow-up, The Armageddon Rag, about a rock band whose comeback tour has supernatural overtones, but the book was a commercial failure, despite critical acclaim and a second World Fantasy Award nomination. Although Martin successfully sold a collection of his Thousand World stories featuring the character of Haviland Tuf as Tuf Voyaging, his novel career seemed to have stalled.

HollywoodEdit

The failure of The Armageddon Rag had a significant impact on Martin's fortunes, and there was little excitement over his next novel-in-progress, Black and White and Red All Over. However, television producer Phil DeGuere was impressed enough by The Armageddon Rag to option it as a movie script, and in 1985 asked Martin to contribute to a new project he was developing for CBS, The New Twilight Zone. Martin, although a huge fan of the original Rod Serling series, was hesitant to enter the competitive field of scriptwriting, but was convinced by the involvement of another writer he respected enormously, Harlan Ellison, as well as DeGuere's promise of backstage passes to Grateful Dead concerts. When Ellison abruptly left the series due to creative clashes, Martin was brought in as a staff writer. When the show unexpectedly returned for a second season, Martin was bumped up to story editor, but the series was then taken off the air for 'retooling' for its third season.

George R.R. Martin was not involved in the third season as Ron Koslow, a fan of his Twilight Zone work, had recruited him to be involved in his new urban fantasy series, Beauty and the Beast, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. Martin started as Executive Story Consultant and ended up as Supervising Producer on the third and final season. During his time on the show, he gained a reputation for being unafraid to kill off major characters (to fan's ire) and for showing the darker side of humanity. After the show ended, Martin had gained enough Hollywood credentials to attempt to launch his own show, Doorways, which eventually had a pilot produced by ABC in 1992. The pilot was never screened and the show never made, although a later series, Sliders, explored similar ideas.

Roleplaying and Wild CardsEdit

Martin's first involvement with roleplaying games came when Scottish science fiction and fantasy writer Charles Stross 'borrowed' the githzerai and githyanki from his Thousand Worlds setting to use as Dungeons and Dragons monsters in an article for Dragon Magazine. They proved popular and have remained a D&D mainstay ever since, although Martin was unaware of the homage until many years later.

Martin himself was introduced to roleplaying games in the late 1970s by Parris. His first game was Call of Cthulu by Chaosium, and he was soon running his own game. However, he put this to one side when he was introduced to SuperWorlds by Victor Milán. His gaming group became enamoured of the game and setting, and Martin eventually hit on the idea of developing their campaign into a shared-world anthology series. This idea proved successful, since such anthology series were all the rage in the mid-1980s thanks to the success of Lynn Abbey and Robert Asprin's Thieves World series, and Martin further enhanced the book by calling in experienced writers such as Roger Zelazny and Howard Waldrop to help expand it. Wild Cards was released in 1986 and was an immediate hit, and was succeeded by fourteen further books in the series, released over the next nine years. Despite very strong sales to start with, by the mid-1990s interest was on the wane and after a relaunch with a new publisher proved unsuccessful, the series was 'rested', although occasional new books slipped out in 2002 and 2006.

After Martin's name had become much better known, the series was relaunched by Tor Books in 2008 with a new trilogy taking a 'next generation' approach with no prior knowledge of the series required. This relaunch was successful and extended to further new books, with the earlier volumes to be reprinted. Melinda Snodgrass wrote a spec film script which attracted interest in the wake of the success of the television series Heroes, and Daniel Abraham wrote a successful comic mini-series.

A Song of Ice and FireEdit

Despite the earlier failure of The Armageddon Rag, by the time Martin left Hollywood in 1990 his writing fortunes had risen again. The Wild Cards series had kept his name on bookshelves with a steady stream of new releases, and his TV work had been well-received. He started work on a new Thousand Worlds novel called Avalon, but in 1991 put it to one side after being gripped by the vivid image of a young child having to watch a beheading and then finding a wolf dead in the snow. With no idea of what this story was or whether it was a short story or novella or novel, he was inspired by it and began devoting more time to it. This promising work was put on hold by the development of Doorways but when he came back to it afterwards, it remained compelling.

In the early 1990s epic fantasy had become a major commercial concern, following the enormous success of works such as Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy and the opening volumes of Robert Jordan's lengthy Wheel of Time sequence. The news that Martin, a respected and multi-award-winning author, was working on a similar work provoked a major bidding war between several publishers for the rights. Martin sold the series, which he was now calling A Song of Ice and Fire, to Bantam as a trilogy consisting of the novels A Game of Thrones, A Dance with Dragons and The Winds of Winter.

The first book ballooned out of control, with the first book eventually being split into three, individually large, novels. A Game of Thrones was published in 1996, but Martin had already removed a large amount of material from the book to form the beginning of a new second volume, eventually published in late 1998 under the title A Clash of Kings. With events left on a major cliffhanger and the first two volumes attracting considerable critical and commercial success, he was able to produce the third volume A Storm of Swords, for publication in late 2000.

Martin's original plan had been for there to be a narrative pause of five years between A Storm of Swords and the next book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, and he began tackling the fourth book with this plan in mind. Unfortunately, he found this had led to a narrative dependence on lengthy flashbacks, which was severely slowing the pace of the novel. After eighteen months spent trying to get this to work, in September 2001 he chose to junk the completed material and start again from scratch on a new fourth novel, A Feast for Crows, which would instead immediately pick up events after the third novel. This proved to be slow going, and when A Feast for Crows did eventually approach completion, it was decided that it was too large to publish in one volume. After consulting with his friend and Wild Cards collaborator Daniel Abraham, Martin decided to split the book by character, with approximately half appearing in Crows and half in the follow-up. Roughly 500 manuscript pages were removed from the novel to achieve this, and A Feast for Crows was published in late 2005 with a hopeful indication that the next book, still called A Dance with Dragons, would follow a year later.

In the event, A Dance with Dragons was repeatedly delayed as Martin made significant structural and textual changes to the material he had already written as well as the requirement for 1,000 or more new manuscript pages to bring the book up to a similar length of the others in the series. These issues resulted in the book expanding in size and scope. A Dance with Dragons was eventually published in July 2011. Martin plans two more books to conclude the series, tentatively called The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

In 2007 HBO purchased the television rights to A Song of Ice and Fire. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrote a pilot script that HBO liked, and will be filmed in Northern Ireland in late 2009. Martin is signed up as producer and consultant on the project, and will write one episode per season, workload permitting.

Other projectsEdit

Martin's work as editor of the Wild Cards series has continued and he also joined forces with long-term friend Gardner Dozois to develop three anthology projects. The first, Warriors, planned for early 2010, focuses on soldiers and warriors working in different genres. The second, Star-Crossed Lovers, focuses on love stories told against similarly different backdrops. Martin and Dozois also edited Songs of the Dying Earth, featuring different short stories and novellas set in Jacknnh Vance's signature fantasy setting.

In 1998 Martin was asked to submit a short story for Roger Silverberg's Legends anthology project. His entry, The Hedge Knight, a prequel to A Song of Ice and Fire set 90 years before the first book, was very popular and spawned a sub-series of short stories chronicling the characters of 'Dunk 'n' Egg'. The second, The Sworn Sword, appeared in Legends II in 2002. A third, The Mystery Knight, will appear in Warriors. The first two stories were adapted as successful graphic novels by Dabel Brothers Productions.

The success of A Song of Ice and Fire saw all of Martin's older novels put back in print, and his best short stories and scripts were assembled as a huge collection called GRRM: A RRetrospective, published in 2003 as a limited edition and then again in 2007 as Dreamsongs. Daniel Abraham also completed a novel Martin and Dozois had been collaborating on in the 1980s called Shadow Twin, which Abraham then re-wrote as a novel called Hunter's Run, published in 2007

BibliographyEdit

AuthorEdit

NovelsEdit

  • Dying of the Light (1977)
  • Windhaven (1981, with Lisa Tuttle)
  • Fevre Dream (1982)
  • The Armageddon Rag (1983)
  • Hunter's Run (2007, expanded version of the novella Shadow Twin, with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)

Selected novellasEdit

  • A Song for Lya (1973)
  • Night of the Vampyres (1975)
  • The Skin Trade (1989)
  • Shadow Twin (2004, with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)
  • The Hedge Knight series - set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire
    • The Hedge Knight (1998)
    • The Sworn Sword (2003)
    • The Mystery Knight (2010)

Selected novelettesEdit

  • Sandkings (1979)
  • Meathouse Man (1976)

Children's booksEdit

  • The Ice Dragon (1980 short story, 2006 children's book)

CollectionsEdit

  • 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)

TelevisionEdit

  • 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) - writer (story and teleplay), creator
  • A Game of Thrones
    • Pilot (in pre-production) - writer (story), producer, creator

EditorEdit

Wild CardsEdit

  1. Wild Cards (1987)
  2. Aces High (1987)
  3. Jokers Wild (1987)
  4. Aces Abroad (1988)
  5. Down and Dirty (1988)
  6. Ace in the Hole (1990)
  7. Dead Man's Hand (1990)
  8. One-Eyed Jacks (1991)
  9. Jokertown Shuffle (1991)
  10. Double Solitaire (1992)
  11. Dealer's Choice (1992)
  12. Turn of the Cards (1993)
  • Card Sharks (1993) (Book I of a New Cycle trilogy)
  • Marked Cards (1994) (Book II of a New Cycle trilogy)
  • Black Trump (1995) (Book III of a New Cycle trilogy)
  • Deuces Down (2002)
  • Death Draws Five (2006)
  • Inside Straight (2008)
  • Busted Flush (2008)
  • Suicide Kings (2009)
  • Fort Freak (2011)
  • Lowball (2014)
  • High Stakes (2016)
  • Texas Hold 'Em (forthcoming)
  • Mississippi Roll (forthcoming)
  • Low Chicago (forthcoming)

Others (with Gardner Dozois)Edit

  • Songs of the Dying Earth (2009)[1]
  • Warriors (forthcoming in 2010)[2]
  • Star Crossed Lovers (forthcoming)

AwardsEdit

WinsEdit

  • A Song for Lya - 1975 Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • The Storms of Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1976 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • A Song for Lya and Other Stories - 1977 Locus Award for Best Author Collection
  • Sandkings - 1980 Hugo Award for Best Novelette
  • Sandkings - 1980 Nebula Award for Best Novelette
  • Sandkings - 1980 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • The Way of Cross and Dragon - 1980 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
  • One-Wing (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1981 Analog Lab Award for Best Serial
  • Nightflyers - 1981 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Nightflyers - 1981 Analog Lab Award for Best Novella/Novelette
  • Nightflyers - 1983 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Short Fiction
  • Guardians - 1982 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • Sandkings - 1982 Locus Award for Best Single-Author Collection
  • The Armageddon Rag - 1984 Balrog Award for Best Novel
  • The Monkey Treatment - 1984 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • Loaves and Fishes - 1986 Analog Lab Award for Best Novella/Novelette
  • Portraits of His Children - 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novelette
  • Portraits of His Children - 1986 SF Chronicle Award for Best Novelette
  • The Pear-Shaped Man - 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best 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 - 1997 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A Game of Thrones - 2003 Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel
  • A Clash of Kings - 1999 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A Clash of Kings - 2000 SF Site Poll for Best Novel
  • A Clash of Kings - 2004 Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel
  • A Storm of Swords - 2001 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A Storm of Swords - 2001 SF Site Poll for Best Novel
  • A Storm of Swords - 2002 Geffen Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A Storm of Swords - 2006 Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel
  • George R.R. Martin - 2003 Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Contributions to Imaginative Fiction
  • The Ice Dragon - 2004 Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Short Story
  • Path of the Dragon 2005 Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Short Story

NominationsEdit

  • George R.R. Martin - 1972 Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • The Second Kind of Loneliness - 1973 Locus Award for Best Short Fiction
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall - 1974 Locus Award for Best Short Fiction
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall - 1974 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall - 1974 Nebula Award for Best Short Story
  • And Seven Times Never Kill Man - 1976 Hugo Award for Best Novelette
  • And Seven Times Never Kill Man - 1976 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • For a Single Yesterday - 1976 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • For a Single Yesterday - 2001 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Short Story
  • The Storms of Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1976 Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • The Storms of Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle - 1976 Nebula Award for Best Novella
  • Meathouse Man - 1977 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • This Tower of Ashes - 1977 Locus Award for Best Short Story
  • Bitterblooms - 1978 Locus Award for Best Short Fiction
  • Dying of the Light - 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel
  • Dying of the Light - 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel
  • Dying of the Light - 1979 British Fantasy Nomination for the August Derleth Award
  • The Stone City - 1978 Nebula Award for Best Novelette
  • The Stone City - 1978 Locus Award for Best Short Fiction
  • New Voices II (ed.) - 1980 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Sandkings - 1980 Balrog Award for Best Short Fiction
  • Sandkings - 1996 Locus Award for Best All-Time Novelette
  • The Way of Cross and Dragon - 1980 Nebula Award for Best Short Story
  • The Way of Cross and Dragon - 1996 Locus Award for Best All-Time Short Story
  • One-Wing (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1981 Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • One-Wing (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1981 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • New Voices III (ed.) - 1981 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Nightflyers - 1981 Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • Guardians - 1982 Hugo Award for Best Novelette
  • Guardians - 1982 Analog Lab Award for Best Novella/Novelette
  • The Needle Men - 1982 Locus Award for Best Short Story
  • Remembering Melody - 1982 Locus Award for Best Short Story
  • New Voices IV (ed.) - 1982 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle) - 1982 Locus Award for Best Novel
  • Fevre Dream - 1983 Locus Award for Best Novel
  • Fevre Dream - 1983 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • Unsound Variations - 1983 Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • Unsound Variations - 1983 Nebula Award for Best Novella
  • Unsound Variations - 1983 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • The Armageddon Rag - 1984 Locus Award for Best Novel
  • The Armageddon Rag - 1984 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • The Monkey Treatment - 1984 Hugo Award for Best Novelette
  • The Monkey Treatment - 1984 Nebula Award for Best Novelette
  • The John W. Campbell Awards, Volume 5 (ed.) - 1985 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Loaves and Fishes - 1986 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Mann from Heaven - 1986 Analog Lab Award for Best Novella/Novelette
  • Nightflyers - 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection
  • The Plague Star - 1986 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • The Plague Star - 1986 Analog Lab Award for Best Serial
  • Portraits of His Children - 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novelette
  • Portraits of His Children - 1986 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • Under Siege - 1986 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • The Glass Flower - 1987 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • The Glass Flower - 1987 Asimov's Readers Poll for Best Novelette
  • Night Visions 3 (ed.) - 1987 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection/Anthology
  • Tuf Voyaging - 1987 Locus Award for Best Collection
  • Tuf Voyaging - 2006 Seiun Award for Best Translated Long-Form
  • The Pear-Shaped Man - 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella
  • The Pear-Shaped Man - 1988 Locus Award for Best Novelette
  • Wild Cards (ed.) - 1987 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Wild Cards (ed.) - 1988 Hugo Award for Best Anthology/Other
  • George R.R. Martin - 1989 Locus Award for Best Editor
  • The Skin Trade - 1989 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novelette
  • The Skin Trade - 1989 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad (ed.) 1989 Locus Award for Best Anthology
  • Blood of the Dragon - 1997 Nebula Award for Best Novella
  • Blood of the Dragon - 1997 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella
  • Blood of the Dragon - 1997 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Blood of the Dragon - 1997 Asimov's Readers Poll for Best Novella
  • Blood of the Dragon - 1997 CompuServe HOMer Award for Best Novella
  • A Game of Thrones - 1997 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • A Game of Thrones - 1998 Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • A Clash of Kings - 2000 Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • The Hedge Knight - 1999 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • The Hedge Knight - 1999 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella
  • Path of the Dragon - 2000 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Path of the Dragon - 2001 Asimov's Readers Poll for Best Novella
  • A Storm of Swords - 2001 Hugo Award for Best Novel
  • A Storm of Swords - 2002 Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • Quartet - 2002 Locus Award for Best Collection
  • GRRM: A RRetrospective - 2004 Locus Award for Best Collection
  • GRRM: A RRetrospective - 2004 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection
  • GRRM: A RRetrospective - 2004 International Horror Guild's Award for Best Collection
  • The Sworn Sword - 2004 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • The Ice Dragon - 2005 Seiun Award for Best Translated Short Story
  • Shadow Twin (with Gardner Dozois & Daniel Abraham) - 2005 Locus Award for Best Novella
  • Shadow Twin (with Gardner Dozois & Daniel Abraham) - 2006 Asimov's Readers Poll for Best Novella
  • A Feast for Crows - 2006 Hugo Award for Best Novel
  • A Feast for Crows - 2006 Quill Award for Best Novel
  • A Feast for Crows - 2006 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • A Feast for Crows - 2006 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A Feast for Crows - 2006 SF Site Poll for Best Novel

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

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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