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Martin, George R.R. 1948–

Martin, George R.R. 1948–

(George Raymond Richard Martin)

PERSONAL:

Born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, NJ; son of Raymond Collins (a longshoreman) and Margaret (employed by a lingerie manufacturer) Martin; married Gale Burnick, November 15, 1975 (divorced, 1979). Education: Northwestern University, B.S. (summa cum laude), 1970, M.S., 1971.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Santa Fe, NM. Agent—Pimlico Literary Agency, 155 East 77th St., Ste. 1A, New York, NY 10021. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Medill News Service, Washington, DC, journalism intern, 1971; New Jersey Department of Parks, Bayonne, NJ, sportswriter and public relations officer, 1971; Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Washington, DC, communications coordinator for Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation, Chicago, IL (in fulfillment of alternative service as a conscientious objector to military service), 1972-74; Continental Chess Association, Mount Vernon, NY, tournament director in Chicago, 1973-75; Clarke College, Dubuque, IA, instructor in journalism, 1976-78, writer-in-residence, 1978-79; freelance writer, 1979—. Also founder and chairman of the Windy City Science Fiction Writers' Workshop, Chicago, IL, 1972-76.

MEMBER:

Science Fiction Writers of America (south-central regional director, 1977-79; vice president 1996-98), Writers Guild of America (West).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Society, 1974, for "A Song for Lya"; two Hugo Awards, 1980, Hugo Award, 1997, for Blood of The Drago; Hugo Award nominations, 1974, for "With Morning Comes Mistfall," 1976, for "Storms of Windhaven," 1978, for Dying of the Light, and 2001, for A Storm of Swords; fellow of Bread Loaf Writers Conference, 1977; Science Fiction Writers of America, Nebula Awards, 1979 and 1985, and Nebula Award nominations, 1974, for "With Morning Comes Mistfall," 1975, for "A Song for Lya," 1976, for "Storms of Windhaven," 1978, for "The Stone City," 1999, for A Clash of Kings; Hugo Award for Best Novelette, 1980, for The Sandkings; Locus Awards, 1981, 1982 (received two awards), and 1984; Balrog Award, 1983, for Armageddon Rag; Daikon Award for Best Short Fiction in Translation, 1982: for "Nightflyers"; Bram Stoker Award, 1987, for The Pear-Shaped Man; Gigamesh Award for Best Collection/Anthology (Spanish), 1987, for Songs the Dead Men Sing; Daedelus Award, 1987, for Wild Cards; World Fantasy Award, World Fantasy Convention, 1988; World Fantasy Award for Best Novella, 1989, for The Skin Trade; Ignotius Award, Best Foreign Novel of 2002, for A Game of Thrones.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Dying of the Light, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1978.

(With Lisa Tuttle) Windhaven, Timescape (New York, NY), 1981.

Fevre Dream, Poseidon Press (New York, NY), 1982, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Armageddon Rag, Poseidon Press (New York, NY), 1983.

The Ice Dragon, illustrations by Yvonne Gilbert, Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2006.

Dreamsongs, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2007.

"SONG OF ICE AND FIRE" FANTASY SERIES

A Game of Thrones, Bantam (New York, NY), 1996.

A Clash of Kings, Bantam (New York, NY), 1999.

A Storm of Swords, Bantam (New York, NY), 2000.

A Feast for Crows, Bantam (New York, NY), 2005.

SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

A Song for Lya and Other Stories, Avon (New York, NY), 1976.

Songs of Stars and Shadows, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1977.

The Sandkings, Timescape (New York, NY), 1981.

Songs the Dead Men Sing, illustrated by Paul Sonju, Dark Harvest (Niles, IL), 1983.

Nightflyers, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1985.

Tuf Voyaging, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1986, reprinted, Meisha Merlin (Atlanta, GA), 2003.

Portraits of His Children, illustrated by Ron Lindahn and Val Lakey Lindahn, Dark Harvest (Arlington Heights, IL), 1987.

The Pear-Shaped Man, Pulphouse (Eugene, OR), 1991.

EDITOR

New Voices in Science Fiction: Stories by Campbell Award Nominees, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1977.

New Voices I: Spellbinding Original Stories by the Next Generation of Science Fiction Greats; The Campbell Award Nominees, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1978.

New Voices II: Spellbinding Original Stories by the Next Generation of Science Fiction Greats; The Campbell Award Nominees, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1979.

New Voices III: Spellbinding Original Stories by the Next Generation of Science Fiction Greats; The Campbell Award Nominees, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1980.

New Voices IV: Spellbinding Original Stories by the Next Generation of Science Fiction Greats; The Campbell Award Nominees, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1981.

(With Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg) The Science Fiction Weight-loss Book, Crown (New York, NY), 1983.

The John W. Campbell Awards, Volume V, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Paul Mikol) Night Visions 3, Dark Harvest (Arlington Heights, IL), 1986, published as Night Visions: All Original Stories, Century (London, England), 1987, published as Night Visions: The Hellbound Heart, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1988.

"WILD CARDS" SERIES; EDITOR

Wild Cards: A Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1986.

Aces High, Bantam (New York, NY), 1987.

Jokers Wild: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1987.

Aces Abroad: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

Down and Dirty: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Melinda M. Snodgrass) Ace in the Hole: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Snodgrass) John J. Miller, Dead Man's Hand: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Snodgrass) One-Eyed Jacks: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Snodgrass) Jokertown Shuffle: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Snodgrass) Double Solitaire: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Snodgrass) Dealer's Choice: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Snodgrass) Card Sharks: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Snodgrass) Marked Cards: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1994.

OTHER

(With Pat Broderick, Neal McPheeters, and Doug Moench) Sandkings (graphic novel; based on Martin's short story), DC Graphics (New York, NY), 1987.

The Skin Trade (novelette), published in Night Visions 5, Dark Harvest (Arlington Heights, IL), 1988.

Quartet: Four Tales from the Crossroads, Nesfa Press (Framingham, MA), 2001.

Television writings include five episodes for the series The Twilight Zone, 1986, and thirteen episodes for the series Beauty and the Beast, 1987-90, for which he also served as producer, 1988, and co-supervising producing, 1989; also writer and executive producer of Doorways, Columbia Pictures Television, 1992-93. Contributor to anthologies and collections, Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations, Golden Gryphon Press, 2003, The Hedge Knight—Second Edition (comic), Devil's Due Publishing, 2004. Contributor to science fiction magazines, including Analog and Science Fiction and Science Fact, as well as magazines in Spain, Germany, and Australia. Works have been published in French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

ADAPTATIONS:

Works have been adapted for film, including Nightflyers, Vista Films, 1987; television adaptations include "Remembering Melody," for the series The Hitchhiker, HBO, 1984, and The Sandkings, for series The Outer Limits, Showtime, 1995. Home Box Office has acquired the film rights to the author's "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series.

SIDELIGHTS:

"George R.R. Martin has had a sufficient number of writing careers to satisfy an entire room full of authors," wrote a contributor to the St. James Guideto Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers. "His versatility and gift for strongly delineated characters and fascinating plots are strong assets he brings to every genre in which he works." Martin told Publishers Weekly interviewer Michael Levy that he enjoys writing in various genres: "I think you get very stale if you write the same kind of book over and over." Martin's science fiction stories have earned prestigious Hugo and Nebula Awards. The "Wild Cards" anthology series, whose featured characters are superheroes in a shared-universe setting, has remained popular for ten years. Both his horror and fantasy novels have been applauded by critics. A St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers contributor noted that the horror novel "The Armageddon Rag is both Martin's best single work and one of the most interesting and insightful examinations of what happened to the optimism and enthusiasm of the generation that attended college in the late 1960s." The same critic recommended Fevre Dream as "one of the greatest vampire novels of all time."

In the 1990s Martin turned his attention to a new genre. In his Publishers Weekly interview, he commented: "My decision … to do a high fantasy book was partly motivated by the Imp of Perverse in me refusing to be typecast." He also wanted to produce an antidote to the high fantasy that some critics have described, according to Levy, "as being little more than warmed-over Tolkien." The result was A Game of Thrones.

Martin welcomed the opportunity to immerse himself in a project of this scope, suggesting to Publishers Weekly that "there's a richness in being able to create a whole world, in having the time to look at minor characters and allow things to happen on the side." He also wanted the opportunity to develop characters of great depth, based on historical figures both wise and foolish, both strong and weak. He decided to add an element of magic, making a great effort to present it not as a pedestrian trade or commonplace event but as "something vast and unknowable." Most of all, Martin told Levy, he wanted "people who don't normally read fantasy … [to] come to this book and find things in it that they respond to." The author added: "I want to provide a journey we haven't taken before."

The resulting "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series begins with A Game of Thrones, followed by A Clash of Kings. As the series has progressed, the author further commented on it. "I wanted—in writing this series—to get away from the traditional good guys and bad guys clichés of so much of contemporary fantasy," the author told Dorman T. Shindler in an interview in Publishers Weekly. Commenting on "the notion of absolute good versus absolute evil," Martin went on to point out: "The struggle between good and evil is certainly a legitimate topic; but that struggle is not waged against dark lords with evil minions. It's waged within the individual human heart."

In A Game of Thrones, the author introduces the readers to a kingdom that is facing a ten-year winter. Featuring a world of chivalry, romance, and magic, the kingdom is also undergoing a struggle for its throne. A Clash of Kings finds two brothers battling to succeed the king. Several reviewers have noted the intricacies and epic scope of the world the author has created. Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, commented that the author "has created a rich world." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote: "The novel is notable particularly for the lived-in quality of its world, created through abundant detail that … aids suspension of disbelief."

The third book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, A Storm of Swords, features an army of eunuchs and worsening weather. "The complexity of characters … will keep readers turning even the vast number of pages contained in this volume," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. In a A Feast for Crows, the struggle for the throne of the King of Isles involves the religious cult of the Drowned God. Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the author "continue[s] to flesh out one of the genre's most detailed and intriguing worlds." Roland Green wrote in Booklist that the author's "command of English and of characterization and setting remains equal to the task of the fantasy megasaga."

In Quartet: Four Tales from the Crossroads, Martin presents two novellas, as well as a previously unpublished screenplay and part of a novel. The two novellas are Skin Trade, about a hunt for a killer of werewolves, and Blood of the Dragon, about a princess whose brother forces her into marrying a warlord. A Publishers Weekly contributor called Blood of the Dragon "taut and moving." The unproduced screenplay, StarPort, is a humorous science-fiction police procedural featuring a mentally unbalanced alien. The partial novel, Black and White and Real All Over, is about three circa-1890s journalists in New York working on the story of a murdered prostitute.

Martin focuses primarily on younger readers with The Ice Dragon, illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert. The author tells the story of Adara, a seven-year-old who forms a bond with a mysterious ice dragon that helps her defend her family from invading marauders who happen to be riding dragons. Eva Mitnick, writing in the School Library Journal, called The Ice Dragon "a slim but rich introduction to the genre" especially suitable for youngsters new to the genre.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.

PERIODICALS

Analog Science Fiction & Fact, November 1, 2001, review of Quartet: Four Tales from the Crossroads, p. 132.

Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1, 1980, Spider Robinson, review of New Voices III, p. 169; August 17, 1981, Spider Robinson, review of Windhaven; April 1, 1987, Tom Easton, review of Wild Cards: A Mosaic Novel, p. 184; April 1, 1988, Thomas A. Easton, review of Portraits of His Children, p. 183.

Booklist, March 15, 1993, Roland Green, review of Card Sharks, p. 1301; April 15, 2001, review of Quartet, p. 1542; November 15, 2005, Roland Green, review of A Feast for Crows, p. 33.

Current Biography, January 1, 2004, "George R.R. Martin, Fantasy and Science Fiction Writer," p. 34.

Daily Variety, January 17, 2007, Michael Fleming, "HBO Turns ‘Fire’ into Fantasy Series," p. 1.

Library Journal, May 15, 1981, review of Windhaven, p. 1102; December 15, 1981, review of Sandkings, p. 2409; November 15, 1987, Jackie Cassada, review of Jokers Wild: A Wild Card Mosaic Novel, p. 94; June 15, 1988, Jackie Cassada, review of Aces Abroad: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, p. 71; February 15, 1990, Jackie Cassada, review of Ace in the Hole: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, p. 215; August 1, 1990, Jackie Cassada, review of Dead Man's Hand: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel, p. 147; January 1, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of A Clash of Kings, p. 165; November 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of A Feast for Crows, p. 64.

Library Media Connection, February 1, 2007, Diana H. Hanke, review of The Ice Dragon, p. 61.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1, 1980, Barry N. Malzberg, review of New Voices III, p. 47; May 1, 1982, Algis Budrys, review of Sandkings, p. 36; August 1, 1987, Orson Scott Card, review of Sandkings, p. 42; September 1, 2003, Charles De Lint, review of Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations, p. 39.

National Post, January 28, 2006, "Snobbish Literary Scene Ignores Fantasy Fiction," p. 11.

New Statesman, March 25, 1988, Kim Newman, review of Night Visions, p. 28.

Publishers Weekly, November 6, 1981, Sally A. Lodge, review of Sandkings, p. 76; February 11, 1983, review of The Science Fiction Weight-loss Book, p. 59; November 25, 1983, review of The John W. Campbell Awards: Volume 5, p. 59; June 12, 1987, Sybil Steinberg, review of Portraits of His Children, p. 75; April 22, 1988, Penny Kaganoff, review of Aces Abroad, p. 76; August 26, 1996, Michael Levy, "George R.R. Martin: Dreamer of Fantastic Worlds," interview with author, p. 70; December 21, 1998, review of A Clash of Kings, p. 59; October 16, 2000, review of A Storm of Swords, p. 53; April 9, 2001, review of Windhaven, p. 55; May 14, 2001, review of Quartet, p. 58; August 2, 2004, review of The Hedge Knight, p. 55; October 3, 2005, review of A Feast for Crows, p. 51; October 31, 2005, Dorman Shindler, "PW Talks with George R.R. Martin of Hybrids and Cliches," p. 37.

School Library Journal, February 1, 2007, Eva Mitnick, review of The Ice Dragon, p. 92.

Time, November 21, 2005, Lev Grossman, "The American Tolkien: He's a Master of Dark Epic Fantasy, but with George R.R. Martin, We're Not in Middle-Earth Anymore," review of A Feast for Crows, p. 139.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April 1, 2000, review of A Clash of Kings, p. 12; June 1, 2001, review of A Storm of Swords, p. 134; December 1, 2006, Diane Emge Colson, review of The Ice Dragon, p. 446.

ONLINE

George R.R. Martin Home Page,http://www.georgerrmartin.com (July 6, 2007).

January Magazine,http://januarymagazine.com/ (July 6, 2007), Linda Richards, "January Interview: George R.R. Marin."

SFFWorld.com,http://www.sffworld.com/ (May 17, 2006), "Interview with George R.R. Martin."

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