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Happy Birthday George R.R. Martin | Author Focus

By Rebecca Reed

George Raymond Richard Martin was born on the 20th September 1948. He is often referred to as George R.R. Martin and is the American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror and science fiction genres. He is best known for his epic A Song of Ice and Fire series that has been adapted into the critically acclaimed worldwide phenomenon Game of Thrones by HBO. He serves as the series co-executive producer and has also scripted four episodes of the series.

He has been dubbed the “American Tolkien” and in 2011 he was included on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

George was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, and whilst growing up his world consisted of a journey to home and school between First Street and Fifth Street. This made him want to travel and experience other places, but he could only do this through his imagination, so he became an insatiable reader. He then began to write monster stories and sold them to other neighbourhood children for money,with the price it included a dramatic reading of his work. He also wrote stories about his pet turtles.

Whilst at High School, George became an avid comic book fan, he developed a strong interest in the superheroes published by Marvel. He often wrote letters to the editor of Fantastic Four and they were printed in various issues.

George R.R. Martin began selling science fiction short stories professionally in 1970 at the age of 21. His first sale was “The Hero” sold to Galaxy magazine and it was published in the February 1971 issue. He continued to write short stories in Science Fiction until 1983 where he published a vampire novel titled “Fevre Dream“. This was his most successful story thus far and was quoted as being “without question one of the greatest vampire novels of all time” George followed it up with “The Armageddon Rag” in 1984. The commercial failure of this story “essentially destroyed his career as a novelist at the time”. However, this did lead George R.R. Martin into a career in television. He became a writer, producer and, executive producer for many shows.

In a brief return to writing in 1991, admiring the works of J.R.R Tolkien he began work on what would be his most well-known work A Song of Ice and Fire. George R.R. Martin originally conceptualised it as being three volumes, but at this current moment in time, it is to compromise seven volumes. We are all eagerly waiting for the penultimate volume “The Winds of Winter” and as many are now aware the TV show has surpassed the books.

George R.R. Martin’s work has been described as having “complex story lines, fascinating characters, great dialogue, perfect pacing”. We love him and his work here at World of Books, have a fantastic birthday George R.R. Martin!

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