George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin

 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 bestselling series of epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted for their dramatic pay-cable 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 off each other 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. 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.

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 1973-1976. Then from 1976-1978 he was a journalism instructor at Clark College in Dubuque, IA, becoming Writer In Residence at the college from 1978-1979.

Martin began selling his science-fiction short stories in 1971, his first story selling to Galaxy magazine. His first story 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 1977-1979; from 1996-1998 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.

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