Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Martin, George R R

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(1948-    ) US writer and editor whose first published story of genre interest appeared in 1971 and who quickly rose to prominence. GRRM's background as a journalist is reflected in his fiction, particularly the longer works. A matter-of-fact style of reportage is employed in Fevre Dream (1982), a historical Vampire novel set in the 19th century on a Mississippi paddleboat. In The Armageddon Rag (1983) a former underground journalist investigates a murder and finds himself being led back into the shadowy realms of his previous career. Amid much sentimentality and nostalgia, he uncovers a supernatural plot to revive the "revolution" of the 1960s, revolving around the resurrection of Nazgûl, a near-mythical rock group from that era, and ultimately geared towards Apocalypse. In "The Ice Dragon" (1980) a little girl's emotional isolation is tied to the appearances of a Dragon, which ultimately gives its life to save the girl's father, restoring both warmth to the girl and her relationship with her father. Loneliness is the central emotion in "The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr" (1976), wherein a woman travelling via Portals from world to world in search of her lost lover encounters an inhabitant whose sense of desertion dwarfs her own. "Remembering Melody" (1981) is another tale of nostalgia (harking back to 1970), but this time marked by sadness as the characters are literally haunted by their past in the person of Melody, the ghost of a college friend who never achieved success or happiness. "The Monkey Treatment" (1983) is a black comedy about weight-loss. An obese character is also at the heart of the offbeat "The Pear-Shaped Man" (1987 Omni; 1991 chap); GRRM won a Bram Stoker Award for this tale. He has also won Hugo Awards for three of his short stories.

In the late 1980s, GRRM began devoting more time to tv work, writing for The New Twilight Zone (1985-1988) and then for Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990). He also began developing (and editing) the Shared-World anthology series Wild Cards, which seeks to take a realistic look at how Superheroes would affect and interact with society at large. The series, many of whose volumes are Braids, comprises Wild Cards: A Mosaic Novel * (anth 1987; vt Wildcards 1987), II: Aces High * (anth 1987), III: Jokers Wild * (anth 1987), IV: Aces Abroad * (anth 1988), V: Down and Dirty * (anth 1988), VI: Ace in the Hole * (anth 1990), VII: Dead Man's Hand * (1990) with John M Miller, VIII: One-Eyed Jacks * (anth 1991), IX: Jokertown Shuffle * (anth 1991), X: Double Solitaire * (1992) by Melinda Snodgrass (assistant Wild Cards editor since VI), XI: Dealer's Choice * (anth 1992), XII: Marked Cards * (anth 1994) and XIII: Black Trump (anth 1995). The associated Card Sharks sequence started with Wild Cards: Card Sharks * (coll of linked stories 1993). The companion graphic-story series runs Wild Cards #1: Heart of the Matter (graph 1990), #2: Diamond in the Rough (graph 1990), #3: Welcome to the Club (graph 1990) and #4: Spadework (graph 1990), collected as Wild Cards (graph omni 1991). [BM]

other works: A Song for Lya and Other Stories (coll 1976); Songs of Stars and Shadows (coll 1977); Dying of the Light (1977), sf; Windhaven (fixup 1981) with Lisa Tuttle; Sandkings (coll 1981); Songs the Dead Men Sing (coll 1983; cut 1985 UK); Nightflyers (coll 1985); Tuf Voyaging (coll of linked stories 1986); Portraits of his Children (coll 1987).

as editor: Night Visions 3 (anth 1986; vt Night Visions 1987 UK); >>> SFE.

further reading: George R.R. Martin, The Ace from New Jersey: A Working Bibliography (last rev 1989 chap) by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

George Raymond Richard Martin


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.