George R. R. Martin biography
As a youth, Martin became an avid reader and collector of comic books. Fantastic Four 20 (Nov 1963) features a letter to the editor he wrote while in high school. He credits the attention he received from this letter, as well as his following interest in fanzines, with his interest in becoming a writer.
Martin wrote short fiction in the early 1970s, and won several Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards before he began writing novels late in the decade. 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. 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.
In the 1980s he turned to work in television and as a book editor. On television, he worked on the new Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast series. As an editor, he oversaw the lengthy Wild Cards cycle, which took place in a shared universe in which an alien virus bestowed strange powers or disfigurements on a slice of humanity during World War II, affecting the history of the world thereafter (the premise was inspired by comic book superheroes and a Superworld superhero role-playing game of which Martin was gamemaster). Contributors to the Wild Cards series included Stephen Leigh, Lewis Shiner, Howard Waldrop, Walter Jon Williams and Roger Zelazny. His own contributions to the series often featured Thomas Tudbury, "The Great and Powerful Turtle", a powerful psychokinetic whose flying "shell" consisted of an armored VW Beetle.
Martin's short story of the same name was adapted into the feature film Nightflyers (1987).
In 1996 Martin returned to writing novel-length stories, beginning his lengthy cycle A Song of Ice and Fire (ostensibly inspired by the Wars of the Roses and Ivanhoe). In November of 2005, A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in this series, became The New York Times #1 Bestseller and also achieved #1 ranking on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. In addition, in September 2006 A Feast for Crows was nominated for both a Quill award, and the British Fantasy Award. The series has received praise from authors, publishers, readers and critics alike.
It was announced January, 2007 that HBO Productions has purchased the broadcast rights for the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series, with the author also serving as co-executive producer on the project. The plan calls for each book from the series to be filmed over an entire season's worth of episodes. Production will take place in Europe or New Zealand and Martin is reported to have agreed to script one episode per season. Further details are expected to be announced soon.
Martin has also been an instructor in journalism (in which he holds a master's degree) and a chess tournament director. In his spare time he collects medieval-themed miniatures and continues to treasure his comic collection, which includes the first issues of Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. Although he is fairly active on the internet, he notes: "I do my writing on a completely different computer than the one I use for email and the internet, in part to guard against viruses, worms, and nightmares like this. (...) I write with WordStar 4.0 on a pure DOS-based machine."