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George R. R. Martin

answers the Usual Questions

George R. R. Martin, photograph provided by the subject

George R. R. Martin

Maybe it's because the previous BNPs (Big Name SF Pros) I had met were generally thin civil service types (like George Turner and Capt. A. B. Chandler), but I always thought that George R. R. Martin was a tall ramrod straight person. In fact he was the man passing unnoticed through the WorldCon crowds looking for all the world like Santa Claus out of uniform.

George Martin was more than genial and forgiving in his dealings with this reporter.

He's a wait-and-see kind of person, co-operative and professional and doesn't seem to take things just on face value. His lady wife was equally charming. Martin answered Festivale's usual questions in the bar, the unofficial professionals lounge at the convention.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

No. Not in a direct sort of way. Fans tell you what they liked and didn't like. If everybody likes something ... you are tempted to do more in that vein, that genre.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?


Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Jack Vance. I think he is the greatest living SF author and I read his books voraciously. H.P.Lovecraft, Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

How long am I trapped? For a fascinating conversation maybe Tolkien. If not for conversation Daryl Hannah or Hudson from Xena.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Books. Lots and lots of books. Everywhere I go I take books. No matter where I am, I am somewhere else as well through the medium of books.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?


What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Almost a secondary vicarious life. When I write a book I almost lose myself in it. Nothing seems to exist by the people I am writing about ... (that's) why I write, and why I read.

George R. R. Martin autograph, signature

submitted by Ali Kayn

Aussiecon 3, Melbourne, Australia
September, 1999

See also: For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here
The books of George R. R. Martin

Just the facts:
Born: Bayonne, New Jersey

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