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Moderator: Okay kids, I'm closing the floor. Bear w/ us while we get the magic working

Gardner: Did you sprinkle George with pixie dust?

Moderator: George, can you type to the screen?

GRRM: yes

Moderator: Great

Gardner: Look! He can fly! Must be thinking Wonderful Thoughts!

Moderator: Hi everyone, thanks for joining us here. I'm Patrizia DiLucchio for SCIFI. Tonight we are pleased to welcome science fiction and fantasy writer George R.R. Martin, author of the bestselling heroic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and the latest book in the series A Storm of Swords. George R. R. Martin is no stranger to readers of genre fiction, both as an editor and as a writer. In fact some might suggest that whatever George R. R. Martin touches turns to gold.

Moderator: Horror fans tell me that his novel Fevre Dream is among the most poignant vampire tales they've ever read, while Science Fiction fans rattle off numerous Martin books including the Tuf titles and the hugely successful Wild Cards series. Romance fans belief that Beauty and the Beast was the best thing to ever show on television.

Gardner: Must make it hard for him to wipe himself...

Moderator: And rock and roll readers shouldn't miss The Armageddon Rag, one of the best rock stories ever written (even if it is a /slash/ fantasy /slash/ mystery /slash/ horror tale.) Is it any wonder that when George R. R. Martin took on heroic fantasy he struck paydirt again?

Moderator: - only without the quotes.)

Moderator: Take it away Gardner!

Gardner: Don't forget the ASIMOV'S commercial!

GRRM: I'm modest too

Gardner: George, please overcome your vast modesty and let us know your credentials.

Moderator: It was there...in CAPS Gardner...wasn't it?

Gardner: Didn't see it.

Moderator: It should been...

Moderator: Co-sponsoring tonight's chat along with SCIFI's own SciFICTION, edited by Ellen Datlow is ISAAC ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION which you can check out on the web at <http://www.asimovs.com>. Read Asimov's! We do! Our host tonight is futurism's foremost pundit, Asimov editor Gardner Dozois.

Moderator: Brief word about the drill - please send your questions for our guest to me, Moderator, as private messages. (To send a private message, either double-click on my name or type "/msg Moderator" on the command line - only without the quotes.)

Moderator: Now I'll be quiet

Gardner: (Can she get away with calling me a "pundit"? Isn't that dirty?)

Gardner: George, tell us a bit about how you got your start in the biz.

Moderator: It means you can work for FOX NEWS, Gardner!

GRRM: You fished me out of the GALAXY slush pile, is how.

Gardner: How astute of me! <g>

Gardner: How did you get IN there in the first place, though?

GRRM: You read "The Hero" and knew I was a genius

Gardner: Did you always want to write?

GRRM: Well, I wrote the story, stuck it in an envelope, and mailed it to you.

GRRM: Wanted to write? No, I always WROTE.

Gardner: How long did it take you to start selling what you were writing?

GRRM: Actually I mailed it to Fred Pohl, but he was gone. Only no one had told me.

Gardner: I was the cheap oleomargarine Fred Pohl substitute that month.

GRRM: Once I began to submit stories to pro markets, it did not take me long... but I was years working up the nerve.

GRRM: No, you the Eljer Helper.

Gardner: (That one whizzes over everyone's head...)

GRRM: My first stories actually appeared in comics fanzines when I was back in high school.

GRRM: HERO... BATWING... STAR STUDDED COMICS... YMIR... markets like that.

Gardner: That's how you "met" the Legendary Howard Waldrop, I believe.

GRRM: The world was young, and so were we. Yes, Howard and I "met" (in the mail) when JFK was prez.

Gardner: I take it that you were a big reader as a kid, like most of us. What kind of things were you reading, besides comics?

GRRM: He was less legendary then.

Gardner: And it was damn hard to get both of you into the envelope, too!

GRRM: Heinlein juveniles and Ace doubles. I loved Ace Doubles because you got =two- novels for 35 cents.

Gardner: A thrifty bastard even then!

GRRM: HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL was the first SF book I ever read.

Gardner: How long after that did you begin reading the SF magazines?

GRRM: I also joined the SF Book Club... four hardcovers for a buck, couldn't beat that.

GRRM: We had no bookstores back then, at least not in Bayonne... I bought paperbacks off spinner racks in a candy store.

Gardner: That's usually when people start submitting stories of their own, after they start reading the magazines.

Gardner: Yeah, no bookstores in the town where I grew up, either. Things have changed, eh?

GRRM: I did not discover the magazines until years later.

Gardner: No Amazon.com either.

Moderator: Let me slip in our first audience question...

Moderator: <Blueroses> to <Moderator>: George, do you think fan fiction is a good practice area? Or should you really work on only original stuff

GRRM: Things HAVE changed. Many people knock the chain stores, but they have brought books into many places that were never served by independent bookstores at all.

Gardner: I agree. When I was a kid, if you wanted to go to a bookstore, you had to travel twenty miles by train to Boston.

GRRM: Fan fiction of the sort I wrote WAS original stuff. It was published in fanzines, but there were no borrowed worlds or characters.

Gardner: And even then, none of the bookstores had SF sections, and many of them didn't carry SF books at all.

GRRM: Fan fiction as it exists today is unhealthy, I think. As well as being copyright infringement.

Moderator: - only without the quotes.)

Gardner: George, after you die, is someone going to dig up all your old fan fiction and publish a collection? <g>

GRRM: Actually, I am still alive and I have had inquires about that...

Gardner: Well, I suppose it's better to do it when you're still alive to get the money...

Moderator: 'Nother question...

Moderator: Elio> to <Moderator>: Hi, GRRM. :) Ser Arthur Dayne is an evocative figure, both to characters in the books and to the readers. But ... after seeing that Barristan the Bold's illustrious career spans more than half a century, how is it that Dayne is so famed and well-regarded? He couldn't have been much older than his mid-20's when he died.

Moderator: <Gail> to <Moderator>: George, do you haven any 'writerly rituals' ? Something you must do or have to write? e.g. music, quiet, etc.

GRRM: Actually, all of a sudden I have people wanting to publish or republish just about everything I ever did... I'm sure that has nothing at all to do with those books on the NY TIMES bestseller list.

Gardner: I'M still looking forward to the first edition of TURTLE CASTLE. <g>

GRRM: My only significant writerly ritual is drinking two cups of coffee in the morning... but it's the caffeine I need, not the ritual.

Gardner: You could set up an IV drip with coffee, and never leave your desk!

GRRM: As for Arthur Dayne... well, you'll learn more of him in future books, but part of the mystique was certainly the sword he carried, which had an illustrious history of its own.

GRRM: Sometimes it feels as though I never DO leave my desk.

Gardner: All you need is a cathader..

Gardner: When I first met you, you were a Sci-Fi Guy--in fact, an ANALOG writer. How did you end up writing fantasy novels instead?

GRRM: I have always written fantasy, along with SF and horror. My first sale was SF, to you guys at GALAXY, but my second was a ghost story to FANTASTIC.

GRRM: I think too much is made of these subdivisions within imaginative literature.

Gardner: How long did you have your current series of fantasy novels in mind before you actually started writing them?

Gardner: Was it something you'd been mulling over for years?

GRRM: I started A GAME OF THRONES in 1991, actually, but Hollywood intervened and it was several years before I got back to it.

GRRM: it's snowing here in Santa Fe

Moderator: I'd better jump in with another audience question or somebody will have my head :)

GRRM: a white night

Moderator: <Linda> to <Moderator>: A couple of times in the books, the word "paramour" is used in connection with the Dornishmen (Lord Yronwood's paramour and Ellaria Sand), but no one else. Is that meant to connote customs and habits peculiar to the Dornish, or is it simply coincidence?

Gardner: You're not IN Santa Fe, George, you're here in the Virtual World, a thing of pixels and photons.

Moderator: I was Santa Fe several weeks ago when it snowed. Very pretty

GRRM: Dornish customs and habits. The Rhoynar influence. A Dornishman's paramour has a certain status, below that of a wife but not insignifcant

GRRM: The rest of the Seven Kingdoms have different customs

Gardner: Somewhere between a wife and a Wet Weekend in Atlantic City. <g>

GRRM: <g>

Moderator: And on that note...

Moderator: <Luke> to <Moderator>: Hey Mr. Martin. What scene in all of the Ice and Fire series are you most pleased with. Your proudest moment as a writer in the series.

GRRM: Hey, I should mention that I have combined my two old home pages into one big new one, and moved it to my own domain. So I'm now at www.georgerrmartin.com

GRRM: Luke, that question has no real answer. On different days I like different scenes. There's a lot I'm especially proud of.

Gardner: Did it ever daunt you to be starting such a vast project? It sure would have daunted ME (which is why I'm not a Famous Writer, I guess).

GRRM: In SOS, I like the snow castle scene a lot, and the two big swordfights. In CLASH, the whole Battle of the Blackwater sequence.

GRRM: I didn't know it would be quite so vast when I started.

Gardner: It got vaster as you went along?

GRRM: And you daunt too easily, Gardner... else we would have all enjoyed NOTTAMUN TOWN years ago.

GRRM: Just like you and me, Gargy.

Moderator: Let me slip in a STATION IDENTIFICATION

Gardner: Ah, but WE contain multitudes! <g>

Moderator: Many audience members are asking the same thing...How many books will it take to tell the shole Fire and Ice story?

Gardner: How has the structure of the series changed in process? How many books was it supposed to be at the start?

GRRM: six

GRRM: six

GRRM: six

Moderator: I'm guessing six

Moderator: ...

GRRM: I hope

Gardner: <channeling George> I'm getting the feeling that he's thinking, "Six."

GRRM: damn he's good

Gardner: Scary, isn't it?

Gardner: Now let me give you a Tarot reading...

Moderator: Let me run through some more audience questions

Moderator: daverules> to <Moderator>: Mr. Martin, have you started ADOD yet? How's the progress? Hurry up, I'm dying here! Respectfully.

GRRM: Yes, I've started. Progress is slow as yet. I was on the road for all of October and November.

Gardner: Slacker!

GRRM: Try not to die just yet

Gardner: If you DO, don't leave a note blaming GEORGE.

Moderator: 'Nother one...

Moderator: <Elio> to <Moderator>: In SoS, Jon mentions that he sees skinchangers _and_ wargs among the wildlings. What's the difference?

GRRM: A warg is bound to a wolf. Skinchanger is a more general term. All wargs are skinchangers, but not all skinchangers are wargs.

Gardner: Those of you who need a George Martin fix can read his novella "Path of the Dragon" in the December issue of ASIMOV'S...

GRRM: Yes, and it's just been picked up for the BEST OF THE YEAR.

Moderator: George, several people what you think of e-publishing?

Gardner: Which one?

GRRM: Well, not yours... (yet?)

Gardner: Must be the new Hartwell Fantasy Best.

Moderator: I should have said "ask" what you think (I'm so embarassed)

GRRM: E-publishing... well, it's interesting, but I have reservations. Too many pirates out there. Scum.

Gardner: You must be Sterly Punished, Moderator!

Moderator: I hope that Santa didn't catch me, Gardner

Gardner: If the series was supposed to be six books from the start, how did it get "vaster?"

Moderator: Next question

Moderator: <Gail> to <Moderator>: George, your fantasy novels appear very well researched -- the little details *are* there. Do you enjoy research?

GRRM: It started as three books.

GRRM: Sure. When you get right down to it, research is mostly reading, and I love to read.

Gardner: Allow me to point out smugly that I my own self told him what a "cirque" was. <g>

GRRM: A Terry Carr novel.

Gardner: BESIDES that!

Moderator: An overly expensive circus without a tent?

Gardner: What kind of research do you do for these books, George/

GRRM: I read everything I can get my hands on about the Middles Ages, basically.

Moderator: George many people are asking if you could tell us your favorite writers among your peers?

GRRM: I might mention that we are going to be reviving the WILD CARDS series. Reissuing the first eight books and adding two all-new ones.

GRRM: Favorite writers. Jack Vance.

GRRM: Tolkien, of course

GRRM: Jack Vance

GRRM: Robin Hobb is very good and Tad Williams has done some fine work.

GRRM: And there's Jack Vance

Gardner: I'll ask you the question Tolkein probably got tired of been asked: IS our world and the world of the novels the same place somehow? In the distant past? Or is this an Alternate Reality?

Gardner: Have you mentioned Jack Vance?

GRRM: Poul Anderson, Fritz Leiber, Mervyn Peake, Peter S. Beagle.

GRRM: And Jack Vance.

Gardner: I'm disappointed you didn't mention Jack Vance...

GRRM: JRRT called it a "secondary universe," I believe. Which is Fantasy for "alternate world."

Moderator: Station Identification time...

Moderator: - only without the quotes.)

Moderator: <Alle> to <Moderator>: Can you ask if he will give more detail about the different religions?

GRRM: Yes, I will

Moderator: <Elio> to <Moderator>: How do the people of the Seven Kingdoms view homosexuality? We see some crude jokes and insults concerning it, and whispers and rumors...

Gardner: Those of you who are George R.R. Martin Virgins can read an excerpt from his new novella, set in the same world, on the ASIMOV'S website, www.asimov's.com.

GRRM: There is some stigma attached to it, outside of Dorne... but the Faith of that world is more tolerant than the medieval Church was in our world.

Gardner: George, don't you have a new collection coming up?

GRRM: Yes, QUARTET from NESFA Press... to be released at Boskone, where I'm GOH.

Gardner: What's in that?

GRRM: Two award-winning novellas, one unproduced television pilot, and two hundred pages of a novel I could never sell.

Gardner: Bet you could sell it NOW. <g>

GRRM: Plus pithy commentary.

Moderator: Okay...now I'm going to ask a question for my husband...the lout...He says that you and Michael Ventura are the only two writers to ever deal with rock and roll rather well in a fiction setting... So of course he wants to know, which of the icon bands of the era may have helped to inspireThe Armageddon Rag?

GRRM: But would I want to?

Gardner: Ah, only you can answer THAT one...

GRRM: He should look at the dedication, they're all mentioned.

GRRM: The inspiration for the Nazgul is a Rorschach test for rock n rollers.

Gardner: It's little known that ALL of the bands in the book are thinly disguised versions of The Monkeys...<g>

GRRM: To me, they were equal parts Doors (lyrics) and Creedence (sound), but your mileage may vary.

GRRM: ARMAGEDDON RAG started out being a short story for Gardner's rock n roll anthology, by the way.

GRRM: It too grew vast.

Gardner: While my rock and roll anthology grew non-existant.

GRRM: a pity

Gardner: I like your fantasy work, George, but do you think we're ever going to see you write a science fiction novel again?

GRRM: One of these days, when you least expect it... maybe...

GRRM: Though most of SF was fantasy anyway, wouldn't you say?

GRRM: My "future history" feels rather badly outdated these days.

Gardner: It's all a matter of Furniture. Space ships: SF. Dragons: Fantasy. <g>

Gardner: invent a new one.

Moderator: Let me slip in another audience question...

GRRM: Anne McCaffery always claims HER dragons are SF

Moderator: <Linda> to <Moderator>: Someone once asked about the Targaryen Valyrian steel sword and what happened to it -- presuming it existed -- and you left that question open. However ... _was_ there a Valyrian steel sword for the Targaryens? If so, what was its name?

Gardner: She USED to, but now she gets published in Classics of Fantasy books without protest.

GRRM: The Targaryens were Valyrians. They liked had a lot of Valyrian steel weapons. More than that, I shall not say.

GRRM: I agree with the Furniture Rule, of course. I ought to. It's my rule.

Gardner: We haven't touched on your Hollywood Years at all. A decade ago, this chat would have been swamped with TWILIGHT ZONE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans.

GRRM: Touch on my Hollywood Years all you like.

Gardner: As a former Hollywood producer, if you could make one story of yours into a movie, which one would it be?


Gardner: If you could make one story by somebody ELSE into a movie, what would it be?

GRRM: LORD OF THE RINGS, but they are doing it.

Gardner: Second choice?


GRRM: Second choice of my own stuff. THE SKIN TRADE.

Gardner: I suspect that it won't be long before Hollywood comes knocking for one of the Seven Kingdoms books...

GRRM: They have. Too early to say what might come of that.

Gardner: It's always too early, as you know better than almost anyone. <g>

Gardner: Well, George, we're almost ready to open the floor, although that doesn't mean that you have to leave, unless you need to.

Gardner: Any other projects you'd like to plug before then? Hold the covers up so the camera can see them...

GRRM: Well, babbage press is reissuing my first collection, A SONG FOR LYA

GRRM: And Meisha Merlin is doing a beautiful deluxe limited edition of A GAME OF THRONES, illustrated by Jeff Jones.

GRRM: Links available on my web page

Moderator: There are teeshirts available via georgerrmartin.com. Go there! Buy them! <g>

Gardner: What about THE DYING OF THE LIGHT?

GRRM: www.georgerrmartin.com

Gardner: Surely ripe to come back into print by now.

GRRM: Yes, Parris has done beautiful t-shirts featuring the colors and arms of Houses Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, and Targaryen.

GRRM: DYING OF THE LIGHT and WINDHAVEN have both been reissued in the UK, and FEVRE DREAM will follow in January

Moderator: Okay everybody our hour is about over. We want to thank our guest for a great chat. George you were wonderful. Thanks to our audience too for your questions. Sorry we could answer all of them. We'll open the floor now, but before we do -- one quick announcement.

Gardner: You mentioned worrying that your SF stuff was dated, but actually, with all the new Space Opera stuff that's hot now, in some ways it's more current than ever.

Moderator: now, but before we do -- one quick announcement. Please join us two weeks from tonight when we'll be offering up Holiday Madness, a chat with writers Jack Dann, Constance Ash, Eliot Fintushel, and Kim Antieau. A reminder, Co-sponsoring our chats

Moderator: is Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction <http://www.asimovs.com>. The best science fiction magazine in the world.

GRRM: So true

Moderator: Science Fiction readers will also want to check out SCIFI.COM's online SCI Fiction, orginal stories by modern masters edited by Ellen Datlow. Good night everybody. Thanks for coming.

Gardner: And Publishing Home to George R.R. Martin!

GRRM: I would think the New Space Opera is different from the Old Space Opera.

Gardner: When we can get him to write anything!

Gail: Thank you, Moderator! Thank you, George & Gardner for a great chat!