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?
Gardner: Look! He can fly! Must be thinking Wonderful
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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>
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
GRRM: Just like you and me,
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
Gardner: How has the structure of the series changed in
process? How many books was it supposed to be at the start?
Moderator: I'm guessing six
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
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
GRRM: Try not to die just
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
GRRM: Yes, and it's just been
picked up for the BEST OF THE YEAR.
Moderator: George, several people what you think of
Gardner: Which one?
GRRM: Well, not yours...
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.
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
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
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
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
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
GRRM: JRRT called it a
"secondary universe," I believe. Which is Fantasy for
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
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
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
GRRM: ARMAGEDDON RAG started out
being a short story for Gardner's rock n roll anthology, by the
GRRM: It too grew vast.
Gardner: While my rock and roll anthology grew
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?
GRRM: FEVRE DREAM
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: Peter S. Beagle. A FINE
AND PRIVATE PLACE.
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
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
GRRM: Links available on my web
Moderator: There are teeshirts available via
georgerrmartin.com. Go there! Buy them! <g>
Gardner: What about THE DYING OF THE LIGHT?
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
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
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
Moderator: is Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction
<http://www.asimovs.com>. The best science fiction magazine in
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
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!