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George RR Martin biography and books reviewed

Born on the 20th September 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey, George Raymond Richard Martin began writing at a very early age; creating scary monster stories and selling them to the other children that lived in the neighbouring area. His father, Raymond Collins Martin was a longshoreman. His mother was called Margaret Brady Martin. He has 2 sisters, Darleen and Janet. He attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. Martin received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, Illinois in 1970 and a Master of Science from the same university in 1971. He had his first book published in 1971; the book was called The Hero and Martin was 21 years of age.

Martin’s works are often dark, brooding and imbued with a strong sense of melancholy. Reviewers of his books suggest that his writings are not for those in search of joy or of an uplifting experience. One of Martin’s strongest points is his attention to detail when creating his characters. This dedication leads to the reader becoming attached to, and caring deeply about the outcome of the characters. The characters are complex and multi-faceted, all with involved pasts and entangled ambitions.

In 1996, Martin began work on “A Song of Ice and Fire”, a series of books inspired by the War of the Roses (a series of civil wars fought between the House of York (white rose) and the House of Lancaster (red rose) for the English throne in the 15th century). The first book published from this series was “The Game of Thrones”, and the fourth book; “A Feast of Crows” became The New York Times No.1 bestseller. Readers and critics alike acclaim the series.

Each book I write, you know, I want to go back to A Game of Thrones and say, "Wow I should I should really change that. I could put this thing here and change that it would come around nicely in book three." So you're limited to a certain extent more than you know. But in large I'm pretty pleased with it.

From: An interview with George RR Martin

In 1986 Martin went to Hollywood and signed as a story editor on CBS Television’s The Twilight Zone. In 1987 he became an executive story writer on CBS Television’s Beauty and the Beast – going on to become co-supervising producer in 1989. Between 1992 and 1993 he was the executive producer on Doorways, a pilot written for Columbia Pictures Television.

George RR Martin is a member of the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) and the HWA (Horror Writers of America) and the Writers Guild of America. George Martin married his wife Gale in 1975. They divorced 4 years later. In 1986, he became a story editor on the famous American TV show The Twilight Zone.

He currently resides in Santa Fe in New Mexico. George RR Martin official website

"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy authors away shaking their heads ... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venemous they could eat the Borgias" Guardian

"Colossal, taggering ... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world ... The writing is always powerful." SFX

George RR Martin reviews

Fire and Blood by George RR Martin

Unravelling events that led to A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Revealing long-buried secrets and untold lasting enmity, it sets the scene for the heart-stopping series conclusion, The Winds of Winter.

"The only other work of fantasy that is this ambitious is The Silmarillion. And of course Tolkien’s world is much more developed and finely crafted, but it’s important to realise that many fantasy realms are not even big enough to have such a platform as this. I can’t think of another living writer of fantasy whose world is so extensive that a book like this could be written (and written well.) And that sort of says a lot about how big this book is and how big this world is. It’s a fantastic addition to the A Song of Ice and Fire cannon. And it's a real achievement."

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A Game Of Thrones by George RR Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire is the history lesson you wish you’d had in school. An immense, incredible work of epic fantasy written by a hugely talented author who has created an effortless, enchanting read that is rich, rewarding and completely enthralling.

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A Clash Of Kings by George RR Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire. Again. We love it. As an ongoing series it is one of the very best. It didn't become a worldwide phenomenon by chance. Read it.

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A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George RR Martin

The book I enjoyed most in A Song of Ice and Fire, after A Game of Thrones. If you're a fan of the series make your way to this one and submerge yourself in the continuing story of characters (some of them) that you've followed and been captivated by so far. A Song of Ice and Fire is the history lesson you wished you had in school.

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A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George RR Martin

The Starks are scattered. Robb Stark may be King in the North, but he must bend to the will of the old tyrant Walder Frey if he is to hold his crown. And while his youngest sister, Arya, has escaped the clutches of the depraved Cersei Lannister and her son, the capricious boy-king Joffrey, Sansa Stark remains their captive. Meanwhile, across the ocean, Daenerys Stormborn, the last heir of the Dragon King, delivers death to the slave-trading cities of Astapor and Yunkai as she approaches Westeros with vengeance in her heart.

"Martin keeps on upping the ante of violence and betrayal in this compelling saga of a fantasy middle ages soiled with blood and mud; his economic use of magic and his fascination with complex characters make this the sword-and-sorcery series for people with adult taste. As the series proceeds, his writing gets ever leaner and sharper, the evocation of the magical ever more sinister."

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A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin

The fourth volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy. There is passion here, and misery and charm, grandeur and squalor, tragedy, nobility and courage. Bloodthirsty, treacherous and cunning, the Lannisters are in power on the Iron Throne in the name of the boy-king Tommen. But fear and deceit are in the air: their enemies are poised to strike. The Martells of Dorne seek vengeance for their dead, and the heir of King Balon of the Iron Isles, Euron Crow's Eye, is as black a pirate as ever raised a sail. Across the war-torn landscape of the Seven Kingdoms, Brienne the Beauty (thus named in mockery of her great size and strength) seeks for Sansa Stark, having vowed to protect Sansa from the wrath of Queen Cersei, Tommen's power-hungry mother. Meanwhile apprentice Maester Samwell Tarly brings a mysterious babe in arms south to the Citadel from the cruel frozen north where the sinister Others threaten the Wall! 'A Feast for Crows' brings to life dark magic, complex political intrigue and horrific bloodshed. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel!and the coldest hearts.

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A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin

Usually when I write a review, I sit down with the book fresh in my mind and just respond. This time, however, I was compelled to check out what others thought about it. Seems like most of the major reviewers like the NY Times loved the book. Nothing but good things to say. Best thing since sliced bread. Felt a little bandwagonish, did those reviews.The reader reviews on Amazon, however, told a different story. Most of those were from hard-core Song of Ice and Fire fans, people who’ve been following this series (and waiting on this new book) for years – and they weren’t crazy about this offering. With almost 400 reviews in so far, the consensus gives ADWD three stars out of five. Reading through their comments, I was surprised that number wasn’t closer to a two.

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The Armageddon Rag by George RR Martin

Not what you might expect and far from flawless, The Armageddon Rag still manages to provide another example of George RR Martin’s endless talent and imagination.

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Tuf Voyaging by George RR Martin

Some readers may find Tuf a little superior and aloof, manipulative and distant even, but I enjoyed his ability to see through and outwit the avarice he encounters on his journey. This is enjoyable and original sci-fi and I can see why Martin is so respected. Now for those other books he has written...

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A Game of Thrones: Graphic Novel Volume 3 by George RR Martin

In King’s Landing, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell - the Hand of King Robert Baratheon - is surrounded by enemies. Some are openly declared, such as Ser Jaime Lannister and his sister, Queen Cersei. Others are hidden in the shadows. Still others wear the smiling mask of friends. But all are deadly, as Eddard is about to discover. Nor is the enmity between Eddard and the Lannister siblings the sole source of friction between these powerful noble families. For Tyrion Lannister, the Imp - whose stunted, twisted body houses the mind of a genius - has but lately won his freedom from Lady Catelyn Stark, Eddard’s wife, who had accused him of attempting to murder her youngest son, Brandon. Now he seeks out his father, his restless thoughts bent on revenge. Far to the north, the bastard Jon Snow, newly sworn to the Night’s Watch, takes the first faltering steps toward a destiny stranger than he could ever dream - a destiny that will bring him face-to-face with unspeakable horrors from beyond the edge of the world. While across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, wed to the great Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, and pregnant with his child - a son prophesied to conquer the world - will see her own destiny take an unforeseen turn.

"Mystery and intrigue are only around the corner in this well adapted and illustrated novel for fans of Game of Thrones, they will be glad it's the third in a series."

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Dangerous Women by George RR Martin

Filled with the fantasy genres biggest names (and, I believe, big names from other genres), this anthology manages to compile together some of the best short stories around.

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have put together a towering anthology of specially-commissioned stories from the most stellar names in the genre, set in a number of readers' favourite fantasy worlds. George R.R. Martin is the bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. The collection will also feature a new and unpublished 100pp novella by George R.R. Martin set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire – now the award-winning HBO show, Game of Thrones. The novella, entitled 'The Princess and the Queen', will reveal the origins of the Targaryen Civil War, otherwise known as 'The Dance of the Dragons', a war that split a then-fledgling Westeros in two, pitting Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon. The Dangerous Women anthology also contains contributions from the following worldwide bestselling authors: “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – A Red Country story; “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland; “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story; “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale; “Neighbours” by Megan Lindholm (who also writes as Robin Hobb); “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson; “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman; “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story; “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon – An Outlander story.

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The Ice Dragon by George RR Martin

From ancient times, the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.

"The Ice Dragon is a lovely book, and would make a wonderful stocking-stuffer for any George R. R. Martin fan you might know."

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Windhaven by George RR Martin

Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman's daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance.

"Windhaven may be one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in the past two decades, but that surely makes it one of the best fantasy stories ever told."

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Old Venus by George RR Martin

Sixteen all-new stories by science fiction’s top talents collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award-winning editor Gardner Dozois. It turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination.

"It isn’t all gold by any means, with an occasional tendency towards drippy romance, which could well just be highlighting the pulpy style of old sci fi but in one case just comes across as Flash Gordon on Venus, but all in all an excellent and enjoyable collection of what Venus was envisioned to be."

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Rogues by George RR Martin

A collection of twenty-one original stories by a list of contributors including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin. Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis, as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand, in this rogues gallery of stories that will plunder your heart and yet leave you all the richer for it. Featuring all-new stories by Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Abraham, David W. Ball, Paul Cornell, Bradley Denton, Phyllis Eisenstein, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Hughes, Joe R. Lansdale, Scott Lynch, Garth Nix, Cherie Priest, Patrick Rothfuss, Steven Saylor, Michael Swanwick, Lisa Tuttle, Carrie Vaughn, Walter Jon Williams, Connie Willis.

"This is a great themed collection of short stories which are (in the main) of good quality. Some of the stories may not be everyone’s cup of tea."

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Inside Straight by George RR Martin

Inside Straight was, for me, above expectations, It was a great read, very original with all the storytelling being plain brilliant. If you are looking for a superhero story that is highly original this is one for you.

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