Thursday, December 6, 2007

Members of Critical Mass: George RR Martin

So, I sent an email to my entire writers group asking for permission to blog about them and engage in some shameless promotion of their work. One of the first to reply with a thumbs up was George RR Martin. I'm not really sure what I can do to further promote George. His career's going rather well, what with his A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire)opening at number one on the New York Times Bestseller List and remaining on the list for a month. So what can I say about George?

Hey look everyone, I know George RR Martin!

Okay, that was low. I shouldn't say stuff like that and I should move on to raving about his writing now. Instead, though, I'm going to tell the story of how I met George. Before I went to Clarion West I dated a guy who was a hard core GRRM fan and so I read the first two books in George's Ice and Fire series and was appropriately impressed by both the quality of the writing and the sales figures. If you like high fantasy that is very character driven and powerful, evocative scene setting, these books are for you. Be prepared to get cold, hungry, have your skin crawl, and see sights you've never imagined before.

At Clarion West I learned about WorldCon, so a week after we got out I went to that year's WorldCon, the Millenium Philcon in Philadelphia. There I ran into George RR Martin and was rather surprised to see Santa Fe, New Mexico on his nametag. I said "hello" and told him I was a northern New Mexican as well. Two days later I found myself deep in conversation with Daniel Abraham and Melinda Snodgrass about Critical Mass and how I could join because I'm a Clarion grad. So a week or so later I'm emailing George RR Martin about getting to the next meeting, and he offers to carpool. This is how I went in the space of two months from reading my first GRRM book to sitting in a car next to him for the hour long drive to Bernalillo. It was surreal.

He's a great guy. He's a fantastic writer. Pick up any of his books. His biblio can be reached by clicking here.

What kind of stuff does he say in crit sessions? Well, to me it's usually something along the lines of, "This is all wrong because...." Watching the progress of his drafts has taught me about how meticulous he is about his writing and the world he creates. He will *always* choose to show rather than tell if he can help it, and the history and geography are very real in his imagination. He knows how many days it takes to cross such and so desert and who in which family married whom. It's impressive. When is his next book coming out? I don't know, and don't harass him about it. He gets that all the time.

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