north americaeurope
george r. r. martin

interview 03:04

[DGN] Excellent. Recently, several of your works, and works you've been involved with, have been re-released. Is this a result of the commercial success of the current series, or something you've been pursuing for a while now?

[GRRM] No, it's a sign of commercial success. These books are selling very well, so my older stuff is being dusted off and sent back out there in hopes that some of the fans that are enjoying ‘Ice and Fire' will enjoy these as well. That's certainly my hope as well, as a writer wants to be read. I like to write many different kinds of books. My earlier novels are very, very different from ‘Ice and Fire'. I do think they're good in their own ways. Obviously they're earlier work and I'm a better writer now (or I'd like to think so) than I was in 1976 or even the earlier 80's. Nevertheless, I think those books have things to recommend them, and I think some of the fans might enjoy them. I hope they will go out and buy my other books – my older books – as well as ‘A Song of Ice and Fire'.


[DGN] You have a re-issue collection out this September of some of your science fiction short stories concerning the character ‘Tuf' – Tuf Voyaging. Do you have any plans to return to any of the previous worlds you've created?

[GRRM] It's possible. The question is ‘When?'. I don't have a whole lot of spare time right now. I'm several years late with this book, and I have more to write after this one. I don't think I'm going to take off any time to write any other books, or my fans might come to my house and lynch me.


[DGN] (Laughs) In addition to re-issues, there's also a gorgeous collection of your many of your previous works out – GRRM: A RRetrospective. How did a project of this magnitude come about, and will it remain in limited availability?

[GRRM] It came about because I was the guest of honour at the Toronto WorldCon – TorCon 3 – the World science fiction convention that was held in Toronto. That's a major honour for any science fiction/fantasy writer, and many times you put out a book to commemorate that. I was approached by Subterranean Press who were interested in doing something with me. So I suggested a big retrospective collection – all of my older collections were out of print, except for ‘A Song for Lya' which is still available as print-on-demand. That was only one collection, there were many more. I did want to put everything – all the good stuff, some unpublished material – under one set of covers with a lot of interstitial material, commentaries, and autobiography. Everything that would wrap it all together. It seemed a fitting sort of book to put out at TorCon, which was commerating my career. We did that, and it was a very very gorgeous book. I'm very pleased with how it came out. The trade edition sold out instantly. I'm now having discussion with Subterranean about what we'd like to do with that. The limited edition is still coming out, but that's going to sell out pretty quickly too – it's a very small print run. So the question is, should we go back to press for a second printing? I don't know at this point. The key issue is whether there would be enough readership for it. Short story collections do not traditionally do as well as novels, not even close. I may be selling a lot of copies of these fantasy novels, but that doesn't mean people are going to go out and buy this collection. And it's a very large and expensive collection to produce. It's half a million words, it's a gigantic brick of a book that's copiously illustrated with artwork. Just printing it is very expensive, and the publisher rightly doesn't want to go back for another print run, and then not find the audience for it. We really have to see about that. Wait and see, see what the demand is. If there's enough demand, we'll go back for another print run. (Editors Note: The Limited Edition is now available for purchase, over at Subterranean Press. If you're living in the Toronto Area, Bakka on Yonge Street has a couple signed copies of RRetrospective.)


[DGN] Finally, in regards to your older work, you recently re-issued a book you wrote with Lisa Tuttle about twenty years ago – 'Windhaven'. Have you ever considered any other collaborations with authors?

[GRRM] I collaborated earlier in my career with Lisa, and I did a short story with Howard Waldrop . I think collaborations are easier for younger writers. When you're just starting your career, you haven't quite found your voice yet. You're trying different things, you're trying to learn . Working with another writer is a way to learn things; you see what they do well, they see what you do well, and each of you can learn from the other. It's a good experience. At a certain point in your career, however, you do find your voice, and then you don't want to compromise that voice. You want to write your stories the way you want to write your stories. At that point, the impulse to collaborate becomes weaker. So I don't think I'll be doing any collaborations such as the one I did with Lisa anymore. Then there's 'Wildcards', - one could consider ‘Wildcards' to be an enormous collaboration. We do hope to continue with that, but again that depends on the sales.