George R. R. Martin's epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga might be the most ambitious and beloved thing he's ever done, but it's only one part of a brilliant, decades-spanning career.
These days it's hard to miss Martin if you're even slightly paying attention to pop culture. He's gone from being the author behind the hit series Game of Thrones to a pop culture personality in his own right, and even if you haven't read his books or seen his show, you've probably heard a joke about his penchant for killing characters or his fan-angst-inducing tendency to take his time between books. On Sunday, Game of Thrones returns for a fourth season of scheming, slaughtering and seducing, so while everyone's paying attention to Martin and the epic fantasy universe he created, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that he was a respected and highly acclaimed member of the fantasy and science fiction literary community long before Ned Stark ever lifted his greatsword.
Martin began his career as a teenager in the 1960s, writing fiction for fanzines. By the 1970s he was selling short fiction, and by 1979 he was a full-time writer with the first of many awards under his belt. He's written hard sci-fi, comedic sci-fi, vampire fiction, sci-fi horror, werewolf fiction, epic fantasy, children's fiction, sci-fi and fantasy teleplays, and just about every other exploration of speculative fiction you can think. He's served as a producer and executive producer and written for TV series like the revived Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast, and edited a number of important works, including the long-running Wild Cards series of stories (which he also co-writes) and a series of massive cross-genre anthologies with longtime friend Gardner Dozois. Since selling his first short story in 1970, he's been nominated countless times for pretty much every major genre writing award out there, and his trophy case now includes a World Fantasy Award, a Bram Stoker Award, two Nebula Awards, three Hugo Awards and 11 Locus Magazine Poll Awards.
Any way you slice it, George R.R. Martin is a living legend of genre fiction. So, as we look forward to another season of Game of Thrones and even more attention being thrown Martin's way, we thought we'd take a moment to look back at his illustrious career with a brief guide to all of his major works, including novels, short story collections and screenwriting. Check them all out, in chronological order, in the gallery below.
(Author's Note: For my sanity, and yours, I did not list things like individual publications of short stories or novellas in magazines below. There are a great many of them, but almost all of them have been collected into the various short story collections you'll find listed below, and many have been collected in book form more than once. For this feature, we focused on books Martin wrote, books he edited and TV series he scripted.)