A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-present): Well, this is the reason many of you are likely here. This still-unfinished epic fantasy saga is easily the best-selling and most widely read of Martin's works, and its star continues to rise with the ongoing success of the HBO series Game of Thrones. Conceived in the early 1990s by Martin, who was tired of the budget constraints of television production and wanted to write something on an epic scale, the series now includes five volumes -- A Game of Thrones (1996), A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005), and A Dance with Dragons (2011) -- with two more volumes (The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring) still to come. The first three books in the series all won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and the series proper has since expanded to include prequel stories (which we'll cover shortly), comic book adaptations, a book of maps, a forthcoming concordance, a cookbook, and a collection of quotes from one of its most popular characters, Tyrion Lannister. Oh, and there's that whole hugely popular TV show thing, too.