"You wouldn’t think that someone so much given to decapitation, evisceration, immolation and more casual forms of mayhem would harbor the soul of a romantic."
Today, legendary Outlander author Diana Gabaldon is here to sing the praises of George R.R. Martin and his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. If you haven’t heard of the books, you’re likely familiar with the blockbuster HBO series it inspired, Game of Thrones (watch now on NOOK). With the third season set to premiere on March 31, Gabaldon is here to tell all the non-epic fantasy readers why she loves George and his work so much, and hopefully inspire some of you to take a chance on this marvelous author.
1. What I like most about George is that he kisses his wife’s hand in public—and has been with the same woman for more than thirty years. You wouldn’t think that someone so much given to decapitation, evisceration, immolation and more casual forms of mayhem would harbor the soul of a romantic (nor would you expect the tender passion to flower in a man who wears a tugboat captain’s hat and suspenders with orange skulls on them)—but strong feeling is strong feeling, and you can’t evoke passion in readers without understanding what it is. And only a true romantic would be able to get readers to invest themselves emotionally in characters they know are going to die messily in the near future.
2. What I like next best about George is that he has a Tower of Books. An actual, multi-storeyed (with stairways and ladders) Tower of Books, attached to his house. Who dares say the printed word is dead, in George’s hearing?
3. The next thing I like about George is the completeness of his imagination. As one fan put it: “There's never a moment when you see through the writing, if you know what I mean. The closest analogy I can come up with is; a really good actor is one who when you see their work you see the character and not the actor.” As another eloquently said: “His is a world where you never see the wires, the fake facades, or a strange lack of numbers in the crowd shots.”
4. I like George’s generosity of spirit in encouraging new writers, both personally and by exposing their work to a wider audience by giving them a place in some of the anthologies he edits (with Gardner Dozois).
5. Good writing. The man’s an honest-to-goodness Good Writer, who does great dialogue, vivid description, and smooth, muscular prose. There are a lot of bestselling books that are horribly written, but have an interesting story, and there are a lot of beautifully written books that have very little story (these don’t tend to be best-sellers), but if you have someone who can bring to life the War of the Roses with dragons, while describing the movement of a character’s lips as being “like two worms f***ing,” (I did say “vivid description,” didn’t I?) you know you’ve encountered a unique literary voice.
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