When George R.R. Martin isn’t working on one of his many books, he’s consuming lots of media just like the rest of us. Turns out his tastes are all over the place.
T: The New York Times Style magazine featured Martin for its “Greats” issue, but it also allowed its staff to ask Martin some of their own questions, many of which revolved around his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. The questions varied in range and scope, and we’ve certainly heard Martin talk about a few of them before, such as his comparison of President Donald Trump to King Joffrey Baratheon and how he drew inspiration from the War of the Roses.
While he chose not to answer some of the staff’s questions, he expanded greatly on others, including his favorite books and TV shows. The authors he names include the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien (who he’s cited as a major influence on ASOIAF), Stephen King, Jack Vance, Lee Child, and Roger Zelazny, and while all of them are men, he never restricts himself to just the genres where his own fiction resides. His favorite TV shows include some of television’s best shows in the past couple decades, but when it comes to comedy, he’s got an interesting choice.
As for television, I was the first television generation. So I grew up on television, and I still watch it. We’re living in the golden age of television. There’s an amazing amount of terrific shows that are on right now, some which “Game of Thrones” is competing for in the Emmys, shows like “Better Call Saul,” and before it, “Breaking Bad,” filmed here in Albuquerque. HBO does incredible shows — “The Sopranos,” “Rome,” “The Deuce.” I love all of those, love some comedies. “Big Bang Theory,” I think is my favorite current comedy.
The Big Bang Theory, which is ending this year after a 12-season run, is one of the most popular shows on TV right now—but it’s one that has been divisive for some time because of its over-simplified depiction of geek culture. For what it’s worth, Game of Thrones is namechecked a lot on The Big Bang Theory.
It also stands in contrast against the darker dramas Martin enjoys, but something mindless and comedic can work as a counter to all of that programming. To each his own, I guess.
Martin hits on an even bigger point, one that’s unsurprising to anyone keeping track of what’s being put out there.
“There’s really more good TV shows than you can watch,” he said. “And half the time I’m discovering them, they’ve already been canceled because we’re going through them so quickly. But for anyone who loves television, this is a great age.”
He also lamented the camaraderie he used to find in the sci-fi/fantasy community when people with different ideologies were able to get together in response to campaigns like Sad Puppies at the Hugos (which sought to fight against inclusion in science fiction by nominating conservative white men for all of the awards). But it’s something he’s also observed across other geek communities like gaming, comics, and Young Adult fiction.
“I think science fiction and fantasy are having ideological difficulties,” Martin said. “But they’re not unique in that. It’s just that they’re not an exception. It’s the entire society that is having these troubles. We are such a deeply divided culture these days, such a deeply divided country. It’s not just S.F. and fantasy.”
H/T New York Times