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Original Issue


Game of Thrones novelist is a (real-life) fan

Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones—the Emmy-winning swords-and-sex medieval fantasy series that is the network's highest-rated show—may be surprised to learn that George R.R. Martin, the novelist upon whose work the series is based, is as into sports as he is into sorcery. Here, the Jets and Giants fan talks, er, games of throwin':

Based on your work, you seem an unlikely sports fan.

A lot of that dates to our childhoods, when the world divides us into jocks and nerds. But there are always the nerds who, though not jocks, are still into sports. Believe it or not, I worked four summers in college as a sportswriter covering baseball for a parks-and-rec department.

You could have wound up as a sportswriter.

Well, then I wrote two science fiction football stories: Amazing Science Fiction published one called "Run to Starlight," about a game against aliens; and Gallery ran one called "The Last Super Bowl." I predicted computer sports would replace real sports. I had the last Super Bowl in 2014, between the Packers and the Hoboken Jets.

That's fantasy football.

I do get invitations all the time to play actual fantasy football, but I get the feeling that I'd like it too much. I have enough demands on my time. My fans would kill me.

If you had to bet, which will come first: your next book, or the Jets' next Super Bowl win?

Probably my next book.

You sound defeated.

I have to have the next book out in less than five years. And I think the Jets have taken a step back.