Photo © Alan Garner
Alan Garner OBE (born 17 October 1934) is an English novelist who is best known for his
work in children's fantasy and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. His work is
firmly rooted in the landscape, history and folklore of his native county of Cheshire, North West England,
being set in the region and making use of the native Cheshire dialect.
Born into a working-class family in Congleton, Cheshire, Garner grew up around the nearby town of
Alderley Edge, and spent much of his youth in the wooded area known locally as 'The Edge', where
he gained an early interest in the folklore of the region. Studying at Manchester Grammar School
and then Oxford University, in 1957 he moved to the nearby village of Blackden, where he bought and
renovated an Early Modern building known as Toad Hall. His first novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen,
was published in 1960. A children's fantasy novel set on the Edge, it incorporated elements of local
folklore into its plot. It was followed by a sequel, The Moon of Gomrath (1963).
Garner envisioned a third part of the trilogy, Boneland, which will be published in August
2012. Instead he produced a string of
further fantasy novels, Elidor (1965), The Owl Service (1967) and Red Shift (1973).
Turning away from fantasy as a genre, Garner produced The Stone Book Quartet (1979), a
series of four short novellas detailing a day in the life of four generations of his family. He
also published a series of British folk tales which he had rewritten in a series of books
entitled Alan Garner's Fairy Tales of Gold (1979), Alan Garner's Book of British Fairy Tales
(1984) and A Bag of Moonshine (1986). In his subsequent novels, Strandloper (1996) and
Thursbitch (2003), he continued writing tales revolving around Cheshire, although without the
fantasy elements which had characterised his earlier work.
For more information, please visit Alan Garner Tribute Website
or visit his entry at
George R.R. Martin
Photo © Parris McBride
George R.R. Martin began to write science-fiction short stories in the early 1970s. His first story
nominated for the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award was "With Morning Comes Mistfall", published in 1973 by Analog.
He's also the author of the best-selling Song of Ice and Fire series adapted for TV as Game of Thrones.
The unexpected commercial failure of his fourth book, The Armageddon Rag (1983), "essentially destroyed my career
as a novelist at the time", he is said to have remarked. It began his television career, however, by causing him
to be hired to write for a revival of Twilight Zone and the dramatic-fantasy series Beauty and the Beast. As
a book series editor, he oversaw the development of the 20+ volume Wild Cards cycle, which takes place in a
shared universe in which a small slice of post-World War II humanity gains superpowers after the release of an
alien-engineered virus. Martin's own contributions to the multiple-author series often feature Thomas
Tudbury, "The Great and Powerful Turtle", a powerful psychokinetic whose flying "shell" consisted of an armored
Martin's novella, "Nightflyers", was adapted into a 1987 feature film of the same title.
Martin was also a college instructor in journalism and a chess tournament director. In his spare time, he collects
medieval-themed miniatures, reading and collecting science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, and treasuring his
still-growing comics collection, which includes the first issues of Marvel's "silver age" Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
On February 15, 2011, Martin married his longtime partner Parris McBride during a small ceremony at their
Santa Fe, New Mexico, home.
For more information, please visit George R.R. Martin Website
or visit his entry at