Sunday, February 24, 2008

Listen to George... You Know You Should!

George RR Martin has put up a string of Live Journal posts about voting for the Hugos. Today he did one encouraging people to vote for the John W Campbell Award, and - can you believe it? - he mentions me again! He writes...

"We have an especially strong crop of new young fantasists coming up of late, including Joe Abercrombie, David Anthony Durham, and Scott Lynch..."

That, friends, is the third time the man himself has mentioned me in writing. Hehe...

Oh, the post is here!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

High compliment, in my opinion, to be mentioned by George R.R. Martin. Congrats. In fact, when I first picked up your book Acacia in the bookstores, I noticed there was either a quote from George Martin about your novel or a reference to your writing being like Martin -- I can't remember which. Has Martin, in fact, been an influence at all in your move into the fantasy genre?

11:53 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

The Martin comment on the book was a quote from the Library Journal review. It was an awesome, mega-generous quote that actually wrapped in comparisons to Martin, LeGuin and Kay all at once. I was happy.

As for the influence stuff... He wasn't an influence in my decision to move into fantasy. I only read him after I'd committed, signed, and even written Acacia. The basic premise of the story - with the siblings being sent to the hiding, etc - had been with me for years. If any writers were an influence on my deciding to to write the book it's the ones I read growing up - LeGuin, Tolkein, Alexander - and writers of really smart science fiction, like Herbert, Butler, Stephenson. Neil Gaiman, too. I don't write like any of those folks, but they all inspired me in some important ways.

With Martin, I hadn't separated him out from the large pack of epic fantasy writers until Acacia was done and delivered. That was when I read A Game of Thrones for the first time. I loved it. From the first lines I was won over completely and knew I'd found a writer I felt a lot of kinship with. That's remained the case as I've read more, both of Ice and Fire and of his science fiction. I'd been reading a lot of other fantasy, but nothing gripped me like Ice and Fire. I can't imagine being part of the genre without him now.

So, he didn't get me started, but he's definitely an influence and inspiration now.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was kind of the same with me. I had this idea for a novel, and I had been working on it for 3 years and had already written 2 drafts. Then someone suggested I read George Martin, and I felt like he was doing something similar to what I was trying to do, almost like a historical fantasy of sorts, and from that point forward, he has been an influence in the subsequent drafts and the style of my writing/novel.

You mentioned Alexander as one of the authors you read growing up? Are you referring to Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Pyrdain)? I loved his stuff. I really got into him during my junior high years.

4:23 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Yes, I was referring to Lloyd Alexander. I guess he's not quite a single name author, but he does have a fond place in my memories. Actually, one of his Pyrdain books was the first I ever read in one day. I don't remember which, but I do remember the feeling of accomplishment. He was very much a part of the time in my life when I really fell in love with reading.

5:47 PM  

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