The name of George R. R. Martin may not be one that is immediately familiar to every collector. However, his series of fantasy novels, A Song of Fire and Ice, have been adapted for the small screen with monumental success. HBO’s Game of Thrones is entering its sixth season and have been instrumental in launching the work of Martin to a much wider audience.
Martin has been actively writing since the 1970s and continues with new novels being released this year. Collectors then, have more than thirty novels, short stories and collections to scour auctions and book stores for, as well as looking out for the dozens of other books and anthologies which he has edited.
Because Martin is currently so marketable it is very much a case of “buyer beware” as prices can vary significantly. A first edition, signed copy of A Game of Thrones from 1996 can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over $6,000. Similarly, A Clash of Kings, from 1998 might fetch anything from $100 to $1,800 or more.
His older and less well known novels such as The Armageddon Rag perhaps offer collectors better value with prices starting from just a few dollars ranging up to around $400 or $500. And with Martin continuing to be a visible presence at many conventions across the world the addition of his signature can help increase the quality of your investment.
So the question must be whether Martin’s work might be an investment for the future. It is a matter of personal choice as with so many authors; his work may stand the test of time and become future classics but collectors need to be careful not to get caught up in the current popularity of his work and pay over the odds.
Martin, George R. R. Dying Of The Light. Victor Gollancz, London (1978). 1st British Edition;
Martin, George R. R. The Armageddon Rag. Poseidon Press, New York (1983). 500 limited edition;
Martin, George R. R. Portraits of His Children. Dark Harvest, Arlington Heights (1987). Illustrated by Ron and Val Lindahn (illustrator); Limited edition, 52 lettered copies issued in wood slipcase; 400 Copies
Martin, George R. R. Night Visions 5. Arlington Heights, Illinois (1988). 850 numbered copies; Deluxe 1st edition
Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones. Bantam Books, New York (1996). Price of $21.95 on the front flap of the dust jacket; First Printing with number line going down to 1 on copyright page
Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones. Voyager (1996). copyright page: full 123456789 number line; dj £16.99 price
Martin, George R. R. A Clash of Kings. Voyager, London (1998). full number line to the copyright page
Martin, George R. R. A Clash of Kings. Bantam, NY (1999). 1st US edition;
Martin, George R. R. A Storm of Swords. Voyager (2000). UK 1st Edition, 1st Printing Hardback copy indicated on the copyright page by a full 135798642 number line
Martin, George R. R. A Feast for Crows. Voyager, London (2005). First UK printing; £18.99 dust wrapper
Martin, George R. R. Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance. Subterranean Press, Burton (2009). Edited George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois. Signed by Robert Silverberg, Kage Baker, Byron Tetrick, Jeff Vandermeer, Dan Simmons, Glen Cook, Walter Jon Williams, Elizabeth Moon, Howard Woldrop, John C. Wright, Mike Resnick and Tad Williams on their stories - signatures only; First printing, with the corresponding number line
Martin, George R. R. Dying of the Light. Subterranean Press, Burton (2012). three fold-out color paintings and numerous pen and ink illustrations by Tom Kidd; 500 copies