On this day 68 years ago, George Raymond Martin (the second R, for Richard, was added by him at his Confirmation) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. As a child, between writing monster stories for the local kids (at a nickel a story), sending away “sticky quarters” for the earliest comic fanzines, and taking care of the turtles—which were the only pets he was allowed in the projects—George R.R. Martin dreamed of far-off places.
The Kill van Kull could be seen outside his window, ships constantly flowing up and down, and he would learn what countries the flags they flew represented and he would imagine what it was like to sail away to distant nations. That hunger for unseen vistas has served him well over the years as he went from fan to pro to… well, there’s nothing else for it but to say that he’s now at rockstar-like levels of fame.