Over at Publisher’s Weekly, award-winning science fiction author Connie Willis is interviewed regarding her latest work. In the course of it, she reminisces on the changes in the science fiction field since she started. It includes an anedcote concerning George R.R. Martin:
You’ve been writing science fiction for over 30 years. How has the genre changed during that time?
‘At my very first writer’s conference, George R.R. Martin said to me, “It’s a pity you’re getting into science fiction right now, because it’s on its last legs.” Not only was that not true, but now you can’t turn on a TV without seeing our influence everywhere, and some of the best science fiction I’ve ever read is being written right now. Science fiction is an amazing literature: plot elements that you would think would be completely worn out by now keep changing into surprising new forms. I have great faith in the future of books—no matter what form they may take—and of science fiction.’
GRRM doesn’t seem to hold the same views any longer —the work he intended to write before A Game of Thrones wormed its way into his head in the mid-90’s was the science fiction novel Avalon, set in his Thousand Worlds setting—but it seems to have been part of his mindset when he wrote his horror novels and then went into Hollywood for a decade not long afterwards.