Checking old posts I see indications that this list has some fans of George R. R. Martin. For those who are: you may be interested in an article about him in the April 11 New Yorker by Laura Miller. And so will anyone who is curious about the problems of dealing with internet fandom: apparently he has a bunch (of problems) owing to a long delay in finishing his next book (the article's title is "Just Write It!").
Tolkien, whom Martin admires, is mentioned several times in a positive way, although reading this gave me pause: "Tolkien created the genre of epic fantasy
..Martin is widely credited with taking such fiction in a more adult direction." I've not read Martin and this struck me, naïve as I am, as peculiar, given the vast number of adult fans of Tolkien. Then reading on, I gathered she meant Martin is grittier (blood, gore) and racier (sexual situations), which is too bad, since I find explicit violence and sex in any genre of fiction to be usually gratuitous and always intrusive. So I probably won't be reading Martin. But I did enjoy this article and others may as well.
As an aside, does any Martin fan out there want to venture an opinion, such as that his books are so good it doesn't matter about the gore and sex?