George R R Martin has been honoured with the International Recognition Award at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards for his contribution to fantasy and science fiction.
The Game of Thrones author received the accolade at a special event in the GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin, tonight (Tuesday 20th August), ahead of the 2019 awards event on 20th November in Dublin’s Convention Centre.
“The honour is being bestowed on Martin in recognition of his significant contribution to fantasy and science fiction over the last four decades,” award organisers said.
The first of Martin’s epic fantasy novels, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996 by HarperVoyager in the UK, and the series has since gone on to become a global publishing phenomenon. The series also became the basis for the award-winning TV adaptation "Game of Thrones" which concluded earlier this year. Martin is currently writing the sixth and seventh instalments. In total, Martin has sold 5.95 million books for £48.1m through Nielsen.
Reacting to his award win, Martin said: “I am honoured to be receiving this award and thankful to the people of Ireland for bestowing it upon me.”
Maria Dickenson, chair of the An Post Irish Book Awards, said: “A Song of Ice and Fire has become much more than a landmark series of books. The series has been elevated to the ultimate pantheon of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis. A Game of Thrones is now an iconic artefact of popular culture, a cottage industry, a primer for the conduct of foreign policy among nations, the locus for impassioned debates about the very nature of power and the interplay of good and evil. It looms large in the collective imagination of millions of fans, not least in Ireland, and in particular in Northern Ireland, now known as The Home of Thrones.”
Previous winners of the International Recognition Award include David Walliams, Jilly Cooper, Jeffrey Archer and Bill Bryson.
The shortlist of nominations for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2019 will be announced on 24th October.
Previously sponsored by energy company Bord Gáis Energy, postal service company An Post signed a three year headline sponsorship deal with the Irish Book Awards last summer.