By Brandon Sanderson
Morning Wood Staff Writer
I travelled to New York, New York to the headquarters of Bantam Books, the publisher of George R. R. Martin’s seminal series of epic fantasy novels “A Song of Ice and Fire,” better known to television viewers as “Game of Thrones.” Many have been waiting for the sixth installment of the book series Martin introduced 21 years ago, “The Winds of Winter.” The last book, which took six years to write, was released in 2011, meaning Martin has been working for this last novel for the last six years as well. My question for the founder of Bantam Books, Betty Ballantine, who is currently 97 years old, was whether or not Martin really graduated college as is alleged.
She could not hear my questions, and her nurse promptly asked me to leave. So I decided to take my investigation to the source, the university where George R. R. Martin supposedly met deadlines and graduated, Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. I sat down with the current president of the institution Morton O. Shapiro, whose tiny economist face squinted at me with confusion. “Of course he graduated,” Sharpiro said.
I asked whether or not Martin handed in his assignments on time, to which I was promptly kicked out of his office. Unphased by my defeat, I decided to pillage the graduation records for the Class of 1970. There he was, looking round and bearded in graduation robes.
He had earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the university. I went to look up one of his English professors to sit for an interview, and discovered Winifred Ward, who was part of the university’s English department during Martin’s time in the university. The only problem is that she has been deceased since 1975. I thought about hosting a séance to talk with her spirit, but I realized that the cost of incense and candles was far beyond my current budget. I asked around until I discovered that Martin had not only gotten a bachelor’s, but also a master’s degree, and even did a stint as an English professor at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. Here, he would impose deadlines on students himself.
The only conclusion that seems reasonable to come to is that Martin must have reached deadlines to graduate college, and that by putting him back in a university environment, we could get him to write faster. I wrote back to Shapiro requesting he readmit Martin to the university to aid the 68 year old writer on finishing his novels, to which I promptly received a cease and desist letter. Take solace in the fact that even sometimes Martin misses deadlines, and that most of the people hating on him will go do something else when the TV show is finished.