George R.R. Martin may be the world-famous bestselling author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels, a creative force named to the Time 100 list of most influential people for 2011, and the winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards — the highest honors available to science fiction and fantasy writers. But, in addition to those laudatory things, he is something else entirely.
He is a gnome.
And I'm not just referring to the fact that he looks strikingly like a garden gnome — a look that appears in no way to be a mere accident of nature. He also has that aura of gnomish wisdom about him — a manner of speaking that is precise, articulate, and knowing. Appearing at Redwood City's spectacular Fox Theatre last night, Martin positively glowed with that gnomishness, spilling over with a combination of native intelligence and warmth toward his fans, about 1,400 of whom packed the venue, filling it with a cozy adoration.