George R.R. Martin was rejected as a writer for 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

By: H&I Staff     Posted: August 24, 2017, 4:23PM

Stars — they're just like us. They're not in the spotlight until they've hit the big time, so we tend to think they've always had a stack of cash and a glamorous lifetyle. However, just about everyone's been rejected from what they thought was their dream job at the time. Even the man behind the story that's become both one of the most successful book and TV series in modern times.

Back in May, celebrated author of the Song of Ice and Fire saga George R.R. Martin spoke at a workshop at UCSD's Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. Some may have expected to hear about the easy road going from being an up-and-coming science fiction writer to being an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. Instead, he told the story of how he interviewed for a staff writer position with Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1980s and was rejected.

“I had an interview with Star Trek: The Next Generation for a possible job as a staff writer. I remember coming in to the office of this producer – who thankfully did not last long on the show and you can see why when I tell the story. He said, 'I don’t know who you are, can you tell me your credentials?' And I said 'I am just coming off Twilight Zone where I worked for a while, but before that I wrote novels and short stories. I am primarily a science fiction writer.' And he said 'Oh really, well Star Trek is not a science-fiction show, it is a people show.' I was fooled by the photon torpedoes and starships. I was misled. Needless to say, I did not get that job.”

While it's easy to think about how awesome some Next Generation storylines would have been with Martin in the writer's room, he seems to have turned out just fine.