I don't like calling Martin the American Tolkien for a few reasons. First, he isn't the American Tolkien. Not even close, jack. I care not a whit what Time Magazine has to say on the matter. When somebody spends their entire life writing a single opus derived from history, mythology and language, then maybe we can start talking about calling people American Tolkiens. Besides, we've had plenty of preceding authors being called the American Tolkien: Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Stephen R. Donaldson. Probably even Christopher Paolini. It's a meaningless phrase that makes light of Tolkien's monumental achievement.
Second, why refer to him as the regional derivative of a more famous author when he could, and should, stand on his own two feet? I'd rather refer to him as the first George R. R. Martin than the American Tolkien, if it's all the same to you chaps.
But that's just me, of course. Then there's this bit.
Quite a few of them are adventure stories that celebrate violence, or more often treat it as something unreal and without cost. These aren’t the projects that are reaching outside the usual genre readers to talk to the wider audience. If there were a market for the celebration of warfare, we’d have any number of options inside epic fantasy. That isn’t what people are responding to. We have no appetite for Conan bathing in the blood of his enemies.
Hmm. Well, at least he gives Conan the credit of being literature, albeit literature that seems to either glorify violence or consider it of no consequence. Possibly both. My response: