George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series from which HBO has drawn its Game of Thrones show, is auctioning off a chance to be in one of the series' upcoming editions.
Martin will use the auction as a fundraiser for two charities he supports, and there are prizes for one male and one female character in the book -- be the first to give him $20,000 and you will be that character. You can pick the social station you wish, and Martin guarantees you what many characters in his ever-expanding series have met: "a grisly death."
Given the pace at which Martin is finishing the novels (up to five or six years at a time) and the expansion of the series as a whole -- his publisher just hinted that the expected seven books may actually be eight -- the lucky winner may never have to worry about death -- grisly or otherwise.