There have been Westerosi winters shorter than the wait for Book Six. It has been over eight years since A Dance With Dragons but the chill is drawing very near. George RR Martin has recently had some fantastic news for fans about his work on the penultimate book of A Song of Ice and Fire, although there is still a few months to go, it looks certain the book will hit shelves next July.
The author was responding to a possibly rather cynical offer of free flights from Air New Zealand to help him finish Book Six over there and a new clever analysis of the publishers reveals a startling fact.
Martin revealed he already had plans to revisit the Antipodean country for a major SciFi/Fantasy convention and appears to have accidentally also confirmed when the next book will be available at the end of his post.
He wrote: “As it happens, I already have plans to return. In the summer of 2020, Wellington is hosting the World Science Fiction Convention, the oldest and most important con in the SF/ fantasy calendar, and they’ve asked me to serve as Toastmaster for the Hugo Awards.
“I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for Worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”
According to the event website: “The convention will be called CoNZealand. The dates will be July 29 to August 2. George R.R. Martin has been announced as the Master of Ceremonies.”
This means Winds of Winter will be available by July next year at the very latest, based on how every single previous book has been released.
Martin added: “But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER.
“Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of HOUSE (of the Dragon).”
He has confessed that his involvement with the HBO show had slowed him down in his writing process more than expected. Each of the scripts he submitted for early episodes took at least a month of work.
He also admitted that publishers and HBO had been keen on releasing the Fire and Blood two-parter while the TV shows were heavily focussed on the Targaryen saga.
Even so, Martin appears to be taking on serious responsibilities with the new show, which he described on his blog.
Martin blogged: “A lot of work remains ahead of us.
“There’s a writer’s room to be assembled, episodes to be broken down and scripted, a cast and crew to be assembled, budgets and production details to be worked out… I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent… and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of GAME OF THRONES.”
Fans should not fear too much about Winds of Winter, however, the whole cycle will begin again when Martin starts work on A Dream of Spring…