George RR Martin: Sixth book won't be out this year
GEORGE RR Martin has confirmed his long-awaited sixth book of the Game Of Thrones series will not be published this year - and might not hit bookshelves until 2019.
Martin took to his blog - called Not A Blog - to hit back at a raft of stories that had been published to coincide with launch of season seven of the TV series, as well as spruik some other books he is working on.
The bad news is, there will be no sixth book in A Song Of Ice And Fire this year - and probably none next year, either.
He is excited about a "history" of the world and the Targaryen dynasty, which is called Fire And Blood and will be out late 2018.
"And, yes, I know you all want to know about The Winds Of Winter too," he wrote.
"I've seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by 'journalists' who make their stories up out of whole cloth.
"I don't know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I've been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both 'reports' are equally false and equally moronic.
"I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that's all I care to say. Whether Winds or the first volume of Fire And Blood will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018 ... and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream ..."
That's not good news for fans, who were hoping to get book six by Christmas.
Given he wrote that Fire And Blood won't hit stores until late 2018, wondering whether WOW can even beat that to market is not good for fans.
He has previously said his writing has slowed as he grows older and there are many demands on his time, not least the five possible GoT prequels being worked on for HBO.
But the prospect of no book six until 2019 suggests that we won't see the conclusion of the series for almost another decade.
A Dance With Dragons came out in 2011, so even if WOW comes out in 2018, that's seven years. At the slowing rate of production, that suggests the final book, A Dream Of Spring, will take eight or nine years to write, putting it back to 2026 or even 2027.
Martin is only 68 but another 10 years will leave many fans panicking whether he can actually finish the series.