After Hours

George R.R. Martin, please commit to a release date for book six

Fans of the "great bearded glacier's" A Song of Ice and Fire series and/or HBO's Game of Thrones will appreciate the Paul & Storm song "Write Like the Wind (George R.R. Martin)."

As a reader, I have the utmost respect for George R.R. Martin's literary genius. As a writer, I understand how difficult it is to create literary masterpieces. As a geek, I really don't care about any of that. I just want the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

I think Paul & Storm's song "Write like the Wind (George R. R. Martin)" sums it up pretty well.

It's true, as good fans we don't mean to dictate to a genius. That could easily backfire, and we could be left without the final two books. Most writers will tell you that the more we are pushed about completing a project, the more cantankerous we become about said project. Take it from me -- nobody can find a thousand things to do other than work with as much skill as a writer who is sick to death of a given subject.

But c'mon, Mr. Martin... you can't possibly be tired of A Song of Ice and Fire! Your readers surely aren't. And George (may I call you George?), launching an amazing HBO series of your books without even having a timetable for completion of the series is really kind of a mean thing to do. The show grew your readership to an unimaginable number, and all of your fans are desperate for the next book, The Winds of Winter. Well George, winter is coming on December 21; maybe you could give your fans an early Christmas present and commit to a release date.

We don't anticipate it, and we are trying hard to have that utmost of virtues, patience. But patience is beginning to turn into fear that we may never know how it all ends. And folks, Martin knows it. In a July 12, 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin made two comments that speak to his fans' worries. One comment: "Three years from now when I'm sitting on 1,800 pages of manuscript with no end in sight, who the hell knows," is exactly the reason why we've grown inpatient. We were relieved to learn that he knows the end and has shared it with the HBO producers, because, as Martin succinctly put it "the fans are very worried about (knowing the ending) in case I get hit by a truck." To our great relief, he did offer a glimmer of hope for desperate fans in an October 7, 2012 interview, when he commented that he would like to publish the sixth book in the series in 2014, albeit while admitting that only 400 pages were complete at the time of the interview.

Freak accidents aside, Martin is aging and the fear of losing the Tolkien of our time before his masterpiece is complete is somewhat reasonable. Fans must also understand that genius takes time, and harassing him probably isn't helping our cause. Maybe Martin would be willing to strike a deal; we'll be happy with the HBO show and fun paraphernalia like the Game of Thrones board game, and leave him alone to write. For his part, getting to a place where he can commit to a release date, no matter how far out, would be a fair reward for our patience.

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Thanks to TechRepublic's Mark Kaelin for the video tip.


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Everyone's greatest fear is GRRM won't finish it. I actually talked to Robert Jordan about this subject after he found his cancer was probably terminal. He said it is so hard to end an epic because writers are living the fantasy. It is a piece of them and the end is just that, an end. He intially paniced about the cancer, but then he began a process to ensure Wheel O Time was finished. He did recognize that Ann McCaffery pretty much destroyed her epic by never ending it and he did not want Wheel of Time to be like that. His final book was stretched to three, but it did meet his wishes. GRRM does not seem too worried, but in part the delay is because he refuses to let HBO change his stoies. HBO executives never actually read the books before they signed the contract and never realized that so many characters change. The rumor is to continue with season 3, HBO needed an ironclad commitment to the end of the story and do not want this turning into something that goes forever. And they want GRRM to finish the manuscript, but push final publication back a couple years. The delay in the last book will increase interest in the series, or so they think. I personally believe that GRRM has it done, but is constantly fiddling with it. Although successful, this series is bringing in his first true pile of cash and he is in fact playing it for all it is worth. The attention, the praise, and the cash all work to keep him stretching it out.


Its interesting how much more sense the book makes, a lot of key plot points are said in the characters mind, and these points are missing in the TV show.


I understood that the target was March 2013. I can't remember where I read it. I sure hope I don't have to wait until 2014. I'm starting to get antsy. I'm in the middle of Dreamsongs and might have to get some Dunc & Egg novels to tide me over.

The Bishop 11
The Bishop 11

@Dutchman61  I feel bad for the guy who wrote this article, this was back in 2012! It's almost 2015 already and still no Winds of Winter.. Thankfully, I'm only 3/4ths of the way through book 3 so book 6 will be out around the time that im still reading book 4. Yay! No waiting for me :)

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