Now that the HBO adaptation has reached its dramatic and rather controversial end, all eyes are back on the books. It is a shock to realise that the last book came out the same year as the Game of Thrones show launched on TV. The first episode aired in April 2011 and A Dance With Dragons hit bookshelves in July 2011. Eight long years have passed with numerous false alarms about The Winds of Winter. Late last night, though, George RR Martin posted a witty entry on his blog that contained a whopping revelation.
The author was responding to a possibly rather cynical offer of free flights from Air New Zealand to help him finish Book Six there.
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.
“Writers, fans, and artists from all over the world will be headed down to check out all of your wonders. I hope lots of you Kiwis will join us.”
“As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce.
“But 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.”
So, Book Six will definitely be ready by then. And what are the exact dates of WorldCon?
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 late July next year.
Of course, fans will continue to hope this is the absolute latest possible date it will be available and that somehow it will hit bookshelves long before that…
For information on WorldCon go to the convention website.