Whilst paying tribute to the great Gardner Dozois earlier this month, the author implied on his blog that the new book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series is in the editing stages.
Whilst this can be a long and arduous procedure, it does at least hint that the initial creative stage of plotting out the book may be finished.
Dozois was a hugely loved science fiction author and editor, and had worked closely with Martin.
Martin – whose ASOIAF books sparked the Game of Thrones TV show – wrote that he and Dozois still “had more anthologies we wanted to do”, but he simply didn’t have time with everything else he has on his plate.
He wrote: “As much as I enjoyed working with Gardner, I did not have the time. WINDS OF WINTER was late and getting later, and the editing had taken more of my time and energy than I thought it would.
“‘I can’t take on anything more right now,’ I told him. ‘We’ll do them later, once I’ve delivered WINDS.’
“So Gardner went on to edit THE BOOK OF SWORDS and THE BOOK OF MAGIC by himself (he could have edited all these books by himself, he never actually needed me, we just enjoyed working together). I contributed stories to both books (a reprint to MAGIC, since I did not have the time).
“There would be plenty of time to do ROGUES 2 and OLD LUNA and SIDEKICKS and all the rest, after all. All the time we needed. Just as soon as I got King Kong off my back…”
Earlier this month a video emerged on Reddit of Martin’s friend Diana Gabaldon, author of Outlander, revealing that he had struggled with the effects of killing off a major character.
“We were having this conversation, and I was asking him ‘how’s it going, the newest book’ – and he said, ‘oh I’m having all kinds of trouble’,” she recalled.
“And he said, ‘You ever kill somebody off that you later realised you needed?’
“I said, ’no, George, that’s never happened to me!’”
She went on: “And we talked about it, and he said, ‘oh, I’ve just painted myself into a corner.’
“I said, ‘you paint yourself into a corner, you get yourself a new bucket of paint and paint yourself back out, and do the floor behind you!’”
Once The Winds of Winter is finally out in the open, there will still be more to come – with A Dream of Spring slated to be the seventh and final novel in the series.
ASOIAF companion book Fire And Blood is out this year.