George R.R. Martin Speaks to Rumors That 'Winds of Winter' May Not Be Published in 2015
Book readers (and HBO) have been waiting patiently for the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series since the fifth novel was published in 2011. Last week, rumors surfaced that we would not be seeing the next installment this year, which all but assured that HBO would easily surpass Martin’s progress, and would have to finish without source material (though, they could use portions of the original outline to arrive at a conclusion, though they might want to skip over the part where Arya and Jon Snow fall in love).
It turns out, however, that the rumors were not completely accurate, or rather, they were misrepresented. The statement, as posted to The Guardian, was as follows:
[Martin’s publisher at HarperCollins, Jane] Johnson confirmed that The Winds of Winter, the next novel in the series that has been filmed by HBO as A Game of Thrones, is not in this year’s schedule. “I have no information on likely delivery,” she said.
As George R.R. Martin clarified on his LIveJournal blog, however, “not on the schedule” doesn’t necessarily mean “not going to be published.” I certainly hope that THE WINDS OF WINTER is not on the schedule of ANY of my publishers. I have spent years trying to persuade them all not to schedule my books until they are completed and delivered. Scheduling, and then having to reschedule and postpone, just pisses people off. I’d rather not schedule at all until the date is real and certain.
This flies against standard publishing practice, however, so it’s a battle that I do not always win.
In other words, there’s still a possibility — however remote — that Martin turns Winds of Winter into his publisher in the next few months and they manage to turn it around and publish it by the end of the year, but I wouldn’t count on it. In fact, it may ultimately be easier for Martin to see how Benioff and Weiss finish up the series so he can use the television show as source material. As I understand it, given how poorly the fifth book was received, it may also be beneficial.