When April comes around and the new season of Game of Thrones starts running on HBO, the show’s plot line will inevitably proceed past the five books previously published, and the sixth volume, The Winds of Winter, will remain unfinished, unprinted, unbound, and undelivered into readers’ hands.
George R. R. Martin slunk on to the Internet yesterday, looking guilty and making all kinds of excuses.
Look, I have always had problems with deadlines. For whatever reason, I don’t respond well to them. Back in November, when I returned to Northwestern to accept my Alumni Award, I told the Medill students that was why I started writing fiction instead of getting a job on a newspaper. I knew even then that daily deadlines would kill me. That was a joke, of course… but there was truth in it too. …
But I won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not David & Dan. It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. I worked on the book a couple of days ago, revising a Theon chapter and adding some new material, and I will writing on it again tomorrow. But no, I can’t tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can’t say. I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out.
I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this. It will be done when it’s done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it.
Call Ser Ilin Payne, this undoubtedly treason against the realm!