George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, which birthed HBO's Game of Thrones, is infamous for its extended delays at this point. Last year, the now-71-year-old author said that if the sixth novel in the series, The Winds of Winter, wasn't out by a specific day in 2020, fans could "imprison" him until the book is finished. Now that the date—the kickoff of New Zealand's World Science Fiction Convention—has arrived, fans are asking Martin where the hell that book he promised them actually is.
The 78th Worldcon is taking place on Wednesday, July 29, and Martin was chosen as Toastmaster of the Hugo Awards, the A.V. Club notes. "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," he wrote in a 2019 blog post. "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."
With the coronavirus pandemic causing most events to be held online, Martin recently spoke about how the event would go down on his blog. Unfortunately, he didn't mention his promise that he could be imprisoned, so perhaps he's thankful that he's not in New Zealand to be forcibly placed in a tiny cabin. In a more recent blog post regarding The Winds of Winter, he said progress "has been going well of late," and said he's aiming to finish it by 2021.
Though the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire arrived in a four-year span from 1996-2000, the following waits ran for five and six years. A Dance With Dragons marked book five of seven and dropped all the way back in July 2011. So maybe Winds will come out next year, maybe it'll arrive when hell freezes over.
See reactions to the arrival of the date below.