Fans of George R.R. Martin and his Game of Thrones series (A Song of Ice and Fire for you folks without a television) were probably disappointed the other week when it was announced that next book, The Winds of Winter, wouldn’t see a release in 2015. Here’s a snip of that announcement via The Guardian:
[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.
Well it turns out that this announcement isn’t entirely giving you the full story. There’s actually a good reason for a lack of a publication confirmation, one that the man himself expanded upon on his LiveJournal. It all started when fan Tyrion Draper asked for some clarification on the earlier report:
Based on Jane Johnson’s recent comments that TWoW is not currently on the schedule for 2015, it’s being widely (mis)reported that she’s confirmed that it can’t or won’t be published in 2015. Considering that as far as she or we know, you could hand the book in any day now and it certainly wouldn’t take over a year to get onto shelves, she can’t accurately make that statement, nor did she intend to.
Unfortunately, unlike the silly, fraudulent Star Wars articles on clickbait sites masquerading as news sources and journalism, this is being misinterpreted and published on major news sites such as Forbes and BBC, as well as numerous widely-read entertainment news sites. I didn’t know if you were aware how much this statement has been misinterpreted or if you or Jane wanted to make any further statement or clarification, so I thought I’d let you know just in case.
This caused Martin to stir and reply back with some truth behind the entire thing:
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.
So there you have it. It isn’t on the schedule because it isn’t supposed to be on the schedule until the moment it is finished. There’s no hidden delay or deadline, it’s finished when it is finished.
I can only assume that Martin finished by logging out of his LiveJournal account, walked outside, did this to the sky…
…and then walked back in and logged in to write another post. His current mood? Bubbly.