On May 21, 2019, author George R.R. Martin made a promise to his millions of readers: if he didn’t finish The Winds of Winter, the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, by July 29, 2020, he should be thrown in prison. Guess what day it is!
“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 on his Not a Blog (current mood: amused). “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.” New Zealand’s CoNZealand (virtually) kicks off today, with Martin serving as “toastmaster.” More like roastmaster, because he’s getting roasted online.
I feel bad for Martin, I really do. Writing is hard, even when you’re not creating a dense fictional universe that was turned into one of the most popular TV shows of all-time, as he is. Maybe an isolated location, with or without sulfuric acid lake, isn’t the worst idea, though; at least it would keep him safe. GRRM, if you need some help, I’ll give you the first line for The Winds of Winter: “It was the best of times, it was the Westeros of times.”