George R.R. Martin Says Book Deadlines Are Stressful, ‘The Winds of Winter’ Not Publishing Before ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Six

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In not-so-shocking news, George R.R. Martin has announced in a blog post that The Winds of Winter, the sixth installment in his popular fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has not been finished for early 2016 publication. “You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed,” Martin writes. “But no one could possibly be more disappointed than me.” Meeting the end of 2015 deadline would have put the book in stores by the end of March, before the sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones aired in April.

“That almost certainly means that no, THE WINDS OF WINTER will not be published before the sixth season of GAME OF THRONES premieres in April,” Martin writes. “When delivery will be, I can’t say. I’m not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out.”

Martin also raised the biggest question for Thrones fans:

Having said all that, I know what the next question will be, because hundreds of you have already asked it of me. Will the show ‘spoil’ the novels? Maybe. Yes and no. Look, I never thought the series could possibly catch up with the books, but it has. The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly. There were other factors too, but that was the main one. Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of GAME OF THRONES that have not yet happened in the books. For years my readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true. How you want to handle that… hey, that’s up to you. Look, I read Andy Weir’s novel THE MARTIAN before I saw the movie. But I saw the BBC production of JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL before I finally got around to reading Susanna Clarke’s novel. In both cases, I loved the book and I loved the adaptation. It does not need to be one or the other. You might prefer one over the other, but you can still enjoy the hell out of both.

Read the full blog.