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George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015 180

Dave Knott (2917251) writes George R.R. Martin's "The WInds Of Winter", the fifth book of his bestselling fantasy saga "A Song Of Ice And Fire" (known to television fans as "Game Of Thrones") will not be published in 2015. Jane Johnson at HarperCollins has confirmed that it is not in this year's schedule. "I have no information on likely delivery," she said. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."
Instead, readers will have to comfort themselves with a collection, illustrated by Gary Gianni, of three previously anthologised novellas set in the world of Westeros. "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" takes place nearly a century before the bloody events of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Out in October, it is a compilation of the first three official prequel novellas to the series, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight, never before collected.
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George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015

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  • Never finish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by danbuter ( 2019760 )
    I think the chance of GRR Martin dying before the series is finished is up around 99.99999 %.
    • Re:Never finish (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:06PM (#48943617) Journal

      He may not finish it, but you can be damned sure the producers of the series have a solid plot line at their disposal should he kick the bucket. This is a cash cow of monumental proportions, and they won't let something as minor as the author's death get in the way of continuing production.

      • Re:Never finish (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darth Muffin ( 781947 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:55PM (#48943897) Homepage
        I was at a small convention where he was the guest of honor, got to hear a lot of him talking about this type of stuff.
        Basically, he confirmed that the studio does have a folder sealed and locked in a safe somewhere with plot outlines to finish the rest of the series should something happen to him. Also was interesting to hear that he *does* have a plot outline, he knows how it will end, who lives and dies and who comes out on top, but doesn't know all of the details about how to get there. Some people say he's dug himself a pretty deep hole and is having trouble writing his way out to get to the ending he wants.
        • Also was interesting to hear that he *does* have a plot outline, he knows how it will end, who lives and dies and who comes out on top

          Valar morghulis man, valar morghulis .

          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            As long as Arya gets to kill more people and comes out alive and fine, I am happy with whatever ending he has in mind ;-)

            • This is exactly why the ending will involve the Others taking over all Westeros, and putting up the reanimated zombie Joffrey on the throne.

              JRRM does not write books to make people happy.

              • JRRM does not write books to make people happy.

                My favourite book that he's written was Tuf Voyaging. Far lighter than the Song of Fire and Ice and the endings did make me happy...

            • I read Books 1, 2, and 3 all pretty much around the same time. Five years later, when Book 4 came out, I'd forgotten who most of the characters were and found I didn't really care about them when I read it; I skipped Book 5.

              • by anagama ( 611277 )

                My opinion will be unpopular, but I think RRMartin is just milking it at this point. I've listened to all the books published so far as audiobooks, and my experience was that the first two books were very fun, and then it started to drag out -- more and more characters introduced, the same sort of imagery and conversation patterns repeated, and time just stopped moving altogether. By the last book, I was just bored silly and it was all I could do to trudge through it.

                RRMartin got famous, got money, and ha

                • I disagree, I do not think he is milking it. I'm not generally a fantasy fan, preferring SF, but the Song of Ice and Fire series has been great, each book being an excellent read. Once it is all done I'm planning on going back and reading the whole thing through.

                  It is true that due to the delay between books it takes a while to refresh your memory about some of the minor characters and sub-plots.

                • I haven't read the series. I got burned out on long unfinished fantasy series with Wheel of Time. Does RRMartin spend a few pages describing a dress like would happen in WoT? (Now there's a trilogy that slowed waaaaaay down to milk everything it was worth)
                  • by gweihir ( 88907 )

                    Sanderson actually delivered pretty good books to conclude tWoT. Far better than the last few by Jordan.

                • by gweihir ( 88907 )

                  I agree. On the other hand, if you read only the 20% or so of chapters you like, even the last books are pretty good. I have to admit that there were quite a few things I only understood when watching the movies though ;-)

        • @NeilHimself [neilgaiman.com] wrote a nice, sensitive blog post about the position writers are in with their stories and their lives, but the tl;dr punch line is (rot13 for spoiler) Trbetr E.E. Znegva vf abg lbhe ovgpu.

          • The problem is, NG's only partially right. Yes, it's also unreasonable to expect the author to dedicate every waking moment for years - perhaps even decades - of his life to finishing the work on schedule, much less a schedule that exists only on reader's minds. But it's also unreasonable to start releasing a series, start dragging your feet halfway through, and act surprised when the readers treat that as a betrayal. It is; the "to be continued" on the first book is why publishers and readers both tolerate

            • And how could any reasonable person see it as a betrayal that an author is taking a while, or years, to complete a book? He isn't painting a house, or some other rote, mechanical task - he's writing. Writing can't be forced if you want good work.

              Publishing a book isn't some sort of implied contract to keep writing at a pace that will keep all fans happy. The author owes nothing to his fans. It is supremely self centered to think buying a book makes the author owe you anything.

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          Reminds me a bit of Lost. Seemed like a great series at first but it's pretty clear based on the ending they'd dug a hole they had no idea how to get out of so made some shit ending about being in limbo or whatever.

          It was so blatant because most things were never even explained by the ending they chose, the ending they chose merely answered (badly) the main plot line, but completely failed to factor in and explain countless side plots, and so was largely just completely broken.

          At least in this case he has s

        • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

          A problem with this approach is spoilers. The shows cut out characters/events all the time. If the next season of GoT leaves out some character from Book 4, it stands to reason that this character is a dead-end plot wise. So, you end up getting the trimmed down version first, and then you get the richer version of the same story, knowing that the parts that make it richer don't really matter all that much.

      • Re:Never finish (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dasunt ( 249686 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @08:29PM (#48944039)

        He may not finish it, but you can be damned sure the producers of the series have a solid plot line at their disposal should he kick the bucket.

        True, but I don't expect them to have the same level of detail or intricacy the completed series would have.

        It's quite a complicated world. It's easy to miss out on the little clues scattered here and there - such as Young Griff's possible ancestry; who was responsible for Balon's death; the creaking hinge of Aeron's memories; the identities of the Sphinx, the new Pirate King in the Stepstones, the brother on the Quiet Isle, Robert Strong, and more; or what actually happened at the Tower of Joy, etc.

        And that's what we actually can claim to be pretty certain about, if you're a careful reader. There's so much unrevealed or left ambiguous - what is up in the Land of Always Winter, who is Septa Lemore or Coldhands, what happened to Benjen (and no, he's not Coldhands, they killed him "long ago"), what's on the Isle of Faces, what did Rhaegar read that lead him to become a warrior, where did Tysha go, etc. Now some of these won't be answered most likely, but we'll get more answers, both in the main series and in the Dunk & Egg novellas.

        I think the television series can pull off a satisfactory conclusion, especially since it veers off on its own direction occasionally (Yara's plotline, for example) and by the necessity of the television medium it must be more simple than the books. But I don't think the written series will be the same if someone else finishes it.

      • by Nyder ( 754090 )

        He may not finish it, but you can be damned sure the producers of the series have a solid plot line at their disposal should he kick the bucket. This is a cash cow of monumental proportions, and they won't let something as minor as the author's death get in the way of continuing production.

        I'm more concerned about his book, not the HBO show. It would be very nice if he finished the series in his lifetime, let alone my lifetime.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:15PM (#48943675)

      Also known as, "Pulling a Robert Jordan".

      • He died on my birthday.

        Worst birthday present ever :(

        • The Hugo Award Nominees reading package last year includes the entire Wheel of Time series (which I thought was a classy move by the publisher, and a nice contrast to Orbit Books including only excerpts for their three nominees.) (If you're a member of the appropriate Worldcon, you're eligible to vote for the Hugos, and in recent years they've provided an electronic package of most of the written and graphical works that are nominated.) The bad part about this is that the tablet I use for reading has the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Martin already stated that to avoid pulling a Jordan, he wrote the ending first, and gave copies to interested parties. He also wrote the storyline, so it's just the actual textual details and plot twists that haven't been fully hammered out yet.

      What got me to start reading the series in the first place was his promise that he wouldn't leave the story arc open-ended and then die. He also got a thorough check-up from his doctor giving him a full bill of health prior to starting the TV series.

      • Martin already stated that to avoid pulling a Jordan, he wrote the ending first, and gave copies to interested parties. He also wrote the storyline, so it's just the actual textual details and plot twists that haven't been fully hammered out yet.

        That's pretty much exactly what Jordan did.

        What got me to start reading the series in the first place was his promise that he wouldn't leave the story arc open-ended and then die. He also got a thorough check-up from his doctor giving him a full bill of health prior to starting the TV series.

        So that was at least five years ago. I'm not a big fan of the macabre speculation around his health and calculating the odds of his dying vs finishing the series first, but what does seem clear is that he has either written himsef into a wall and doesn't know where to go or he's just bored with writing the books. Can't say I blame him on either side. If I could build a turret on my house, buy a customized Tesla, and fly around the world to meet legions of fans, I w

  • Damn the editor (Score:5, Informative)

    by kakaburra ( 2508064 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @06:57PM (#48943561)
    Fifth book? SERIOUSLY?
  • by Dave Knott ( 2917251 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:00PM (#48943579) Homepage
    My apologies for the typo in the summary and also this factual error: "The Winds Of Winter" is the sixth book in the series, not the fifth as stated in the article.
    I brought it to the attention of the editors in a comment on the submission, but I think they posted the article to the front page before they noticed my correction. Mea Culpa!
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:04PM (#48943599)

    I think some forget, or never knew, that his first book was published 1996. This guy is not a fast writer.

    Personally doesn't bother me, since I stopped reading after the third book because the quality tanked so hard. The original Game of Thrones is my all time favourite fantasy novel and I will recommend it all the time. A Clash of Kings was good, but a major step down. I enjoyed it though. A Storm of Swords wasn't very good at all.When A Feast for Crows I asked some people and the answer I universally got was "don't bother" so I didn't. It was also a bit harder to maintain the "givashit" with 5 years intervening instead of 2.

    It seems like he more or less ran out of ideas and has bogged things down in to a whole bunch of characters nobody cares about. Ok, he can do as he pleases, but I'll keep my money thanks.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:11PM (#48943643) Journal

      He has managed to out-Tolkien JRR Tolkien. Even with three or four contiguous story lines going on, Tolkien had to map out the chronology of events carefully so that he always knew where all the main characters and events were happening in relation to each other. Martin has something like two or three times as many plots going on, and he must spend have his time keeping the plotting straight.

      The Game of Thrones series is essentially a shared universe with one writer.

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        "He has managed to out-Tolkien JRR Tolkien"

        We'll see if his stories are still selling 40 or 50 years after he dies.

      • Martin has something like two or three times as many plots going on, and he must spend have his time keeping the plotting straight.

        Apparently a lot of writers have Wikis now, if he doesn't have an equivalent he's only fooling himself.

        I imagine actually drawing the conflict out from early to late on a whiteboard if I were trying to construct a work of any kind of scope, so I could simply look up and see it any old time, taking pictures as I meddled with it so I could see where I'd been.

      • I last read one several years ago, which was pretty much a side trip.

        I'm not bothering again until his series actually has an end.

        So if that ever happens, wake me up . . .

        hawk

      • I've enjoyed all the books in the series. I thought A Dance with Dragon's was a very strong entry. I've seen authors lose steam in a long series, but I'm still enjoying this series. Lots of other people are too - just look at the book sales.

        I generally avoid series, especially if over three books. Few authors can keep up a long series without running out of good ideas. Stores set in the same universe, but not one long story can often work better, like the Iain M. Banks Culture series.

    • Or so says Neil Gaiman, at which point one of my favourite authors lost all respect I had for him. What I say is call me back when it's finished.
      GRR Martin is taking the piss. He took the piss with a Feast for Crows, among the dullest fantasy books I've ever read. He took the piss when he forgot about the readers for five years to go for the TV money. He is taking the piss trying to fool us into believing he knows where this story is heading.
      A Song of Ice and Fire is a totally worthless work with no ounce o

      • His format is interesting even if his prose is weak though. 70 chapters in his first book, distributed amongst approximately 7 characters, none of whom have died so far. Another heavily promoted book I've recently read was called Leviathan Wakes, and it followed the exact same format. Not until I read the interview with the author at the end did I learn that he was one of Martin's protégés.

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:26PM (#48943735) Journal

        I can tell you right now that if I was a successful writer, doubtless making a meaningful, but still modest wage, and someone waved the big bucks in front of me to make my unfinished series into a major multinational television production, I would not hesitate for the briefest moment in taking the cash.

        I'm not a fan of the television series, but do enjoy the books. The only thing that really pisses me off is that there is such a length of time between each book that I end up having to reread the entire series from the start just to remember all the characters and story lines. Thus far I've read the first three books three times.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          I'm not a fan of the television series, but do enjoy the books

          I enjoyed the first few, but the latest book was rubbish and I've entirely lost interest in the story thanks to the pace of his writing. He doesn't seem to have much in the way of original plot ideas, so it's mostly about character moments, and you have to keep that sort of writing coming for me to stay interested in those characters.

          The series, however, I rather enjoy. While it's probably the first series to ever make me say "there is such a thing as too much gratuitous nudity", the pacing is vastly bett

      • by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun.gmail@com> on Friday January 30, 2015 @10:03PM (#48944483) Journal

        I'm sorry, it's all my fault. CSB inbound:

        Several years back, I took my wife to a signing for Feast for Crows at the (now gone) World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.

        The info said he'd sign anything he'd written, and I happened to have the first Wild Cards volume, so I grabbed it and off we went.

        Well, when we got to the table, he seemed surprised to see it, and said something like 'Ah, that takes me back.'

        A month later, he announced a ton of new Wild Cards stuff. So I think it might be my fault. Sorry.

    • I think some forget, or never knew, that his first book was published 1996. This guy is not a fast writer.

      If you look at pages of output per year, he's actually one of the fastest writers ever. It's just the book are so big that it's still a long wait from one ot the next.

    • I think some forget, or never knew, that his first book was published 1996. This guy is not a fast writer.

      That's not quite backed up by history. He was pretty darn fast for the first three books, but then it all kind of fell apart. Personally I would say that the first three are very equivalent in terms of quality and I (again, IMHO) continue to enjoy them over several rereads. I have not had any inclination to reread Feast or Dance, though I've had other people tell me that reading them back-to-back was more fulfilling than with a six year gap! My introduction to the series was through the Daenerys chapters fr

    • Try the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. The first two (The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear) of the trilogy are out now. I enjoyed them much more than GoT.

  • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:07PM (#48943627)

    So the dude has a set of lofty ethics for his work.. i fail to see how this is a bad thing.. What fans should really appreciate is that he's not doing the quick cash grab (which he could surely do.)

    • Six books. Each is a monster in its own accord. He's milking it. Regardless of how complicated the plot was he could have gotten it over by now.

      I don't blame him though. I mean people want more books so he just writes them. The Dune books also went past what most people would say was reasonable. Then there are infamous book series like the Wheel of Time series. But I digress.

      • I may actually be the only person who actually likes God Emperor Of Dune, but I get many peoples' observations that after the third Dune book, the series changed pretty substantially. Being a big fan of Herbert's work, what I saw was that the later Dune books began in many respects to resemble his other later era books in prose style, and it was that which likely turned off many people.

        • It's been years since I read the entire Dune series as a teenager (I've subsequently reread the first several times), but I remember enjoying God Emperor more than any book other than Dune. I can't say I remember much about it, but given your post, I'm inclined to go back and reread the rest.

          • I just picked up Chapterhouse Dune to read. I read Heretics last year, and liked it. I read the first four as a teenager, but at the time couldn't find the last two.

            I reread those first four over the last couple years, and Heretics finally. I enjoy all of them. God Emperor is obviously a breaking point in the story line, but it works.

            I also have The Dune Encyclopedia. Two copies actually. It is a great book in itself to go along with Herbert's work.

          • The first time I've read the series, I waded through God Emperor, and got completely bogged down on Heretics. After that, I had re-read the first three books several times, but each time I tried to go further I'd immediately remember why I stopped last time ...

            Fast forward ten years, and I tried re-reading the whole thing again - and found that I actually enjoyed it. I still like the earlier books more, and the later ones are definitely harder and a slower read, but they no longer bore me.

            Perhaps it just ta

      • by Ramze ( 640788 )

        The Dune series is a definite case of "the search for more money," but RR Martin's work is very different. You can tell when a writer is out of ideas or throws something together with a new book. With the Dune series, it's especially obvious when they change authors or when characters and plot lines don't overlap between books.

        RR was a well established writer long before Game of Thrones, and from how these books are written -- especially how they've progressed -- He's got an ending in mind and multiple p

    • He's doing a slow cash grab. The quality of the books went steadily downhill after the first few and then he split the storylines so that he wasn't even advancing the main plot for the major characters for an entire novel. The story lost so much momentum that I quit buying the books. So, no, not a quick cash grab, just a slow plot to split the story into so many convoluted and pointless books that it's not worth reading any more.
      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        I do like the format for the TV series. The last two seasons have borrowed equally from books 3, 4, and 5. Everyone has actually been getting character advancement.

    • Because sorry, but that's really what they've become. If each was a masterpiece like the original book, I'd be all on board. However they aren't. They are a mess of characters nobody cares about.

    • Where I come from, ethics includes completing work for which I have been paid in advance and doing so in a timely fashion.

    • He has a bit too much pride IMHO. He could accomplish much more if he developed a team of writers to make larger better stories. What would Linux be if Linus Torvalds was the only author allowed to develop its code?
  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @07:31PM (#48943769)

    Killing off hope now, instead of just characters. Well played, sir, well played.

  • Hedge Knight stands a head taller than Martin's other works.
  • GRRM should have hired a co-writer as soon as HBO picked up Game of Thrones for its second season.

    At that point, there's no way he could have not known that the show would overtake him.

    He let his fans down.

    He's a hack writer who did a good job world-building but has no talent to finish it as a story.

    I'm happy for him in the sense that he was a working writer who got rich...good for him as it goes...but we have to stop pretending he's a good writer if his behavior is to be understood.

    But imho, he's more than

  • by germansausage ( 682057 ) on Friday January 30, 2015 @09:40PM (#48944391)

    If he dies before finishing the series, I swear, by all that is holy and all that is not, that I will find his soul wherever it lands and drag him back to this vale of tears. And then, when his undead shade has finished the series I will kill him myself for being such a dick.

  • I just hope it's not full of penises and contrived dragons that will show up eventually. I'm not sure why people think his shit doesn't stink because this guy is a hack.

  • People have been waiting for it for a long time now.

  • by tylersoze ( 789256 ) on Saturday January 31, 2015 @02:21AM (#48945313)

    Honestly, after the slog that was the last two books, I'd be happy to just consider the series the "canonical" version. I've really like all the adaptation choices they've made so far (except for Lady Stoneheart). The upcoming seasons looks like they're getting rid of a lot of tediousness, unnecessary plot lines of the last two books and making a more enjoyable story. It's kind of sad when the best way to improve on the source material is to cut stuff out. Dude needed a serious editor on those last two. The Aegon plot thread has to be the most egregious plot padding I've ever encountered.

  • R.Rs' contemporary(ish) novel is the best thing he wrote. Evr!
  • Typo in the tagline (Fransico) and the first sentence of the article (WInter.) Web journalism at its finest.

  • Hey
    The name of the 'Generalísimo' was Francisco not Fransico...
  • by AJWM ( 19027 )

    Hell, I'm still waiting for David Gerrold to release the next in his "War Against the Chtorr" series. The volumes are almost as thick as Martin's, and I don't think he's released one this century. (And I still haven't read the final volume in Tubb's "Dumarest" series, which DelRey dropped with like two volumes left to go. It's now available on ebook, some thirty years later.)

    That said, as a writer myself I understand some of the problems in writing a series (one where there's an overarching storyline and

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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