Winds of Winter release date: Has George RR Martin finished now WorldCon is here?

Winds of Winter has been a long time coming – and fans are desperate for the next instalment of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. George RR Martin, its writer, has been taking his time to write the sixth book in the series, now racking up to almost a decade. The author did, however, make a promise for fans to see the book at WorldCon – so is it finished?

This year, Martin was expected to attend WorldCon in New Zealand, also known as CoNZealand.

The writer was to be the Master of Ceremonies, and even promised to unveil his latest book, The Winds of Winter.

In fact, he even said he could be ‘imprisoned’ if the book isn’t ready.

Writing on his blog, Martin said: “If I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for Worldcon 2020, 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.

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“Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”

However, sadly WorldCon is not happening in its usual way this year, and instead it will be a virtual CoNZealand instead, which Martin is very excited for.

In a new blog post, Martin has confirmed his presence at WorldCon, hoping it will be everything it would usually be, while virtual.

He said: “As everyone knows (except perhaps the fellow who has been quarantining is his bomb shelter all these months, cut off from human contract), we are not actually gathering in Wellington, New Zealand this year, thanks to the pandemic.

“Instead we are having the very first virtual WorldCon… Yes, I am the Toastmaster this year, but I am also one of the least tech savvy science fiction writers on the planet…

“I gather we are using something called Zoom, and my every attempt to use Zoom hitherfore have been disasters.

“This time I will have tech help from the con, however, so maybe it will go better…”

He will be a small pat of the opening ceremonies and panels, but is mainly contributing as host of the Hugo Awards, though he fears “doing it up in my cabin in front of a video camera.”

But the big question of everyone’s lips is, of course, whether he will need that lake of sulfuric acid after all, or whether The Winds of Winter is complete.

Previously posting about the book, he has said: “And before anyone starts to panic, ‘Oh my god he is making videos in place of writing,’ OF COURSE I am still working on WINDS OF WINTER as well.

“That really should go without saying, yet somehow I need to say it, or someone might make stupid assumptions…

“Just because I do not mention it in every Not A Blog does not mean it is not happening.”

However, it does not look likely WorldCon will bring about the new book, as he has also posted comments suggesting he hasn’t made quite the dent others would have hoped for.

He said at the beginning of July: “This writing stuff is hard. Even so, it has been going well of late.

“Three more chapters completed this past week. And good progress on several more.

“Still a long, long way to go, though. Do not get too excited.”

Clearly his progress in writing has not made it quite to his expectation of having the book finished by WorldCon, however fans will be crossing their fingers it will arrive by the New Year.

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