In a bolt of shocking news out of left field that has the Internet on fire, George R.R. Martin has just announced on his blog that he will not be finishing Winds of Winter—the long-awaited sixth novel in his Song of Ice and Fire series—due to ailing health and a desire to instead focus on writing scripts for HBO’s Game of Thrones:
“After wrestling with it for several months, I’ve decided that for many reasons, including a need to focus on my health, it will not be possible to finish writing Winds of Winter in time for everything to work in concert. At the current rate it would take at least several more years to finish the book which would cause numerous logistical issues of which a forced hiatus for HBO’s show would be just one. I love what David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman have done with the show and believe that at this point it would be the better medium to bring this saga to a close. My limited energies are best devoted in helping that to happen in the best way that it can, and I’ll instead be writing scripts for a number of episodes. The sixth and seventh seasons will exist entirely and only in television form.”
As absolutely and utterly horrifying as this news is to fans who have been patiently waiting for news of the book’s completion, it doesn’t exactly come as a total surprise in light of Martin’s recent string of cancelled public appearances including from the San Diego Comic-Con and World Fantasy Con early in March.
Bantam Books, the contracted publisher for Winds of Winter, has not yet released a public statement and would not respond to our inquiries at this time.[Post April 1st update: Happy April Fool’s Day! 😉 ]