GRRM's Ice & Fire Update: Misleading? What would happen if a casual reader - or prospective reader - were to go to the author's website looking for information as to the progress of the "Ice and Fire" series? On the top of the front page, he would see a link entitled "Ice & Fire Update". If he were to click on this link, he would see, under the title "A Song of Ice and Fire Update", the giant word "DONE!". Scrolling down, he would then see an image of the cover of the 5th book "A Dance with Dragons".
That out-of-date "update" is almost 1.5 years old. It has not been updated since he posted it. At the time, it meant that the author had just finished book 5 (and not that he had finished the series).
I can understand his reluctance to update, since it appears he has made virtually NO progress on Book 6 in the 1.5 years since. But it seems to me that to leave it as it is is to mislead visitors to the site.
Nothing is "done". Book 5 leaves multiple story arcs way up in the air. The official position, currently, is that GRRM will need at least 2 more volumes to finish the story. (For instance, the bibliography section of the same website lists the titles of 2 more "forthcoming" volumes). Even that is likely an underestimate, at the rate he is going.
asked by J. Whelan
on September 30, 2012
I had not heard that he stated it would not be completed in 2013. While that is disappointing, I'm more than fine waiting until it is done, whenever that may be. Games of Thrones is keeping me very entertained during the wait. Plus, I have quite a long backlog of books to go through. Once TWOW has a set release date, I'll re-read the first five books beforehand.
He said he "hopes" to "deliver" Winds in 2014. "Hopes" is a sticky word with GRRM, and usually refers to his wildest dreams, rather than his best estimate.
Once, in October, 2006, he said he "hoped" to deliver Dance with Dragons by the end of the year (within 2 1/2 months). He eventually admitted that, as of October 2006, he had made virtually no progress with Dance during the entire previous year since Feast was released. So this "hope", for a sudden surge of creative energy producing hundreds of pages per month (after he had produced virtually none in 12 previous months), was a wild "hope" indeed.
If, by some lucky chance, he does deliver Winds in 2014, I would expect it to be late in the year, with publication the following year. But that does not seem to be where things are headed right now.
No, I don't live with GRRM. Nonetheless, I believe I can defend my statement that there has been virtually no progress on WINDS for the last 1.5 years. (Please note that by "virtually no progress", I do not mean "no progress at all". That is more than I can conclude. But even if he has done an additional 75 manuscript pages in 1.5 years, such "progress" is not enough. At that rate he would need 30 years to complete 1500 manuscript pages, which was the length of DANCE, and the projected length of WINDS).
First indication is GRRM's history and character. He always trumpets good news (which helps book sales) and is coy about bad news (which hurts book sales). If he had made substantial progress with Winds he would have told us. He has made no such claim. Therefore, no substantial progress has been made.
Second indication is that GRRM has actually told us what he has: At various times he has told us that he has about 100 pages in complete form; about 200 pages in "more or less" complete form (which presumably includes the 100 just mentioned); and maybe approximately another 200 pages (for a total of 400) in very rough first-draft form that will require much reworking. Anyone who has followed his history can readily determine that this is not discernably different from the situation 1.5 years ago, when about 200 pages left over from DANCE (some of it complete, some of it perhaps less complete) had already been bumped to WINDS, and, in addition, a substantial amount post-5-year-gap material left over from many years earlier.
Third indication is that GRRM said, last year, that he had other projects to complete before he gave serious attention to WINDS. Those projects largely remain incomplete. In particular, 3 non-Winds writing projects remain seriously overdue: -- "Sidebars" he had promised to contribute to "The World of Ice and Fire", a project by Elio Garcia that was supposed to come out years ago. Recently, he has reported good progress on this, indicating that some of his "sidebars" are turning into novellas, and that one in particular has exceeded 100 pages (manuscript pages, presumably). -- A Nicholas Van Rijn short story he had promised for a Poul Anderson tribute anthology. Deadline was over 15 months ago. Nonetheless, the editors still seem to be waiting for GRRM's contribution and the anthology will not be released in Fall 2012 as originally planned (all the other stories seem to be in). -- A 4th Dunk & Egg story he has promised for the anthology "Dangerous Women". All stories are in except GRRM's. While some fans are spreading the rumor that this is almost done, there is no indication of this from GRRM's public statements. For all we know, he has barely even started it yet. He had said, last year, that this project was "next in the queue" after the Nicholas Van Rijn story.
GRRM himself has ruled out any possibility that he will complete WINDS during 2013. If we take him at his word, a release date in January 2014 is impossible.