George R. R. Martin dropped hints on his blog Monday that Winds Of Winter, the long-awaited next novel in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series, could be a reality before some of this year's conventions -- though he isn't saying he expects it.
Martin posted in his Not A Blog Monday to explain that he doesn't plan to attend the World Fantasy Convention in November in Saratoga. His reason will please those fans who complain that Martin spends too much time doing things that interfere with completing Winds Of Winter.
"I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate. Son of Kong foremost amongst them."
Martin added that he'd be skipping the San Diego Comic-Con for the same reason.
This, of course, is sad news for those who hoped to see George R. R. Martin at either Con, but great news for those who just want the next book immediately, if not sooner.
It pales in comparison to what Martin added after that, though.
"(Should I complete and deliver WINDS OF WINTER before these cons roll round, I reserve the right to change my mind)."
George R. R. Martin just made it clear that he expects to miss both of those to work on Winds Of Winter -- but that it's possible he'll already be done by then.
Now, A Song Of Ice And Fire readers know well that Martin calls himself a slow writer, and he won't announce the book until it's done.
However, this statement hints that Martin feels he is at least close enough to finishing the new book that having it completed and turned over to publishers before November, or even July, is enough of a possibility to be worth mentioning. Given the author's own statements about his writing speed, the fact that he'd judge this as even the remotest possibility tells us that the book must be pretty close to completion.
Even if the book isn't done before either of these conventions, if Martin is entertaining that as a possibility, then we could see it not-too-long after -- maybe by the end of this year or early 2016. As an additional bonus, if George R. R. Martin completes Winds Of Winter before the end of the year, perhaps he'll have an easier time with the decision to write an episode (or more) of the HBO Game Of Thrones series for next season.
[Photos by Michael Buckner and Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]