The World of Ice and Fire - the companion volume to George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels co-written by Martin and the admins of the Westeros.org website - has once again had its release date (provisionally) changed.
This time, happily, the book has been brought forwards. Originally mooted for a late 2013 release, the book was dropped back a full year to a late 2014 release. However, George R.R. Martin said at the weekend - and since confirmed by his UK publisher - that the book was now aiming for a Spring 2014 release (possibly to tie in with the start of Season 4 of Game of Thrones). Westeros.org has also issued an update, noting that the release date change is not yet final and a drop-back to late 2014 is still possible, but they are seeing if they can make Spring 2014 work as a new date.
In addition, George has admitted to going somewhat overboard with his plans for the book. Whilst Linda Antonsson and Elio Garcia wrote the bulk of the book, it was always planned for GRRM to write a certain amount of material for it. This plan was originally for about 50,000 words, but he ended up writing - or providing - 250,000 words material and notes. Antonsson and Garcia have condensed and summarised this material for the book, whilst another chunk has been sectioned off to become the stand-alone short story The Princess and the Queen, to be published in the Dangerous Women anthology. Martin's original material has been preserved and GRRM and his publishers are musing using this material for a 'GRRM-arillion' type of book later on. This is a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a detailed narrative history of Middle-earth which is more remote and removed than a novel, but not so distant, dry and academic as a bald plot summary. The 'GRRM-arillion' project will not be worked on or released before A Song of Ice and Fire itself is completed.
It appears that Tor.com has gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick and released a seriously misleading article about the book. To clarify their points, The World of Ice and Fire has always - since late 2007 when it was originally announced - been an illustrated companion book focusing on the history of Westeros and Essos. It has never been an A-Z encyclopedia. The focus and format of the book has not changed. It is not now a multi-volume affair, it's what it always was intended to be. The 'GRRM-arillion' project is a totally new and separate idea, not The World of Ice and Fire II: The Wrath of Ran. And yes, the book's official date has dropped back to November 2014, but all parties involved are trying to make Spring 2014 work as the new date.