Saturday, 12 September 2015

Will THE WINDS OF WINTER come out in 2016?

There's been some speculation that The Winds of Winter will be published in 2016 due to comments made by the Spanish publishers of the Song of Ice and Fire series. So, will it?

There are some positive indications, which are as follows:
  • A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons were both published five years after the previous novel in the series. July 2016 will make it five years since the publication of A Dance with Dragons. This isn't exactly logical, but if it's happened twice in a row...
  • George R.R. Martin has cancelled a whole load of appointments and appearances for this year to get the book done, indicating that he believes it's close enough that a few days here and there will make a big difference. He's also not written scripts for Seasons 5 or 6 of the TV show to give him more time to write the book.
  • Last year, George reported that the rewrites on The Winds of Winter had been nothing like as arduous and difficult as those on Dragons.
  • As noted above, the Spanish publishers are apparently expecting the book in 2016.
  • George himself has said he thinks it is possible to get the book out before Season 6 is expected to start airing in April 2016.
Before we get too excited, there are some negative indicators as well:
  • Compared to the excitement and regular updates we got when A Dance with Dragons was close to finished, there have been no comparable reports or updates for The Winds of Winter. GRRM suggested this might be the case, no updates until the book is delivered, but it's not a positive indication.
  • Given that A Dance with Dragons had its cover art out in the wild and being discussed years before the book was done, it's odd that we haven't seen the same for Winter. That cover with the horn everyone's seen is fan art, by the way, not the real deal.
  • GRRM recently retreated a little from his determination to get the last two books out before the TV show ends (probably in 2018), taking a more philosophical line that if the TV show overtakes, it overtakes.
  • If the book is to come out in April 2016, it really needs to be finished before the end of this year, which is starting to loom large.
  • For previous novels, George sent large chunks of the books to his editors a while before completion, allowing early editing of the novel whilst it was still being written. As of a few months ago, that hadn't happened (apart from some 360-odd manuscript pages, most of them held over from Dragons). This may mean a longer editing cycle for Winter will be required.
Conclusion: the book may well come out in 2016. But it's not a done deal by any means: the fact that the Spanish publishers are expecting it means that a lot of people, including George, see 2016 as achievable. Whether that makes it likely or not remains to be seen.

The Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire blog has an excellent "What we know" page about The Winds of Winter which is being updated with the latest information, which I recommend periodically checking.


Jens said...

As nice as it may be to think that TWoW will be out in 2016, based on the points you’ve gathered here I’d rather conclude that the chances are very slim.

1. The numerology argument isn’t really an argument as you’ve pointed out yourself so I wouldn’t put my money on that.
2. The fact that Martin canceled appointments and script commitments could also mean the exact opposite of what you conclude, namely that he’s realized that he needs to get his shit together lest he fall hopelessly behind and lose any chance of finishing ASoIaF before the show (something which has already happened quite a while ago if you ask me).
3. Your note about the compared ease of writing TWoW as opposed to ADWD should allow for a quicker turnaround time – but it could also lead to Martin shifting down a gear just because he expects things to going smoother.
4. As for your last point, unfortunately, George is rather notorious for misjudging completion dates so unless this is a recent statement I wouldn’t rely too much on that – and even if it’s recent, I’d still take it with a grain of salt.
5. Now, the remarks made by Alejo Cuervo (editor of Martin’s Spanish publisher) almost seems the most convincing to me. Reading his original statements he seems to be really confident to have the Spanish (!) version out in 2016; he expects to receive the manuscript a little ahead of time of the publication of the English original but that would still mean that the original would come out even earlier. I wonder what he bases this statement on, so I remain skeptical.

I don’t mean to be a naysayer but try to do a realistic assessment (fully knowing that my information level is far lower than yours).

That said, what’s most important for me is that Martin takes all the time he needs in order to produce a GOOD book. There’s so much good stuff to read out there that I’d in all cases prefer to wait longer rather than have a hastily produced, mediocre book.

Ja D said...