Updates (or lack thereof) from GRRM and others
By Caroline Ho, Arts Editor
The Winds of Winter out in 2018?! No, this isn’t a humour article, though it might still be hard to take too seriously.
In a recent blog post on July 22, George R. R. Martin, author of the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire, announced that he expects to have at least one new Westeros book out by the end of next year. This would be fantastic news for ASoIaF devotees if only we could be sure that: a) this book will be the Winds of Winter, and b) Martin will actually deliver this time.
While we’re on this topic of publishing delays, we might as well take a look as well at several high fantasy series that are taking forever for their next volumes to hit the shelves, to see whether they’re any further along in the writing process.
The Winds of Winter – A Song of Ice and Fire, book 6
After the publication of A Dance with Dragons in 2011, optimistic fans and the author himself predicted the next book’s completion to be by 2015 or 2016. Those were the days when the idea of the Game of Thrones HBO series catching up to and overtaking the plot of the book series was an amusing, improbable what-if. Since the TV show has just begun its second to last season and has long since surpassed the novels… Whoops.
Every few months Martin has made some announcement that The Winds of Winter is progressing, but he’s fallen far short of promising any release date. His July 22 post is pretty optimistic on this front, hinting that it’s likely we “will have a new Westeros book from [him] in 2018.” However, this blog post acknowledges that the next book to hit shelves might be TWoW, but it might just as likely be the first volume of Fire and Blood, a fictional history book of House Targaryen.
Way back in the early days of ASoIaF, Martin originally envisioned the saga to be a trilogy. As much as readers would probably enjoy more Westeros, we’d also enjoy an eventual sense of closure.
The Thorn of Emberlain – Gentleman Bastard, book 4
Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard is one of those novel series that starts off swimmingly but gets increasingly bizarre with each subsequent book. The first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006), is a delightful fantasy heist novel with lovably deplorable conmen characters, witty banter and prose, and a tastefully light level of magic in its Renaissance-Italy-esque world. By book three, The Republic of Thieves (2013), the dialogue is still smooth, but the series has thrown in pointlessly convoluted schemes, secret societies, seemingly directionless plot twists, and a few fantasy tropes that veer close to cringeworthy.
These perplexing turns have left readers all the more eager to pick up Book Four, The Thorn of Emberlain. Lynch originally announced plans to release the book by 2015, then pushed the date back to mid-2016; however, as of December 2016 Lynch stated that he’s still working on writing and rewriting some areas. Like ASoIaF, Gentleman Bastard is also planned as a seven-book series. If a longer delay between books will correlate with a return to the quality of the first novel, hopefully it will be worth the wait.
The Doors of Stone – Kingkiller Chronicle, book 3
After The Name of the Wind came out in 2007, followed by The Wise Man’s Fear in 2011, author Patrick Rothfuss garnered a lot of favourable comparison to George R. R. Martin for his spellbinding storytelling voice, fluid prose, epic-scale plot, and rich world-building. Less positively, plenty of readers have also drawn similarities between the two authors in terms of writing pace. Six or more years since the last volume wouldn’t seem like that long of a wait if Rothfuss hadn’t spent much of this period assuring fans that Book Three, tentatively titled The Doors of Stone, had long since been written and was in the process of revision.
As of this February, Rothfuss has stated that he still can’t confirm a release date. However, the Kingkiller Chronicle might end up resembling ASoIaF in yet another way: Late last year, Lionsgate entertainment company announced plans to create a TV show and feature film version of the series, produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame.