It should be clear by now to anyone who pays attention to the world of science fiction/fantasy that George R.R. Martin never met a deadline he couldn't blow. Even before Game of Thrones was a contender in HBO's production list, Martin was already making fans wait years for A Feast For Crows and missing the promised 2006 deadline for A Dance With Dragons. That The Winds of Winter is still not here is merely par for the course. But these tweets about George R.R. Martin missing his Winds Of Winter deadline are a reminder that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Too bad it's been dashed again.
There was a point when Martin seemed to recognize his inability to finish The Winds of Winter had reached chronic conditions. As such, he began to refuse to cite anything like a completion date for the next novel. After missing the last promised deadline in 2016, Martin declined to give any updates. By mid-2017, he had stopped talking about it altogether. That stayed the state of things pretty much until the HBO series ended.
In May 2019, however, in a blog post about an offer to fly him to New Zealand to finish the book, he wrote that he was confident enough on his progress to say he'd be done by WorldCon 2020 (a major sci-fi writing convention). In fact, he wrote: "If I don’t have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for WorldCon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done."
Welp, at the time of him writing that blog post, WorldCon was scheduled for July 29, 2020, meaning his personally set deadline has come. And although his "formal written permission" was published over a year ago, fans, much like the North, remember:
Of course, like everything else in the world, WorldCon has bowed to the current pandemic forces and gone virtual. So *technically* Martin is not breaking his promise by not having The Winds of Winter in hand right now, because he's not actually arriving in New Zealand for WorldCon.
But there's good news, even if there's no book coming today, tomorrow, or anytime soon. In a recent blog post, dated June 23, 2020, Martin gave a vague hint that The Winds of Winter could be done by the of summer 2021. Moreover, since then, he has boasted about finishing up three more chapters in the book.
Of course, what's more likely is that fans can look forward to next summer, when The Winds of Winter is still not out, and Martin can disappoint everyone all over again.
Hey, at least House of the Dragon is still on track to arrive in 2022.