George R.R. Martin Knuckles Down on ‘The Winds of Winter,’ Cancels SDCC Appearance

By March 18, 2015

Author George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the most popular fantasy series ever created, only exacerbated by the near-universal acclaim enjoyed by its HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones. As the show has moved along at a brisk pace, though, Martin has yet to give any solid release information for The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the planned seven book series.

Working on the sixth book since at least 2011, Martin has previously expressed worry that the TV series will catch up to his story fairly quickly, and that the show will either have to reveal elements of the unreleased books, or come up with original material to fill the story out while he finishes. He’s said before, “The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable head start, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see.”

In that vein, Martin announced on his official “not a blog” that he’ll be skipping Comic Con International in San Diego this July, the event at which he’s been a mainstay on HBO’s Game of Thrones panel since 2010. Martin doesn’t seem particularly torn up about skipping the mega event, though: he seems sorrier to have to miss this year’s World Fantasy Convention, being held in Saratoga Springs, New York this November. Keeping his trademark wit — including referring to Winds of Winter as the “Son of Kong” as an inside joke — Martin relayed his disappointment for missing the fantasy convention, while telling his fans that the book needs the lion’s share of his attention at the moment.

[…] I’m not a guest of honor, and I’m not (so far as I know) getting an award; I just wanted to go. Reluctantly, however, I’ve just had to scratch Saratoga off my list of 2015 appearances. For no reason having to do with the con itself. I am sure it will be terrific. It’s just a matter of time. I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate. Son of Kong foremost amongst them.

My apologies to anyone who saw Saratoga on my Appearances page and planned to go in order to see me. I won’t be there. Go anyway. You’ll have a great time. Also, I have decided against attending this year’s San Diego Comicon. Same reason. But since Comicon was never listed on my Appearances page, scratching it is not as big a deal.

At the end, Martin tells us though that should he complete and turn in the highly anticipated book before the events he’s had to cancel appearances for take place, then he could end up making it. While that doesn’t seem likely, I’m sure that his devoted fanbase appreciates the gesture. Hopefully, the book will be turned in sooner rather than later. To be fair, though, fans and observers have been saying exactly that for about four years. Here’s to Martin getting into “the zone.”

In the meantime, Game of Thrones season 5 premieres on HBO on April 12th.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.

    I can’t imagine making a book much respect for this dude

  • AsianSensation

    omg I would be soooo bummed if I was gonna go to see him and he cancelled

  • ron paul

    how old is george now?

  • brian pumper

    awwww why did he cancel though :(( is he ok healthwise?

  • James

    so game of thrones is based completely off the book series??

  • kushlap

    im up to the 4th book so far and I am so enticed by this guys writing…one of my favorites for sure

  • GaryAScheidt

    soooo excited for the winds of winter (:

  • Paul_T

    george is a true genius, nothing can beat a song of ice and fire