If there's one thing to really love about George R.R. Martin, it's that he still appreciates the fine art that is LiveJournal blogging. The fantasy author has used his trusty "Not A Blog" account to share thoughts and news for many years, and now he's one-upping himself by delivering a nugget of new information in the comment section.
In a February 7 post about Hugo Awards nominations, Martin let slip in the comments section that we can expect a new A Song of Ice and Fire book in 2018. Sadly, it's not The Winds of Winter, but instead the first volume of a companion story collection called Fire and Blood.
If you're making the Sad Jon face, you're not alone. But chins up, because Fire and Blood actually sounds pretty cool, and, according to Martin, is mostly made up of recycled material from his encyclopedic The World of Ice and Fire, meaning there probably wasn't a lot of extra writing involved to distract him. The collection will focus on "fake histories of the Targaryen kings," from Aegon's Conquest to the regency of boy king Aegon III.
Back in 2017, Martin jokingly referred to Fire and Blood as "the GRRMarillion" (a play on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion). He also hinted that The Winds of Winter will come out between the releases of Volumes I and II of Fire and Blood. That doesn't tell us much, but it does sound like there's at least some sort of publishing schedule in place, even loosely.
Luckily, A Song of Ice and Fire fans are a strong breed and are prepared to wait a long time for that thing they love. In addition to the long drought before The Winds of Winter, we also have a full year before the final season of Game of Thrones hits TV screens in 2019. Hopefully Fire and Blood can fill the void of anticipation in the meantime.
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