01 May 2018

The Verge: “NASA astronauts will probably launch from the US before The Winds of Winter is published”

Because of all this uncertainty, I once believed Martin would finish his book before the Commercial Program got into full swing. Creating new spaceflight capabilities is difficult, and NASA has imposed a particularly strict safety standard on its two commercial partners. Plus, Martin has insisted multiple times that he saw the book’s completion on the horizon. He even has a team of researchers and assistants helping him maintain Westeros continuity.

But now that Martin has admitted that The Winds of Winter won’t be coming out this year, he has left me with no choice, and no doubt: SpaceX and Boeing will launch NASA astronauts first. It’s not just that the book is delayed again. Martin is instead releasing a 640-page history book about the Targaryens — that’s 989 manuscript pages! About a single family in Westeros! Sure, both SpaceX and Boeing have other projects they’re working on, too, but these companies have staffs of thousands of people. Only one person can write the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and if Martin is working on a separate “imaginary history”, it doesn’t get written.

Loren Grush

I have a wild theory about the reason why George R.R. Martin delays the next book in the series again and again, while releasing other works in the same fantastical universe: he doesn’t know how to end the story! I think he got so tangled up in the countless characters and tangential plots that he simply lost track of his original vision and now he can’t make up his mind how to pull it all together.

A Song of Ice and Fire book series

On the other hand… pragmatically, there’s no reason for him to actually finish the story, not while he can milk film and book distribution rights for years, keeping fans’ interest alive by gradually releasing prequel stories and TV series. I personally couldn’t care less if and when the final two novels are finished; as with The Expanse, I’m not planning to ever read the books. I’ll just watch the series to its completion and be done with it – the good news: only six episodes left!

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