Martin to finally finish "A Dance with Dragons"

The next book in “The Song of Ice and Fire” series finally has a set release date. After six long years, many fans were beginning to worry that George R.R. Martin would never finish the next entry.

Especially now that he is helping work on a television series, which surely takes a lot of his time, and which has seemed more important to him over the last few years.

Fans have almost gone through an entire cycle of skin cells since the last book, “A Feast for Crows,” was released, with a new one being promised over and over along the way. For the first time, however, Martin himself has confirmed the date (first reported by Entertainment Weekly) on his blog. The book will be released on 12 July 2011.

If you see some of your fellow geeks dancing around and shouting things like “Yes! Finally!” – now you know why. After the sadness and disappointment over Robert Jordan, who recently passed away, leaving his long-running “Wheel of Time” series unfinished, some were concerned that the same might happen with this favorite series.

When it launches we will already have the first few episodes of the television series, as it starts airing in April.

There are a lot of theories about why this book took so long, from the innocent to the malevolent, but the author himself claims that it was simple writers block.

I get that. I mean, Imagine: You’re trucking along, writing up your popular epic fantasy novels, when, partway through writing the fifth book, you start working on a television series based on those books. I don’t mean the time. It’s not the investment of time in the television show that gave him writer’s block; I think it’s the existence of the show itself. 

Suddenly, he’s aware that everything he is writing may (if the show survives) someday be translated onto the screen. That changes everything. When he says that he had to almost completely rewrite this novel, I believe it. He had to rewrite it with new visuals in mind, picturing every scene as it will appear on television, rather than just running it through his personal mind’s eye. I think that kind-of thing could really mess with one’s work-flow.

Whatever happened, it will surely be worth the wait, as Martin has not disappointed his fans yet with the quality of this series, and our patience is always rewarded. I do sort of hope that a recap of the first books comes with this new one, because I don’t remember everything that was happening, and don’t really want to reread all of the previous novels before beginning this one.