Most diehard fantasy fiction readers know that "Just finish the book, George!" refers to the long-delayed sixth and seventh books of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. Fans of the books (including Yours Truly) worried that writing episodes and consulting for the HBO series Game of Thrones would consume too much of Mr. Martin’s time and prevent him writing the last two books in the series before we forgot the labyrinthine details of the previous five books. Indeed, the fifth book was published way back in 2011.
So imagine the uproar in the Twitterverse when it was revealed this week that GRRM’s sixth book in the series, entitled The Winds of Winter, could be further delayed by an entirely irrelevant side project: a potential new HBO series set in 1949 revolving around an underappreciated science fiction writer who pens stories no one else dares. The series would be called “Captain Cosmos.” Read more about the plan in the Entertainment Weekly article that broke the story.
Also in this Entertainment Weekly article, GRRM explains that he wants Winds published before Season Six of GOT airs in 2016. He’s working hard, he says, and explains, “I've canceled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews—anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.”
But he’s going to help launch another HBO series? Really? Just finish the books, George! (Please?)
On a more upbeat note, the producers of HBO’s GOT promise that Season Six will air whether or not Mr. Martin has finished The Winds of Winter. The show’s writers will base their plots and subplots, which already diverge from the books in significant ways, on the general story outline that GRRM has already provided them. (Ahem? Excuse us, but can we get copies of that outline, please?)