Last year, George R.R. Martin told fans of his A Song of Ice and Fire series that they can officially imprison him if his newest novel wasn’t finished by July 29, 2020. Well, today is that day, and still no book.

Why that specific date? Martin had plans to release The Winds of Winter, the planned sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, at the World Science Fiction Convention in Wellington, New Zealand this summer. The convention runs from July 29 to August 2. “The Winds of Winter” is also the name of the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones, which are based off Martin's novels.

The comment was originally made on Martin’s personal blog, assuring fans that his new book would be finished in time for the convention. “But I tell you this — if I don’t have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for Worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done,” wrote Martin. “Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”

Martin's statement can’t be entirely true anymore, since Worldcon's festivities are entirely virtual this year. So there’s no way for him to arrive book-in-hand anymore. Still, today would have been the day he set foot in New Zealand for Worldcon. What do you think, should we hold him to it? Honestly, imprisonment in a small cabin doesn't sound too bad in our current state of isolation. But it should be mentioned that White Island is known for its active (sometimes lethal) volcanic eruptions. Maybe Martin is better off where he is.

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