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George RR Martin finally gives 'Game of Thrones' book update

It's still going to be a bleak 2017 for those hoping to read "The Winds of Winter," but could 2018 be a double-book year?

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Soon, George R.R. Martin promises, fans will be able to read all about the history of Daenerys Targaryen's family. Oh, and possibly also read the next book in "A Song of Ice and Fire."


Getting news about George R.R. Martin's next "Game of Thrones" book can be as tough as getting Daenerys' dragons to heel -- it ain't happening. Martin occasionally lets a tidbit slip in a response to a fan on an unrelated reply on his blog, and fans have to hunt for any morsels of news.

But on Saturday, the author of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series that turned into HBO's "Game of Thrones" was feeling generous, and addressed his long-awaited next book, "The Winds of Winter," directly.

Martin blasted "truly weird" reports that the next book is finished and he is choosing not to release it, as well as reports claiming he has written nothing.

"I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question)," he wrote. "I still have good days and bad days, and that's all I care to say. Whether 'Winds' or the first volume of [Targaryen history book] 'Fire and Blood' will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018... and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream..."

Martin also plugged two other books with "Thrones" connections. "The Book of Swords" is a new fantasy anthology that includes a new story by Martin called "The Sons of the Dragon."

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The story, says Martin, is "a chronicle of the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer's two sons, Aenys I Targaryen and Maegor the Cruel, for those who cannot get enough of my entirely fake histories of Westeros." He adds, "that one has never been published before in any form, though I did read it at a couple of cons." The Targaryens, of course, are one of Westeros' famous families, claiming both Daenerys and Jon Snow (at least the TV version) as members.

And as for the "Fire and Blood" book Martin mentioned, it seems he just can't get enough of Dany's old-school relatives.

"Regulars here may recall our plan to assemble an entire book of my fake histories of the Targaryen kings, a volume we called (in jest) the GRRMarillion or (more seriously) 'Fire and Blood,'" Martin wrote. "We have so much material that it's been decided to publish the book in two volumes." The first of the two should be out in late 2018 or 2019, he said, but the other is "largely unwritten" and will take much longer. 

But he does hope the second book will "carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert's Rebellion," so we'll get to see Ned Stark is his younger days. You know, when he was still trying to get, uh, ahead.

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