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Game of Thrones book by summer 2020, author vows, or 'imprison me'

This is as close to a real deadline as George R.R. Martin has had for a while, and he gave it to himself.

game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-6-jon-holds-daenerys

Maybe these two will have better luck in the book.

Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones fans have been waiting and waiting for The Winds of Winter, the next book in author George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. And although the HBO blockbuster show ended on May 19, there's still no sign of the new novel.

But on Tuesday, Martin wrote about the book on his Not A Blog website, and he seems to have set himself a deadline.

Martin was responding to a video from Air New Zealand offering him a free trip to that country so he can finish the book at long last. "Point is, George, you've been saying, 'Winter is coming' for ages now," the video teases. "We're saying it's already here, and it's pretty inspiring."

Martin thanked the airline, noted that he could pay his own way (we bet he can), and said he'd better keep on writing at home in the US. But then came a promise of sorts.

Noting that he is traveling to New Zealand in the summer of 2020 for the World Science Fiction Convention, Martin wrote, "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.  Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I'll be fine."

We can hold him to that, right? Someone start the countdown. Worldcon 2020 begins July 29 of that year, so it's only about 14 months away.

Martin said earlier this week that the two remaining books in the series will not end in exactly the same way as the TV show did, though there will be some similarities.