Mar 3 2011 12:23pm

Set Your Calendars: A Dance With Dragons Comes Out on July 12

A Dance With Dragons cover gallery

After more than five years of “maybe next year...,” fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series finally have a concrete release date for the next book in the series, A Dance With Dragons: Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

The announcement comes straight from Martin himself. And the real kicker? The book still isn’t done yet! However, Martin’s publisher, Bantam Spectra, is optimistic enough about the progress of the book that they have set a date. This optimism echoes a progress report made by Del Rey editor Betsy Mitchell at the Fantasy Writers panel during last fall’s New York Comic Con in which she stated that the book had only five or so chapters left to complete.

The long-awaited fifth volume will hit shelves within a week of the conclusion of the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation, making this a very exciting spring for George R.R. Martin fans.

Completing A Dance With Dragons has been a 10+ year struggle for the author, as the volume was originally slated to be the third, then the fourth, and now, officially, the fifth in the series. We’re very happy to hear the news, and we’re sure Mr. Martin is equally happy, if not more so, to have this book finally completed!

2. zmr
Wonder what the sixth book is going to be called?
Darren James
4. b8amack
Awesome news on the release! I do feel sad that I don't see a Stephen Youll cover up there, but still, fantastic news!
Emmet O'Brien
5. EmmetAOBrien
I knew deciding to reread the Malazan books next rather than ASoIaF would work to make A Dance with Dragons show up.
6. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
Bummer. How cool would it have been for this to go down as one of the great unfinished works of world culture, like The Canterbury Tales or The Mystery of Edwin Drood? Like Mozart's Requiem, y'know?

Ah, well. To lost opportunities...
7. cranscape
900 pages. 900 PAGES! *flail*
Lila Fontes
8. lila927
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! This is fantastic! I'm thrilled! After Neil Gamain's "George R. R. Martin is not your bitch" post, I felt guilty for my impatience... but now all my enthusiasm is restored! Huzzah!
9. KiManiak
Hah! I've fallen for this trick before. I'll believe it when I see it...
Chris Lough
10. TorChris
@2zmr. The Song of Ice and Fire Wikipedia page has the titles listed for the rest of the series. Some of the "Dragons" chapters have already found their way into Book 6, according to Martin.
David Thomson
12. ZetaStriker
Yeah, the not finished part is what gets me. I mean, is it edited? Gods, I hope the stuff he's already done is edited. They've only had forever to work on it.

But yeah, I'm still excited. But if this doesn't get delayed, what will Finish the Book, George have to complain about now!?
lake sidey
13. lakesidey
does the happy dance

glurble. glomp. YaaHooOooOooOooOooO!!!!!

galumphs a bit. froths at the mouth. grins inanely

14. jim162065
More happy dancing
Brook Freeman
15. longstrider
As a friend of mine just said. You're a month early on your April Fools Day joke.
16. Megaduck
I don't belive it! The Book is a Lie! It's finally be out?
Adam Shaeffer
17. ashaef
2011 is shaping up to be a great year for books!
Mike McD
18. msmcdon
First momentary thought that flitted through my mind -- is it April Fool's already?
Tyler Will
19. Willard17
I'm crossing my fingers hoping that this date holds! Having the book not completely finished yet leaves me a little worried though.
21. Robin Shephard
Can it be really true? I'd all but given up waiting for this
Kenneth Sutton
22. kenneth
Is Bantam Spectra abandoning any pretense of editing?
23. sporksoma
In other news, Duke Nukem Forever will be released shortly.
25. horseshaver
The 6th book will be called A'nother Ten Years.
Tricia Irish
26. Tektonica
Ha! I'm not holding my breath. I've passed out before.....

But hopeful...maybe....shrug.
Steven Halter
27. stevenhalter
@various:Yeah, I'm curious as to what "not finished" means in this context. Usually, for a July release it would have to have be well along the final page proof path by this time in the schedule.
Chris Lough
28. TorChris
@23sporksoma. Heh. May 3rd, right? This is becoming quite a year for long hauls.

@27shalter. From my (very) limited knowledge of the editorial process, I would not be surprised if the book has been undergoing partial editing this entire time. (i.e. plot and structure edits that involve long passages). More precise edits can be turned around and sent from author to editor to printer within a matter of days. The quality of them is debatable, but it can be done. This is certainly a big enough book to warrant that.
29. jelsel
as said above, when i've got a copy in my hands i'll believe it ;)

on the other hand, for some obscure reason i recently started a re-read and am in book nr 2. Coincedence? I don't think so :D
Peter Stone
30. Peter1742
Actually, I believe that A Dance with Dragons was originally intended to have been the second book (before GRRM started writing A Game of Thrones). But he's only been working on it since completing A Clash of Kings.
31. S.D. Ashley
Who cares at this point. I gave up after the last book. George R.R Martin has systematically killed off every character that is remotely likable. Now all is left is a bunch of unlikeable characters and perhaps 2 likable characters (John Snow, Aria.)

As an author, I understand the idea of killing off a good character every now and then. It can bring great dramatic moments and provide a rich emotional context to the final victory. It's also a reminder to the reader that the danger is real.

However, killing off most of your good characters just robs the story of the elements that keep your readers reading.

Perhaps, I'm just not a glutten for punishment.
Emmet O'Brien
32. EmmetAOBrien
However, killing off most of your good characters just robs the story of the elements that keep your readers reading.

I want to make the point that one reason I like these books so much is precisely because of knowing nobody's safe. It adds a level of tension that's absent from books where you can rest assured nothing too bad will happen to someone just because they're a protagonist.

Also, I see no reason why a character has to be "likable", whatever that means, in order to be interesting and worth reading about.
Daniel Goss
33. Beren
Hmm. Interesting. Maybe I'll actually finish A Feast for Crows now.
34. RobinM
I'll believe it when I see it on the bookstore shelves. Also be cautious of possible flying pig or unicorn sitings .
35. Fantasy fan
Martin has promised and missed so many release dates for the book its unbelievable. He will probably miss this one too.
He also has refused to talk about the progress on his blog and censors anyone who critiscizes him. However he makes regular posts with titles like "winter is coming" to make us think hes finished the book but he hasnt.
I have lost all faith in martins desire and ability to actually complete this series and think anyone who believes he will is delusional.
Dont buy this book. Go read brandon sanderson. Thats an author who knows how to tell a great fantady story and publish books quickly!
For a good laugh check out the blog "finish the book george".
Adam Whitehead
36. Werthead
Is Bantam Spectra abandoning any pretense of editing?

Bantam have been editing the book over the last year or so, as GRRM has 'locked' finalised sections of the book and sent them to the publishers. Apparently the book is already mostly-typeset with the new maps and appendices already completed.

In other news, Duke Nukem Forever will be released shortly.

Correct, on 3 May in the USA and 6 May worldwide. Looks like it could be old-school fun with a great idea for a health system. And yes, that means Duke Nukem is coming out before A DANCE WITH DRAGONS :)
Adam Whitehead
37. Werthead
@35: Maybe if people didn't want Martin to censor his blog, they shouldn't have bombarded his blog with spam and hate mail, posted obscene images and harrassed other fans posting there?

Weird how no-one ever mentions that when they bring up the "GRRM hates free speech waaargh!" angle.
Jim Millen
38. jim.millen
Meh. Been too long for me to get excited about this now, and WOT's been enough waiting and hoping about a fiction series to last me a lifetime.

If and when GRRM finishes aSoIaF, I'll read the whole thing beginning to end for old times sake, but otherwise, I ain't going to bother.

EDIT: Oh, and call me cynical, but a +1 for "believe it when I see it". Unlike some I don't for a second believe GRRM had any sinister motive for the delay, but clearly something's been very wrong with both his writing process & his ability to estimate progress. If it's still not finished now? I'll wait till I see it on a bookstore shelf!
39. xian101
This happened before with the release date on Amazon and all that. I'll believe it when I hold it!
Christopher Key
40. Artanian
I'm with the others, I'll believe it when I have the book in hand AND it doesn't have a 'sorry, we had to cut half the book but that will be out Real Soon Now' afterword.

But, assuming he does deliver, time to start the Winds of Winter pool - I predict November 17, 2026, although a curve fit predicts it much sooner, say 2020 or 2021.
41. saucerhead
Hey Wert, lets not bring up Linda shutting down a forum critical of the Gurm while we are at it, hey? Most of the thin skin is from the Martin-boosters, not the other way around
Adam Whitehead
42. Werthead
@41: I didn't bring that up, but that's an entertaining one. People create a forum putting up posts and images that could get them and their hosting company sued for defamation and slander. They're asked politely to adhere to the terms of service they agreed to when they created the forum, refused, and got shut down for it by the server admins, then spent the following period running around crying nonsense about 'censorship'.

That was ridiculous. If you're doing things that could invite legal attention from one of the world's biggest publishers and one of its biggest media conglomerates, of course you're going to get shut down. There are plenty of forums critical of GRRM which are going just fine, they're just sensible enough not to cross the line into doing things which are legally dubious.
Mani A
44. sn0wcrash
Time to put in my advance order in then.
Crap, don't think I can finish the aSoIaF re-read between Crippled God & the release date...
45. Robrob
Pigs flying through a snowstom in Hell...
Abdel Masdoua
46. TheDarkOne
Great Scott, that's some heavy news!

So good to read!!!
47. winterking
I'll believe it when I hold it in my hands.

(Brandon Sanderson may have to finish a second fantasy series begun by someone else, at this rate.)
48. ediFanoB
Am I dreaming??? I pinched myself three times and it hurts! So it must be true.

That will be a great summer.
And there is enough time to reread
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A feast for Crows
before :-)
49. John Al'Taylor
YES, YES, YES, at last I can rejoice, the end is in sight. Bring it on, let it roll, break down the doors, open the windows and hail the arrival of THE END
z drake cupsford
50. zdrakec

I remember Neil Gamain's post; no disrespect to you, but I thoroughly disagreed with it. No, GRRM is not my bitch; but then, I'm not his, either. When an author starts a long story like this one, and gets me to commit time and money to it as it goes on (and on... and on...), then I believe that, yes, he does owe it me and the rest of the readership to actually finish the thing.

Just sayin'.

Hugh Arai
51. HArai
@Zdrakec: I just invested my precious time reading your post on this blog. Therefore you owe it to me and the rest of the readership to spend the rest of your life exclusively posting things we want to read on this blog. Get to it. We're waiting.
Iain Cupples
52. NumberNone
More politely: zdrakec, you're half right but you have it backwards. You're not the author's bitch, correct: but that doesn't mean therefore the author owes you something. That would make no sense.

It means you don't owe the author anything. You're not obliged to purchase his/her next book, for example. Really, you're not. If you want to find out how the story ends, you're going to have to, of course. But that's your choice: the author has no right to insist that you finish reading it, any more than you have a right to insist he/she finishes writing it. See?
z drake cupsford
53. zdrakec

I exercised that right by refusing to buy anything that Martin has written that is NOT A Song of Ice and Fire.
No, this comparison won't do. I didn't require you to pay money in order to read what I wrote.

Hugh Arai
54. HArai
I'm betting no one put a gun to your head to buy A Game of Thrones, or any of the others. So you weren't required to pay anything. Hey, you could have gone to the library and not paid a cent. Regardless, if you want another comparison try this:

I'm going to assume you've been paid to do a job before.
Some one paid you to shovel their driveway for example. You're claiming that because you made them pay for you to shovel the driveway, and they liked the job you did, you're now obligated to shovel their driveway whenever they want you to until the winter is over.
55. Calendars
Cant wait for it! But it is still ubavailable! When will it be available? Im excited!

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