George RR Martin: I’m skipping Comic Con to write – unless I finish new Game of Thrones book first

The author is taking a break from fan conventions in order to concentrate on Winds of Winter, the much-anticipated next instalment in his fantasy series - unless he completes it by November...

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In a bittersweet announcement for Game of Thrones fans, George RR Martin has decided to cut back on appearances at conventions around America to fully focus on finishing his upcoming novel Winds of Winter. 

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The 66-year-old writer, who pens the hugely popular fantasy novels on which the HBO hit series is based, has pulled out of planned visits to the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY, as well as this year’s San Diego Comic Con

“I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate,” Martin revealed on his blog

“I was there the last time it was held in Saratoga, and I had a great time. A terrific town, a wonderful con… This year the convention is returning to Saratoga once again, and I was hoping to return as well.

“Reluctantly, however, I’ve just had to scratch Saratoga off my list of 2015 appearances… Also, I have decided against attending this year’s San Diego Comicon. Same reason.” 

While fans will obviously be sad not to see the fantasy icon at these events, it does mean we are a tiny bit closer to the book hitting shelves around the world.

In fact, the author added “Should I complete and deliver Winds of Winter before these cons roll round, I reserve the right to change my mind,” sparking speculation among Thrones fans about when he is expecting to finish the sixth novel in the series.

With Comic Con set for 9th-12th July and the Saratoga convention scheduled for the 5th-9th November 2015, might we have a finished manuscript by the end of the year? 

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Game of Thrones series five premieres on Sky Atlantic on Monday 13th April at 9:00pm