George R.R. Martin has good news and bad news for "Game of Thrones" fans who hoped to catch a glimpse of the author at San Diego Comic-Con International this year. The bad news: He probably won't be there. The good news: He's skipping this year's event to focus on writing "The Winds of Winter," the sixth novel in his hugely popular "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.
Martin made the announcement on his blog, in an entry noting that he also will not attend this year's World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "I have too much to do," the author wrote. "Too many things on my plate. "Son of Kong" foremost amongst them." ("Son of Kong" is Martin's nickname for "The Winds of Winter.")
"Also, I have decided against attending this year's San Diego [Comic-Con]. Same reason," Martin continued. "(Should I complete and deliver WINDS OF WINTER before these cons roll round, I reserve the right to change my mind)." If his fans are disappointed, they might feel better knowing Martin is, too -- his post is tagged "Current Mood: sad," accompanied by a small graphic of a crying alien.
For readers hoping Martin's blog was hacked, there's more bad news. A representative from his publisher Penguin Random House confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the writer won't be in San Diego this summer: "George is indeed focusing on his writing, and will therefore not be attending SDCC this year. Since he never confirmed that he would attend in 2015, this really doesn’t affect any plans."
Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books are a publishing phenomenon, and form the basis for the HBO show "Game of Thrones," the fifth season of which is scheduled to start airing next month.
"The Winds of Winter" has been in the works for a long time -- the last book in the series, "A Dance with Dragons," was published in 2011. If everything goes according to Martin's plans, there will be seven (or maybe eight) novels in the series. Impatient readers shouldn't hold their breath, though -- it remains extremely unlikely that "The Winds of Winter" will be published this year.