Winter isn't coming after all -- at least for a while.
"You wanted an update. Here's the update. You won't like it," he wrote in a lengthy blog post Saturday. "'The Winds of Winter' is not finished."
This means that when the HBO production returns in April, fans won't have a heads up of what may happen, prompting fears of spoilers for readers.
Martin planned to finish the book by the start of this year in time for a March publication date. But just like devotees of the books and the series, he is upset.
"Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words," he wrote. "You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me."
But progress is being made, he assured fans, saying that "those 'no pages done' reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise."
As for when the book will be finished, Martin declared that he's not dealing with deadlines anymore. Fans will just have to wait.
"I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over," he wrote. "The deadlines just stress me out. ...It will be done when it's done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it."
The obvious question at hand is about spoilers, and whether the show will reveal anything that has yet to have happened in the books. To that, Martin simply responded, "Maybe. Yes and no."
"Some of the 'spoilers' you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all... because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, I'll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That's all I know how to do."
Though Martin expected fans would express their discontent, he thanked them in a second blog for their "astonishing" response.
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the kind words and good wishes," he wrote.