Update: George R.R. Martin’s U.S. publisher Random House have issued a statement about the Amazon France date making the media rounds: “As his publisher, we support George RR Martin as he works hard to finish The Winds of Winter. Any on-sale dates currently listed online for the novel are incorrect. Once we have a publication date for The Winds of Winter, the world will know.”
Previous: A new listing on Amazon France has ignited speculation that George R.R. Martin’s highly anticipated and frequently delayed next Game of Thrones (a.k.a. A Song of Ice and Fire) novel may finally have a publication date.
According to the listing (which as of this writing is still live), The Winds of Winter has a release window of March 2017. If true, this would mean that Martin’s novel would hit at the same time of year that new Game of Thrones seasons typically release, which would help fill the void left by HBO’s decision to delay the season 7 premiere until June 2017.
Of course, this has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. For one thing, Martin’s UK publisher HarperCollins has already issued a statement to one outlet reporting the rumor that “nothing has been finalized regarding the publication or the date,” although that is a typical response companies give to rumors and speculation. Martin has also made it clear that when a release date has been finalized, he will make the announcement first on his own blog, which means that until the author posts it there, you should treat all release date rumors as suspect.
That being said, Martin hasn’t really said much about how the novel is coming along since last January, when he announced that the book would not be ready in time for Game of Thrones season 6, so there’s a chance that he’s made enough progress since then to commit to a March 2017 publication date. Then again, we’re so desperate to just read the damn thing already that we’ll latch onto any news about a release date, so please Mr. Martin, don’t let us down again by confirming that this latest rumor is nothing but smoke and mirrors …