It might be a day late and a Gold Dragon short, but winter appears to (finally) be coming: at long last, frustrated fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels are getting a sizable look at the still-unreleased sixth book, The Winds of Winter. If, that is, they buy the iBooks exclusive digital edition of A Game of Thrones, marking the 20th anniversary of the novel that went on to spawn the hugely successful HBO series.
Now available for $8.99, A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition comes with interactive content laying out the tortured history of Westeros with character maps, great house summaries, detailed annotations, a substantial glossary, and a new appendix detailing all house sigils, along with other content helping readers make sense of the complex web of alliances and conflicts at the heart of the story. And of course, an excerpt from The Winds of Winter.
The Winds of Winter has been literature’s most famous vaporware for more than 6 years. Martin started writing it even before the 2011 debut of HBO’s Game of Thrones and near-simultaneous publication of the series’ fifth book, A Dance With Dragons. Martin is of course notorious for taking increasingly long periods of time to write, but as recently as 2013 he was confident that he’d finish Winter before the HBO series caught up.
That famously did not happen — with season 6, HBO’s Game of Thrones has achieved the rare milestone of an adapted work outpacing its source material. This led to much speculation Winter might not ever be finished. Indeed, while Martin has released small excerpts over the years, but he’s been frank about the fact that he keeps expanding the size and scope of the story, not to mention how his frequent traveling gets in the way of writing.
But before you get too excited, there’s still no release date for Winter. We’ll have to wait a bit longer it seems to find out if any new books will be released before the HBO series concludes after its eighth season in 2018.
Meanwhile, enhanced editions for subsequent books in the series are available for pre-order. No word on whether they’ll contain excerpts of other projects Martin hasn’t finished yet.