In a recent blog post, Martin confirms that his beast, long slaved over, is finally complete:
Instead of continuing work on the novel, pushing back the release date even further, I spoke with my editor and felt the best course of action would be to split the novel in half. What was once one novel is now three: A Feast for Crows, A Flank of Beef for Brienne and A Dance with Dragons.
In the spirit of the original split, I’ve moved many of the characters to A Dance with Dragons, including Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. A Flank of Beef for Brienne will focus solely on the title character, with cameos from that hooker in King’s Landing and the horse Bran rides around on.
A Flank of Beef for Brienne will be released September, 2011 and will contain work that has been completed for three years. By my estimate, it will ring in somewhere around 900 pages.
But, the real trick here isn’t the lame attempt at a George R.R. Martin joke, but that you thought I seriously considered it a good, original April Fools Day gag. It’s not. It’s lame, and sure to be one of many jokes proclaiming that A Dance with Dragons is done. Guess the jokes on you.