George R.R. Martin provided an update this weekend on progress for both The Winds of Winter and The World of Ice and Fire. He says:
We all know how long the last novel took. And now I am writing the “sidebar” (hoo hah) about the first Dance of the Dragons, the fratricidal civil war between King Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra, for THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE, and it’s turned into a monster too.
As of today, I have a hundred and three bloody manuscript pages (some VERY bloody) and still no end at hand. I had hoped to finish this one today, but… no, not even close. Lots more to write.
I think there’s some good stuff here, and judging by the reception my reading got at Chicon, most of you seem to like the fake history too. But DAMN, there a lot of it.
The ‘sidebar’ he’s referring to will appear in The World of Ice and Fire, an encyclopaedic volume collecting much of the history, maps, characters and vast backstory that Martin has created for A Song of Ice and Fire, but which will likely never appear in the novels themselves. I’m sure there will be much sniffing at the fact that he’s not dedicating all of his time directly to The Winds of Winter, but, hey, any A Song of Ice and Fire content is welcome to this fan.
UPDATE: As pointed out below, that’s 103 pages of manuscript for The World of Ice and Fire, not The Winds of Winter, which is further along.
Actual progress on the novel seems slow at 103 pages. By comparison, when submitted, A Dance with Dragons was 1510 manuscript pages. So, not even 10% of the way through. In other words, it’s going to be a long wait, fans. My suggestion? Go read some Daniel Abraham, then follow it up with some N.K. Jemisin, Greg Keyes, David Anthony Durham, Kate Elliott and Tad Williams. After that, you’ll still have to wait a while, but, hell, at least you’ll have experienced some damn fine novels.