The time has come to have a frank discussion about whether or not we should imprison author George R.R. Martin. Now, don't look at me here. It was his own idea that he suggested in a blog post on May 21, 2019. In his own words:
But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.
The World of Science Fiction Convention (worldcon), which was supposed to take place in Wellington, New Zealand, is being held virtually, beginning today. Thus, Martin vowed to have his long-awaited sixth novel from the A Song of Fire and Ice series, The Winds of Winter, done by today. Hell, maybe a few days ago depending on whether or not he had some sight-seeing planned for before the start of the convention.
At the time Martin wrote this, he probably thought that 14 months was more than enough time for him to finish a book, no matter how far he was from completion, but he was apparently wrong because I just Googled "Winds of Winter" and the closest thing to news of a release I found were this June story about him hoping to have the book done by 2021. A less optimistic person might also mention this article where an expert on the A Song of Fire and Ice series predicts 2022 is a better bet for the book to be released.
So I guess it really might be time to imprison our beloved GRRM. Not that it would do much. He has literally been stuck in a cabin the wilderness for months. Do we really think locking him in a different cabin would inspire him or allow him to better focus? Maybe, but let's also forget that it doesn't matter if or when he finishes the book because David Benioff and D.B. Weiss already soiled and spoiled Martin's life's work with the atrocity that was the final season of Game of Thrones.
Martin is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. What are the odds that Winds of Winter could live up to nine years of anticipation? And worse yet - this book won't even wrap up the story. After he completes this, he's supposed to write another long book called A Dream of Spring. But maybe he'll work on something else in between. Here's what Martin told The Guardian in January 2019.
“The Winds of Winter is next, then I’ll decide what comes after that – whether it’s to go on to A Dream of Spring, the last one, or whether I switch back into Fire and Blood II, do another Dunk and Egg story or two. But I’ll worry about that one thing at a time – that’s too far ahead.”
So maybe he does need to be locked away somewhere. The only real problem with his original suggestion is that there is no way New Zealand would import an American right now, no matter how bad his crime.