Look, there’s not a massive amount to do at the moment. Our social calendars aren’t exactly overflowing, and very few people will experience the consequences of this frustrating predicament more than George R. R. Martin today, thanks to the burgeoning memeification of one of his old blog posts.
Back in 2019, the beloved fantasy novelist pledged to touch down at this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in New Zealand with long-awaited A Song of Ice and Fire instalment The Winds of Winter thoroughly “in hand” – and if he should fail to deliver said book by July 29, 2020? Well, he gave fans of the series formal written permission to imprison him “in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid” until he’s done.
Ladies, gentlemen, others …the time is now. We must imprison George R. R. Martin, as per his wishes.
“In the summer of 2020, Wellington is hosting the World Science Fiction Convention, the oldest and most important con in the SF/ fantasy calendar, and they’ve asked me to serve as Toastmaster for the Hugo Awards,” the Game of Thrones author announced last May, adding “As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce. 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. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”
Not if you go online today, George. We are quite, quite bored.
Of course, Mr. Martin hasn’t flown off to Wellington this week, with or without a finished manuscript for The Winds of Winter, and CoNZealand 2020 is now Virtual CoNZealand 2020 because the world is on fire, but what do these factors matter when we can collectively threaten to frogmarch George R. R. Martin to his own personally-selected jail for our own amusement online? Not a damn thing, we suppose.
Last month, Martin offered an update on the book, which has been in the works for over a decade:
“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write,” he said. “I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”
Oh no, that’s us, isn’t it? He got our asses. Jail for us too, then. Let’s all go.
Real talk, George: we love you, and we hope you’re keeping well. Go at your own pace, and feel free to get The Winds of Winter out there when you’re good and ready.