LOS ANGELES • Author George R.R. Martin has hinted at the possibility of not one, but two, new Game Of Thrones books next year, whetting the appetites of fans who have been waiting for the next instalment of the epic saga since 2011.
Martin, whose Song Of Ice And Fire novels were adapted into HBO's hit mediaeval fantasy series Game Of Thrones, is currently working on the sixth instalment, Winds Of Winter, which continues the story from 2011's A Dance With Dragons.
"I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that's all I care to say," he wrote on his blog, grrm.livejournal.com, during the weekend.
"I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018... and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream..." he said.
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The seventh season of the television show, which premiered this month, has already advanced beyond the events of Martin's published books.
There have been recent contradictory reports about Winds Of Winter - that Martin had not even started it or that he had finished it but was holding it back - and he dismissed those as "equally false and equally moronic".
Game Of Thrones follows the epic story of warring families in a multi-generational struggle for control of the Iron Throne and of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Martin has come under fire from avid Game Of Thrones fans for taking so long to finish Winds Of Winter and starting work on other projects. He said in his blog post that he was working on a two-part history of Westeros' Targaryen kings called Fire And Blood, with the first part to be released sometime late next year or early 2019.
A trailer for the HBO show, released last week, shows a brewing battle between Cersei Lannister, who currently sits on the Iron Throne, and Daenerys Targaryen, who has travelled with her army and dragons to reclaim her ancestral home.
The series will conclude next year with the eighth season, which will reveal who will finally claim the Iron Throne. A series of spin-offs is being developed at HBO.