It’s July 29, 2020, the day George R.R. Martin said we could imprison him if Winds Of Winter wasn’t done

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We see you, George.

Last year, George R.R. Martin, author of , promised that if the long-awaited sixth book in his epic series wasn’t finished by July 29, 2020, fans had permission to haul him off to a small cabin in New Zealand until he was finished. Why New Zealand? Because that’s where tonight’s 78th World Science Fiction Convention is going down, and Martin has been chosen as Toastmaster of the Hugo Awards, which celebrate the best science fiction or fantasy works of the previous year.

“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,” he wrote in a May 2019 blog post, reflecting on his previous trips to New Zealand and the country’s volcanic White Island. “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.”

But, like everything else these days, the Hugos have gone virtual, and Martin recently detailed how it’s all going to work on his blog. There’s no mention of his potential imprisonment, but, hey, we’re all sorta imprisoned these days. And we’ve all got more to worry about than the continued harassment of a kindly 71-year old man to write faster. Besides, he is writing. He revealed just last month that he’s planning to have a draft by next year, and added last week that “it has been going well of late.” He previously teased Winds of Winter as a “huge book,” and noted that while WorldCon’s pivot to virtual left him “heartbroken,” he’s at least happy the trip won’t “cost me all the momentum I have built up.”

Keep grindin’, R.R. We’ll be waiting.

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