I thought I might pass on the word that the U.S. paperback release of A CLASH OF KINGS has been pushed back to September. It was originally scheduled for February, a year after the hardcover release, but the hardcover edition is still selling very strongly, so Bantam decided to keep it on the racks a while longer.
Readers who can't afford the hardcover edition might check out some of the British bookstores on the web. The British mass market paperback has been out for several months.
I am still working on A STORM OF SWORDS. I am on the home stretch, I'd like to think, and hope to finish and deliver it soon. My publishers are ready and waiting. (Today I got a phone call from my American editor and an email from my Dutch editor, so the readers aren't the only ones asking.) The publication wheels are rolling; on both sides of the Atlantic, my publishers have started work on the covers, and the artists (Jim Burns in the UK and Stephen Youll in the USA) are at work on paintings. They tell me that the Burns painting will feature a swordfight, and the Youll a funeral; both based on scenes from the book.
I will drop another note to all the webmasters when the book is done, just to keep you up to date. In the meantime, I would appreciate if you could ask the fans to stop sending me so many emails asking when the book will be released. I appreciate the interest and all the kind words, but the last thing I need just now is a lot of email to answer. Please understand -- I am not asking the fans to stop writing, just to lay off for a short time while I finish the novel. Once the beast is penned, some of the stress will be off, and I will enjoy getting and answering email again... although I will no doubt continue to be as dilatory as ever in responding to it.
Thanks for your help.
I have also been getting questions about personal appearances during the next year. Bantam will likely be sending me on a promotional tour for A STORM OF SWORDS, but I don't know what dates or cities that will involve. I will be travelling to Germany in October; I plan to appear at a con in Leipzig, to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, and to do a signing at a shop in Berlin. I will also be in Chicago over Labor Day for the World SF Convention. Rivercon in Louisville, Kentucky in July is a strong possibility, and Westercon in Honolulu over July 4th is a definite. I will be doing readings at most of these cons.
I hope 2000 is a great year for all of us. (It's 300 in the Seven Kingdoms. I thought maybe all the magic should stop working on account of the Y3C spell bug, but then I thought, nah).