Book is as long as Clash of Kings right now.
Ran & Linda get a shout out for remembering everything about Westeros and maintaning the site. The Board and Loady got a shout out as well, so we may have a few new visitors.
Minor characters sometimes don't stay minor. Bronn wasn't intended to be as important as he is. Don't think he'll actually appear in this book.
George was on a panel at Worldcon about this exact subject [creating gods in fantasy]. He said that in the real world he doesn't see gods, but he does see religions...and he creates religions, not gods.
The other folks on the panel then went on as to how to make gods-as-characters work in a fantasy world...when George was asked about it later at one of the parties he scoffed - "You can't have gods as characters! That just doesn't work." (paraphrased).
Now, as to whether or not this means gods exist in Westeros is still up for debate. But it seems fairly clear that it means they don't exist as beings that can come down from on high and play with the mortals.
[Note: The following is a paraphrase of the reporter's statement.]
Martin officially said that Dunk was not knighted [by Ser Arlan of Pennytree].
[Note: The following report pulls together several reports on a similar topic for clarity.]
Trebla: Lastly....someone mentioned to me that George stated that he might want to someday write a book about Aegon IV. Does anyone remember George saying that? Again, this is 2nd or 3rd hand info, so I'd like to see if we can clarify it.
Ghost of Nymeria: In the discussion of anti heros, in the tradition of Flashman and etc, he said that he would like to do a book on Aegon the fourth.
Padraig: Yup...GRRM was quite attracted by the idea of writing a book based on the POV of a "villain" like Aegon IV. But I don't think we have to worry about it coming out anytime soon.
King Maekar I did NOT die in battle against one of King Aegon IV's bastard sons. That shoots down the theory that he died in battle against Bloodraven or Bittersteel.
The King of the Mummers probably will not make an appearence in AFfC but Harry the Heir might. It wil depend on where he decides to end AFfC and begin ADwD.
He likes writing Arianne Martell and Asha Greyjoy and again made the "the women are taking over" statement.
AFfC might not take up the 5 year "gap". He's not sure how long a time the story may encompass.
After reading us the newest Arya chapter, he will probably go back and re-write it. While reading it he found some things he might need to change.
He already has a 3rd Dunk and Egg story written and will probably finish it after he completes AFfC.
He also said that for A Feast for Crows he had about 1000 pages ready to go. He also said that there was maybe a few hundred that were written but not yet ready and that he was still looking for a way to end the book.
He related that he had "drastically reworked" the prolougue chapters due to thier inordinate length.
GRRM is still aiming for six books if he can manage it, which contradicts a prior report that GRRM seemed settled on seven books total.
Prior reports said the Iron Islands and Dornish chapters made up 12 chapters, 7 for one and 5 for the other. Os says it's 7 for the Iron Islands and 5 for Dorne, specifically.
During his panel on Shared Worlds, GRRM mentioned that he has a deal in hand with the Sci-Fi channel for a pilot for Wild Cards. The contracts are not yet signed, but the ball is in his court. The only details I remember is that the pilot would be two hours and that the long-term plan is for a weekly series. GRRM would not be involved except in the most cursory of fashion. ("My role would be cashing checks").
[Note: This report is pieced together from several posts by the reporter. It has been slightly edited.]
I did leave a bit early to get a spot in the George R.R. Martin reading. Which I did. Good thing I did because there was a very long line to get into the room, and I am not sure everyone made it in - and it was one of the larger rooms.
He read a chapter about Arya, and it was very moving, and well done. It was the first AFfC reading I have been to, I have no idea what chapter it was. He did say that after a reading he is giving in Seattle next week, he isn't going to read anymore new material from the book. He said it was getting to the point where what he was reading to the audiences was just a little behind what he was writing. I think he was also worried about reading the whole book before it was published, negating the need to purchase the book - though he didn't say that. After Seattle he said he would start to re-read chapters that he has already read. He also said he hoped not to be reading from AFfC next year. He wants to do Dance of Dragons next (it was supposed to be #2, then #3, then #4, and now hopefully #5).
He said several things about the book:
He is hoping it will not be as long as the last one - which caused technical problems for publishers in other parts of the world (they had to split it in 2 because of the size). However he said he won't just get to say page 1300 and say "To Be Continued" -- the book has to have an end even though it is part of a larger story arc. He is afraid though that if it is too large his publishers will refuse to publish it (not sure if thats really true or not).
Some of his problems have come because he has introduced new POV characters, and he really likes them. So he has more story to tell. At one point he was going to do a one chapter prolog that incorporated stuff from Dorne, and stuff from the Iron Isles. That became 2 chapters, then 12 (7 for one and 5 for the other). He realized he couldn't have a 250 page prolog that was all about characters that we have never met before, so he had to rip it up and start over. He wove the material in the prolog into the rest of the book. He is also finding that in some places where he was going to have a 5 year gap in when we see a character - that what the character does and learns in those 5 years was too interesting and important to skip over. So the story has grown bigger. The chapter he read today was somthing that he originally planned to skip over and then decided not to.
Gaiman won the short story award and had nothing prepared to say, but his didn't say f*ck again. George R. R. Martin presented the award and said he took credit for Gaiman's carreer. Seems he once pitched Martin this story about a character called The Sandman for Martin's anthology series Wild Cards and he rejected it, which led Gaiman to get it published elsewhere and the rest is history. Gaiman said he didn't know what to do with the award - since he was on stage all night, and Martin offered to take it. It ended up on the floor next to the podium.