This is no hoax.
I swear it by ice and fire. I swear that I will never post again should this prove false. I swear I will never touch wine again, if it is not true.
George said it is done.
But he had to make a major change. It had grown too large.
Daenerys will not appear. There will be little if any action in the North. Those chapters will be moved into the next book, which should come out shortly thereafter.
AFFC will be the size of AGoT.
I swear to you that this is no hoax. I put more details in the AFFC forum.
I assure you that I have told you the truth. And that if it proves otherwise, I hereby request permanent banning.
This is not a joke, unless GRRM himself is lying to the whole room for his reading, and that simply is not so.
As a joke, it would be a lame one.
I am not a party to lame jokes.
You will definitely see the POV bounce around as before. It just won't go to Meereen or beyond.
And we know how close GRRM was to done with the whole book. He wasn't firm about the timeline for book five, but expect it soon.
This is no hoax. I swear it by ice and fire. I swear in the names of the Old Gods and new.
George told us a long tale. His publishers told him the mostest it could be was 1600 manuscript pages. He passed that and a decision was made that it would have to be split in two. He thought about that and rejected it and proposed an alternative.
AFFC will be the size of AGoT. There will be no Daenerys chapters. There will be none of the chapters up North. The chapters in the South are done and in the hands of the publishers - George expects to announce a specific fall publication date. That means he can spend a little more time cleaning up the events in the North and present a coherent tale with a beginning and an end.
He expects some of his fans to be upset when their favorite characters don't appear. But they can take comfort in the fact that the fifth book is now 60% or more done. And they will have the fourth in the fall.
I will confess that the 60% number is mine not his. He said '600 manuscript pages'. For a shorter book, I guessed 1000 manuscript pages.
And I don't think he'll be tempted to extend the fifth book. He knows he is letting down his fans of those POVs that will be excluded.
One of George's comments when he made the announcement was that he was surprised just how easy it was for him to split the book into two along POVs. It seems that the more he looks at it, to date he has been writing several novels at a time that interweave but really do stand alone. He assured us that in the end, it would all tie together nicely.