Saturday at Norwescon 38, we finally heard from the official author Guest of Honor, George R. R. Martin.

The Winds of Winter book cover
Martin warned the crowd ahead of time that he would not answer the question “when will the book be finished.”
We think he may get that a lot.

He read the newly-released excerpt from The Winds of Winter, the upcoming sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

After the reading, there was time for George R.R Martin to answer a few burning questions.

However, fans filling the chairs in the ballroom were warned, on pain of death, not to ask two questions;

1) What is your favorite character?

2) When is the next book coming out?

…we feel he gets these a lot.

Other than that, you were safe, even if you expressed your adoration of his facial hair and wish the beard were longer (he will not grow it longer, “as much as I’d like to be ZZ Top”).

Fans who are impatiently waiting for book six (is winter ever coming?) may be interested in other authors suggested by Martin, including:

George R. R. Martin has said before his epic fantasy is based on the War of the Roses.  His work is “based in medieval Europe as was Tolkien before me and many of the authors I’ve listed,” said Martin.

But the fantasy genre continues to evolve. “People steeped in other traditions bring something new.”

“I do think we are living in a new age where technology is opening up new ways of storytelling.”

“It’s a great time to be a fantasy reader,” said George R. R. Martin.

“And hopefully a great time to be a fantasy viewer,” Martin added, “Every station wants a Game of Thrones.”

“And they can’t have mine.”