Fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series are used to waiting and now it won't just be for the next novel in his story. A companion book about the world he has created is now being delayed, originally planned for release in November of 2013, it will see stores now until the following year.
Due to more ambitious plans for the content of the book, the publisher could not guarantee a 2013 release date, so it has been pushed back to 2014. Combined with the fact that books of this type typically sell best during the holidays, it's probably going to be held from release until late 2014, delaying the book by nearly a year.
According to co-auther Elio Garcia of westeros.org:
Yes, it won't be out this year... but that's because it's becoming rather cooler. More pages, more new history and details, more art. Like the story of the fall of the Tarbecks and the Reynes, the surprising person from whom the Lannisters are descended, more history of the Vale and the arrival of the Andals, and a good deal more. We're working quick as we can, but there's also more art to commission and that means it'd be safest to aim for next year.
Not the best of news for fans hoping to get their fix while waiting for book six of Martin's series, Winds of Winter. The only good thing is that it looks like the book will be worth the wait. Full color, packed with original art, new stories and a large amount of new history brought to light.
Tor.com is reporting that The World of Ice and Fire is no longer going to be a single encyclopedia, but now a series of books due to Martin writing 250,000 words of contributing material instead of the 50,000 they requested from him. This is according to a story sourced from The Guardian.
Now, I have read over the story from The Guardian a few times now and have yet to see where they mention it will be multi-volume. I'm not sure if Tor is making an assumption, or if they have information from another source, but it seems like if they were just going to make the book multi-volume, they wouldn't have had to delay it by a year. They would just go ahead and release volume one as planned and then volume two next year and so on. The only official word is that more art is being added with the additional pages, which is time consuming. So at this point, I would say this is NOT a multi-volume project.
Publisher Harper-Collins has said that the entire book will probably only be 100,000 words in length. Perhaps the Tor blog is making a safe assumption, with another 150,000 words and a successful run of The World of Ice and Fire, we'll see what happens. As for the date change, even that is up in the air, with the publisher saying they may shoot for a spring release in 2014 instead of waiting until the holiday season to release the book. Stay tuned, I'll post any new information when I have it.