George R.R. Martin’s Dance With Dragons to be released on July 12

How long have we been waiting for A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin’s ​“A Song of Ice and Fire” series? Well, it’s been about six years since A Feast for Crows was released. Since then, fans have been clamoring for any news regarding the release of A Dance With Dragons, which would follow the continuing adventures, exploits, and machinations of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, and a host of other characters missing from A Feast for Crows.

Various release dates have been announced over the years — I once wrote that it would be released in September 30, 2008 — but now we have an official date from Martin himself: July 12, 2011. Martin is still writing the book, which is shaping up to be a monster like A Storm of Swords (which was well over a thousand pages), but in his words, ​“we’re close enough so that my editors and publishers at Bantam Spectra have set an actual publication date.”

This week’s edition of Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Martin regarding the novel, the rest of the series, and of course, HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones adaptation: read an excerpt here.