George R R Martin has said he has “made progress” on the sixth Game of Thrones book, The Winds of Winter, and thinks it will be published this year.

Responding to a fan’s question about the book on his blog, Martin said: “[I’m] not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now.”

He added: “I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).”

The last novel in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance With Dragons (HarperVoyager), was published in July 2011 and fans have been anticipating the next installment ever since.

In January 2016, Martin said that The Winds of Winter was “months away” from completion. It was originally due to be published in March 2016 to coincide with the sixth series of the TV show.

Later that year, Martin’s UK publisher HarperCollins responded to reports which had said the book would be published in March this year, saying “nothing has been finalised regarding the publication or the date”.

HarperCollins UK has not yet responded to a request for comment on Martin’s new prediction the book may be published this year.

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