Update: Martin's U.S. publisher responds to 'leaked' Amazon date

UPDATE: George R.R. Martin’s U.S. publisher Random House have issued a statement to EW about the Amazon France date making the media rounds: “As his publisher, we support George RR Martin as he works hard to finish The Winds of Winter. Any on-sale dates currently listed online for the novel are incorrect. Once we have a publication date for The Winds of Winter, the world will know.”

PREVIOUS: Could George R.R. Martin’s insanely anticipated next Game of Thrones novel have a publication date?

Almost certainly not. But Amazon France put up a listing for The Winds of Winter that’s been quickly pounced upon by sharp-eyed fans. The date: March, 2017. The listing is still live, too.

Taken at face value, that date would make sense. Book releases tend to be planned and announced to distributors pretty far in advance, and a March release would put the new novel out right before Thrones normally returns to air — though in the case of the upcoming seventh season, new episodes are not expected until next summer. So just when fans are craving their annual GoT fix, they could enjoy Martin’s next novel instead.

Except Martin’s UK publisher HarperCollins told one outlet reporting the rumor that “nothing has been finalized regarding the publication or the date.” (Martin’s U.S. publisher, Penguin Random House, could not be reached for comment). Amazon has also posted false placeholder dates for Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books in the past. And Martin has exhaustedly told fans for years — especially after previous false rumors of publication dates — that when his next book is finished he will announce it first on his blog, damn it. So until you see it there, take all such publication rumors with a heaping serving of bread and salt.

Martin’s previous major statement on the matter was last January when he regretfully announced the book would not be ready in time for Thrones season 6, the first season to take place almost entirely beyond the narrative boundaries mapped out in his published saga. “I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over,” Martin wrote at the time. “The deadlines just stress me out. I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this. It will be done when it’s done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it.” Martin has also posted occasional Winds chapters on his blog.

In the meantime, Martin’s latest Wild Cards novel High Stakes was just published in hardcover, and the author recently sold a Wild Cards TV series to Universal Cable Productions.