George R. R. Martin is writing the Coffee Table Book of Ice and Fire

While we all eagerly, nervously, nailbitingly await the release of The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire, rest assured that GRRM is writing plenty of Westeros-related material — just maybe not as much on TWoW as you'd like.

UK publisher HarperCollins says GRRM has writen 250,000 words on a Game of Thrones coffee table book, currently nicknamed "The GRRM-arillion." The book actually sounds completely awesome, in that it's a very comprehensive history of Westeros, in the guise of a work presented to Robert Baratheon immediately after he takes the Iron Throne. Here's the details courtesy of The Guardian:

Martin himself has described the book as "the concordance … a compendium of the history and legends of the world of Westeros. A coffee table book, lots of gorgeous art from such talents as Ted Nasmith, Justin Sweet, and others", and said last summer that he was "making good progress on this one of late, lots of great historical stuff that I think my readers will enjoy. Never-before revealed details of Aegon's Conquest, the War With the Faith, The Dance of the Dragons, the Paramours of Aegon the Unworthy, etc."

His co-author Elio M García, meanwhile, of the fan site Westeros, said earlier this month that the compendium "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."

And here's the money quote from Martin's publisher Jane Johnson, regarding the coffee table book's planned release in 2014: "[it's] more to do with illustrative complications and global publishing schedules than the writing, and I certainly wouldn't want fans getting the impression that George is working on [it] at the expense of The Winds of Winter."

I don't know how anyone could get that impression. Actually, seriously, he probably had a lot of this written in order to figure out the backstory even before he first wrote Game of Thrones). On the other hand, if he's been able to bust out 250,000 words on Westerosi history in just the past couple of years, then he should be able to finish The Winds of Winter right on time, right?

...right?

[Via The Mary Sue]