Great news, Game of Thrones fans! It looks like A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin has seen the writing on the wall regarding the show catching up to his books and has decided to release his next book! Yes, the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter  — oh wait, nevermind, it looks like Martin is instead releasing yet another side project, thus delaying even further the long-delayed sequel to A Dance with Dragons.

The new side project is a collection of short stories, titled Rogues, edited by Martin and Gardner Dozois. The two also collaborated on a similar anthology last year, titled Dangerous Women, which featured Martin’s Westeros-set novella, The Princess and the Queen. The new collection will feature another Martin story, The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother, which serves as a prequel to last year’s story. In addition to Martin’s story, the new book will feature 20 other short stories, including pieces by fantasy darlings Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, and the incomparable Neil Gaiman.

While we admit the new book does sound pretty cool, it ultimately serves as yet another distraction for Martin. While we understand that creativity works in mysterious ways and authors sometimes get bored working on the same project for such a long time, Martin must understand the very real risk of Game of Thrones telling the rest of his story before he writes it. Right?

While Martin has definitely admitted that the show is catching up to the book at an "alarming" rate, he also seems to be on a different page than the showrunners when it comes to how much time he has left.

Martin tells Vanity Fair in their latest issue, “There are two more books beyond [Book 3, A Storm of Swords], A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. A Dance with Dragons is itself a book that’s as big as A Storm of Swords. So there’s potentially three more seasons there, between Feast and Dance ... And it’s my hope that they’ll do it that way and then, long before they catch up with me, I’ll have published The Winds of Winter, which’ll give me another couple years. It might be tight on the last book, A Dream of Spring, as they juggernaut forward.”

Many fans who have read A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons are of the opinion that there simply isn’t enough TV-worthy material in those books to sustain three seasons, and the showrunners themselves have said they think the show should last seven, maybe eight seasons.

If that's true, then in all likelihood the events of books four and five — some of which may be touched upon in Season 4 — will be condensed to one season, Season 5, meaning Martin had better hustle on Winds of Winter and then A Dream of Spring if he wants any chance at telling his story before HBO does.

Do you think the show will catch up with the books? Let us know in the comments below!