As Game of Thrones Season 7 drives home, we’re far enough from the books that crucial characters die left-and-right. So what about those books, which once hoped to beat Season 6? George R.R. Martin says Winds of Winter is still “months away,” but we’ll at least have something in 2018.

The prolific author is busy with a number of projects beyond the Song of Ice and Fire series’ sixth novel, including the many tie-in guides and histories that make the world of Westeros so compelling in the first place. Martin reminded as much with his latest LiveJournal entry, offering details of upcoming anthology The Book of Swords and a dual-volume Fire and Blood history that might hit stores as early as 2018.

On that note, Martin shot down well-meaning rumors that he’d finished Winds of Winter and the series’ final installment in secret, but still hoped fans would have at least one new book to enjoy in 2018:

And, yes, I know you all want to know about THE WINDS OF WINTER too. I’ve seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by ‘journalists’ who make their stories up out of whole cloth. I don’t know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I’ve been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both ‘reports’ are equally false and equally moronic. I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that’s all I care to say. Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream…

Much as we’re looking forward to writing “George R.R. Martin Might Finish ‘Winds of Winter’ Before ‘Game of Thrones’ Fifth Spinoff,” have at least these rumors been put to rest? Is 2017 officially off the table, after Martin suggested the possibility in January?

Stay tuned for more on Season 7 in the meantime.

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