Author George R. R. Martin thinks his sixth novel in the Game of Thrones series will be released before the end of 2017.
The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited next volume of the Song of Ice and Fire series, will follow on from 2011's A Dance with Dragons and precede the final novel, A Dream of Spring.
HBO's Game of Thrones TV show launched in 2011 and has now surpassed the narrative of the books, with two truncated seasons left to air.
Asked by a fan on his website for an update on The Winds of Winter, the celebrated fantasy author responded coyly, but did offer some information.
"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," said Martin.
"I think it will be out this year. But hey, I thought the same thing last year."
Meanwhile, the seventh season of the TV show is set for release later this year, adapting content from both The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.