'The Winds of Winter' release date: Martin putting finishing touches to the novel; will a new chapter be revealed at Worldcon?

(Reuters)George R.R. Martin hinted that he might do a book reading at the upcoming Worldcon.

Recent conflicting reports about "The Winds of Winter" have confused fans as to the real state of the much-anticipated novel. But perhaps the upcoming Worldcon will shed more light on this?

George R.R. Martin fans still on a high from the events of "Game of Thrones'" season 6 finale recently received two conflicting reports about the writer's upcoming novel. Reports have surfaced that the fantasy writer is finally putting the finishing touches to "The Winds of Winter," news that have been well-received by fans who have been waiting for years for the book to come out. There are even speculations that the novel might finally hit bookshelves early 2017.

Fans of both the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the HBO fantasy series know of the trials and tribulations that have surrounded Martin and his bid to get the book to the publishers. So news that the penultimate installation of the popular book series is almost finished feels like a hard won victory indeed.

However, reports have also surfaced claiming that the 67-year-old novelist had stopped writing the novel because of what the recent "Game of Thrones" finale revealed and that the "Ice and Fire" series would end with "The Winds of Winter."

It must be pointed out, though, that no confirmation has been given about both reports, so fans should take those kinds of news with a skeptical view. What is certain, though, is that Martin will be attending the upcoming Worldcon, which will be held in Kansas from Aug. 17 to 21.

The news was confirmed by Martin himself on his Livejournal blog, Not A Blog. He described the event as always having "a strong literary slant" and revealed that he will be doing two 90-minute signings in the convention autograph area, a 1-hour book signing specifically for copies of "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," and another signing for "Wild Cards."

Martin also teased that he will be doing other things there as well, like a reading. This has led to speculations that he might be reading a new chapter from "The Winds of Winter."

Fans shouldn't expect Martin to make any announcement about "The Winds of Winter," though, if his reaction to one commenter on his blog is any indication.

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