The only books I have ever pre-ordered are the ones for A Song of Ice and Fire. The question came up about whether George R. R. Martin has the time to finish the books before the HBO television series catches up to him. In summary he estimates the television series will take multiple seasons for some books:

- Book one: one season
- Book two: one season
- Book three: two seasons
- Books four and five*: three seasons

Total: 7 seasons

* These are parts A and B of a single book. Events on each continent went into their own books. Book five is not even out yet. The last date given was Feb 15, 2007. In my opinion, it would be smart to have it published while the HBO series is out to renew interest, so let’s say it hits shelves April 2011.

Let’s assume it takes a year from start of one season to start of the next season. That means you get them…

- Book one: 2011
- Book two: 2012
- Book three: 2013 and 2014
- Books four and five: 2015, 2016, 2017
- Book six: 2018 and 2019
- Book seven: 2020 and 2021

I think this is what GRRM was trying to describe as he has plenty of time.

To make this timeline work, GRRM has 8 years to write two books. He has spent over ten years on books four and five. He’ll have to pick up the pace to make this timeline. Personally, I do not see it unless he stops spending so much time at conventions, watching football, and most recently consulting on the HBO series.

Maybe the seasons will take longer than a year? We saw that somewhat with Sopranos.

Maybe much of the story is already laid out in advance for some of the final books.

Maybe HBO will cancel the series after season one and make all this moot.