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George R.R. Martin calls for 'head on a spike' of 'A Dance with Dragons' leaker

July 5, 2011 |  8:22 am

Gameofthrones_sword

George R.R. Martin's popular fantasy series, "A Song of Ice and Fire," found even more readers earlier this year with the debut of the TV series based on the books, HBO's "Game of Thrones." The series began with Martin's "A Game of Thrones," published in 1996, and continued with three more installments in the U.S.; all four were on this weekend's New York Times paperback bestseller list. They stopped -- but did not end -- with 2005's "A Feast for Crows," and ever since, readers have been waiting for the promised next installment, "A Dance with Dragons."

Finally, "A Dance with Dragons" is coming: on July 12.

The much-anticipated novel has been closely guarded, so that it shows up exactly on the publication date and no earlier. Except in Germany, where an employee at Amazon.de shipped 180 copies of the book to those who'd bought it in advance. Almost immediately, "A Dance with Dragons" spoilers began appearing on George R.R. Martin fan sites.

Martin was not pleased.

The author wrote a post titled "Amazon screws the pooch" on his "Not-A-Blog Blog" on June 29, calling for a very "A Song of Ice and Fire"-style punishment.

Yes, I know, Amazon Germany screwed up big time and started shipping A DANCE WITH DRAGONS before they were supposed to. I am told that about 180 copies got out before they were made aware of their mistake and shut down shipping.

I am not happy about this. My publishers are furious.

If we find out who is responsible, we will mount his head on a spike.

Martin warned other retailers to hold the line and not release copies of "A Dance with Dragons" before its publication date. He also wrote that some of the information surfacing online isn't accurate, in an effort to maintain a sense of discovery.

Martin will be doing a book tour with "A Dance with Dragons," beginning on the East Coast and returning west for Comic-Con. He'll be in Los Angeles shortly after, on July 26 at the Barnes & Noble store at the Grove.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sean Bean in HBO's "Game of Thrones." Credit: HBO

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