8:28 pm EDT, March 17, 2020

George R.R. Martin is under quarantine in Westeros (his words, not ours)

George R.R. Martin is taking care of his health, and The Winds of Winter, while in quarantine.

The Game of Thrones author recently issued a dispatch about the steps he and his team are taking during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

“Strange days are upon us,” Martin writes on his on his Not-A-Blog blog. “As ancient as I am, I cannot recall ever having lived through anything like the past few weeks.”

Martin is currently at work on The Winds of Winter, the long-anticipated sixth volume of his epic A Song of Ice and Fire series. The author, who is 71, assures fans that he is taking every precaution for his health.

“For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition,” he says. “But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone.”

In classic Martinian fashion, the author offers a bittersweet update on his activities while in isolation.

“Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day,” he writes. “Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.”

Related: Cinemark, AMC announce temporary closures due to coronavirus concerns

Let’s not dwell too long on the idea that we might finally get to read The Winds of Winter, for the price of a global pandemic.

Also in the post, Martin notes the closures of his Jean Cocteau Cinema and creative non-profit Stagecoach Foundation for the duration of the outbreak. (Employees of both enterprises will continue to be paid.) His small bookstore, Beastly Books, as well as their mail-order service, will remain active for the time being.

Martin closes the post with a meditation on the wildness — and disappointing realization — of fiction turned daily life.

“Some days, watching the news, I cannot help feeling as if we are all now living in a science fiction novel,” he writes. “But not, alas, the sort of science fiction novel that I dreamed of living in when I was a kid, the one with the cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, household robots programmed with the Three Laws, and flying cars.”

“I never liked the pandemic stories half so well…”

“Let us hope we all come through this safe and sound,” Martin concludes. “Stay well, my friends. Better to be safe than sorry.”

Same to you, Ser. Same to you.

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