Is George R. R. Martin's sixth novel in his "A Song of Ice & Fire" series, "The Winds Of Winter," already in the publishing house?

Ever since "A Dance with Dragons" was published way back in 2011, fans have been thirsting for the follow-up read. That desire has only intensified with the global popularity of HBO's "Game of Thrones." But with Martin's notoriously stringent and slow writing process, many fans believed the show's sixth season would arrive first and spoil several big questions left unanswered in the currently published companion novels.

However, recent reports have cropped up that have caused some to think otherwise. Parent Herald previously reported that Polish translator Michael Jakuszewski was asked to clear his schedule in order to translate the new novel by year's end. A similar report about Spanish publication editor Alejo Cuervo surfaced recently as well. Cuervo said: "It is expected next year. We have been promised the manuscript in advance of the release in English which we will translate, there won't be a big difference."

In addition, season six of HBO's "Game of Thrones" has been pushed back several weeks. Normally premiering in early April, "Thrones" may not debut until the last week of that month or early May. Officially, this is because HBO will debut the 10-week drama "Vinyl" in February which will run until April 17. But unofficially, Vanity Fair speculates that the network could be giving Martin and the publishing company more time to release "The Winds of Winter."

Then again, Martin doesn't seem too concerned with the show's advancing timeline. He told Geekwire that it doesn't bother him one bit if the series concludes before his books.

"Then I said, to hell with that," he said. "Worrying about it isn't going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence...I'm just going to tell my story, and they're telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see."

We shall see, indeed. Given Martin's uneven history with release dates and schedules, we won't believe anything until we have a hardcover in our hands.