07/09/2014 01:45 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2014

George R. R. Martin To His Fans: 'F--k You'

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In case you were wondering if George R.R. Martin has heard plaintive fans’ concerns that he will run out of time to finish his popular A Song Of Ice And Fire series, wonder no longer: He hears you, and he is not pleased.

Speaking to the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger this week, Martin had two words for those fans who fear he won’t finish the series before his death: “Fuck you.” Martin commented that he finds it “pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health.”

Three years after the publication of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in the series, readers have grown impatient for the next installment. Though several chapters of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, have been released, there is no firm publication date for the completed book. In the interview, Martin acknowledges that his writing speed has slowed in recent years, as the demands of promoting his books and the HBO series based on them, "Game of Thrones," have swallowed up more and more of his time.

The travel and promotional demands take a particularly large chunk out of Martin’s writing time, given that he has a very specific artistic process: He only writes at home, on an aged computer that uses the vintage word processor WordStar 4.0.

While fans may be frustrated that this slow, deliberate process won't lead to a conclusion any time soon, Martin suggests he's concerned with something more valuable than speed: quality. "Science fiction," he told Tages-Anzeiger, "is as serious as any other form of literature ... it's the characters that matter. It's the prose that matters. It's still the human heart in conflict with itself. The rest is just furniture."