Today is finally the day.
Most likely the most long-awaited of George's 'projects' (not counting the main A Song of Ice and Fire series, of course) is The World of Ice and Fire. It is a world history book about the realm in which the book series takes place. After many years of George talking about it (and working on it), it is finally out today.
George (or rather, his minions) posted a blog entry entry, in which they describe it better than I could:
The long anticipated release of the official untold history of Westeros happens TODAY.
It boasts 300 pages of back story and original artwork by the some of the world's top fantasy illustrators. This one-of-a-kind coffee table book contains maps, folk lore, detailed family histories, and endless insider information dealing with the world of Westeros. Providing vividly constructed accounts of epic battles tackled by famous heroes, and their journies before becoming important figures in the Song of Ice and Fire series.
Co written by the illustrious Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson masters of Westeros.org, the World of Ice and Fire is a true insiders perspective on all things Westeros and a little bit of Essos too.
Even though George has completed his part on the book long ago, it must be relieving to him to see it published finally.
The path for The Winds of Winter now appears to be pretty much clear for a hopeful publication in hardback next year....