A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels written by American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. Martin began the series in 1991 and published the first volume, A Game of Thrones, in 1996. Martin gradually extended the originally planned trilogy into seven volumes. The fifth installment, A Dance with Dragons, took over five years of writing until being published in 2011. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is currently being written.