George R.R. Martin says The Winds of Winter won't breeze into stores in 2018

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Apr 25, 2018, 3:51 PM EDT

We’ve got some disappointing — albeit not terribly surprising — news for Game of Thrones fans. Although winter is coming, it’s clearly not coming fast enough for diehards.

George R.R. Martin has announced that The Winds of Winter, his long-awaited sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (on which the hit HBO show Game of Thrones is based), will not be published this year. 

“No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least,” Martin wrote on his blog. “You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER.”

Again, yes, this is disappointing. But Martin fans have gotten used to waiting. After all, his last book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, came out in 2011. (And, seriously, show of hands: Who honestly didn’t see this coming?) 

But here’s worse news: Since Game of Thrones’ final season won’t air on HBO until next year, this means fans will have to be completely without any new material on the world of Westeros in any medium for an entire year. 

Or will we? 

After dropping the bomb that Winds won’t be out this year, Martin tempered the news with the announcement that in November, he’ll be releasing Volume One of Fire & Blood, a new book set in Westeros. 

Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin

Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin

The author explains that the book will “cover all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane).”

The book, which is nearly 1,000 pages, will feature more than 75 black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Here’s one:

Queen Rhaenys riding Meraxes

Queen Rhaenys riding Meraxes (illustration by Doug Wheatley)

“Oh, and there are dragons too,” Martin promised. “Lots of dragons.”

So, there you have it. Although we’ll have to continue waiting for The Winds of Winter (and who knows when the seventh and final book, A Dream of Spring, will be released?), we’ll at least get an illustrated history (Martin insists that Fire & Blood is not a novel) of the Targaryen dynasty.

Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager will release the Fire & Blood hardcover on Nov. 20.