HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' Season 5 - After Party"The Winds of Winter" won't be blowing this winter or anytime soon.

George R.R. Martin, the author behind the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels upon which HBO's "Game of Thrones" is based, confirmed that the next and sixth book in the series won't be published this year.

"No, winter is not coming ... not in 2018, at least. You're going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER," he wrote in a blog post on his site.

That's the bad (and completely unsurprising news). The good news is that fans will get a little something to tide them over: "Fire and Blood," which Martin described as "imaginary history." The first of two books, it delves into the reign of seven Targaryen kings and queens, including Aegon the Conquerer, the first Targaryen to sit on the Iron Throne and the ancestor of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

"Oh, and there are dragons, too," Martin added. "Lots of dragons."

Perhaps that'll soothe some fans, who've been waiting a very, very long time for the next in the "ASOIAF" series; it's been seven years since "A Dance With Dragons" was released.

Meanwhile, the show surpassed the events of the books in Season 7 and will continue to do so in next year's eighth and final season.

Of course, the first question many will have about "Fire and Blood" is if it will provide material for any of the proposed spinoffs of "Game of Thrones" that are developed by HBO.

"It's a logical question," Martin conceded. "The only answer I can give is ... ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let's move that to the side."

The news of "Winds of Winter's" delay certainly isn't shocking to fans, who've already been waiting a long time: