The sixth 'Game of Thrones' book won't be released in 2015

Sorry, "Game of Thrones" fans. "The Winds of Winter," the sixth book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series won't be released in 2015.

Unlike winter, the sixth "Game of Thrones" book won't be coming until at least 2016. James Martin/CNET

If you've been anxiously awaiting the release of "The Winds of Winter," the sixth book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" heptalogy, your wait is about to get longer. It looks like the earliest the book will hit store shelves is 2016.

Martin's publisher Jane Johnson of HarperCollins told The Guardian that the company has no plans to release "The Winds of Winter" this year, adding that fans need to appreciate the level of work and concentration these novels require of Martin.

"I have no information on likely delivery," said Johnson. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."

Though "The Winds of Winter" is still a year or more away, there will be at least one new "Game of Thrones" book released this year. Johnson revealed that HarperCollins is working on an illustrated compilation of the novellas "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword" and "The Mystery Knight." These three books serve as official prequels to "A Song of Ice and Fire," and the compilation is expected to launch later in 2015.

"The short novels have been previously published in separate anthologies but never put together before," Johnson said, "and this will be a particularly beautiful edition."

Fans of HBO's "Game of Thrones" TV adaptation won't have to wait long for Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Arya Stark and their unhappy families to return to their TV screens. "Game of Thrones" season five slices its way back into US living rooms on April 12, and the UK the following day.

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