George R.R. Martin kicked off 2016 with some hard words for "Game of Thrones" fans: His latest book, "The Winds of Winter," is still not ready.
Martin isn't known for writing quickly. The most recent installment in the series — the fifth book — took five years to write. It was published in 2011.
The delay means that the television adaptation of the popular fantasy series will actually jump ahead of the books when the new season premieres in April.
If you've found yourself trapped in this epic fantasy limbo, these series might carry you through this "Winter"-less winter.
Fantasy series to fill the time until "The Winds of Winter"
"The Farseer Trilogy" by Robin Hobb
If the frozen zombies of Martin's series intrigued you, check out Hobb's whole new version of zombification. In her trilogy, attackers from the OutIslands turn residents of the Six Duchies into "Forged Ones" — people without emotions.
The series follows Fitz Farseer, an assassin who must protect the kingdom from both outside invaders and the dangerous machinations of his own family.
"The Knights of Breton Court" series by Maurice Broaddus
Put King Arthur in a blender with the crack epidemic and modern-day drug lords, and you get Broaddus' "Breton Court" series. In a wild ride through urban fantasy, Broaddus re-imagines the battles and schemes of the Round Table and drops them into downtown Indianapolis.
In "Breton Court," the king is a hustler who tries to unite the dealers and other street forces so he might hold on to his power. The medieval themes play eerily well with the modern war on drugs.
"The Kingkiller Chronicles" by Patrick Rothfuss
This fantasy adventure series has helped many a "Game of Thrones" fan fill the time while waiting for Martin's next move. The series follows the adventures of Kvothe, a once-renowned magician and adventurer who has now settled into the anonymous life of an innkeeper. The books are framed as an autobiography: Kvothe sits down to regale his visitor with a three-day-long account of his legendary journeys.
There are demonic forces, dead kings, backstabbing confidants and plenty more in the first two books, which tip the scales at 600 and 900 pages respectively. The third is on its way from Rothfuss — yes, that means more waiting.
"The Acacia Trilogy" by David Anthony Durham
Durham first built a following as a historical novelist, but he leapt headfirst into an alternative universe for his wildly successful trilogy set in the "Known World."
When an assassin from a long-exiled race returns to threaten the peace of Acacia, the four royal children are sent away, left to chase their own fates. Years later, with the empire in ruins, the grown heirs must reunite to take back the land. Their avenging quest is only the beginning of Durham's tales.
"Prince of Nothing" series by R. Scott Bakker
Love J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert? Bakker cites the iconic fantasy and sci-fi authors as his primary influences for this philosophical series, which follows Kellhus, a warrior turned prophet, on the brink of the Second Apocalypse.
With spell-casters, an ancient alien race and a raging Holy War, Bakker packs the fantastical drama with questions about human nature and fate.