Category Archive for ‘announcements’
Posted on December 31st, 2014 in announcements, appearances, film and tv, games, news, reading, reviews, whisky deathmatch
New Year’s Eve, my friends, and you know what that means? Yes, indeed, I am 40 years old today. You would never think I used to be young. Truly horrifyingly, this is my 6th yearly review post. I’ll have to have a review of my best yearly review posts one of these new year’s eves…
A YEAR IN BOOKSELLING – Again, in spite of all my complaints, I really can’t complain. Partly due to the ongoing success of Game of Thrones, I’m sure, The First Law books continue to chug along very, very nicely. I had a short story in Martin and Dozois’ highly successful Rogues anthology in June. Then Half a King came out in July and made no. 3 on the Sunday Times hardcover list, which matches the ranking of The Heroes way back in 2010 but at a much more competitive time of year. I toured more extensively than I ever have before, with some 15 events in the UK, all of them pretty well attended, and I did a few bookshop events down the west coast of the US for the first time too and made it to Comic Con in San Diego, to Sicily, to Lucca, and a third visit to my old friends in Aviles, Spain.
A YEAR IN BOOK WRITING – The heavy touring schedule through July and August got in the way somewhat, but even so it was a good year in the writing department too, if a pretty demanding one. I wrote the last quarter of Half the World, revised and edited it, then wrote a first draft of Half a War, and gave it a fair hammering this month to produce a second draft that I’m starting to get happy with. I’ve a few more things to do and another pass through focusing on the secondary characters to get to a decent third draft which I can hand in to my editors mid January, but the book’s mostly there. Seems like only yesterday I was pitching this series to publishers and now it’s nearly done…
BOOKS – I really am hardly reading at all these days, it’s a disgrace. When I finish Half a War I desperately need to take my foot off the gas and start reading again, hoover up some ideas and inspiration, catch up on the truly massive backlog I’ve got sitting in tottering heaps all around me. But two things I read this year that I’d certainly recommend are Kameron Hurley’s God’s War, and Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation. Neither the kind of thing I write, particularly, but then who wants to piss where they eat…?
TV and FILM – Boy, the cinema has barely registered this year. I think the only film I reviewed was Fury, which was OK but ultimately a gritty wrapper around a rather traditional, sentimental war movie. Guardians of the Galaxy was good fun but I was a little underwhelmed after all the nerdgasms I’d seen about it – seemed like more of the Marvel same in the end, if with a few more laughs. Gone Girl was a very well-made film but seemed a bit hamstrung by a really odd casting choice in Ben Affleck – the guy just comes across as too much of a likeable lunkhead and I felt they needed someone much darker and more dangerous to really balance the central relationship and make us unsure what was going on. Rather than equally evil couple of bastards reap the whirlwind they sow for each other, we got mildly unpleasant idiot is totally screwed over by his psychopathic wife, and that’s a lot less interesting in all kinds of ways. For me the TV standout was the searing climax of Breaking Bad, which has to be one of the greatest pieces of TV I’ve ever seen, about as close as you’ll get to a single 5 season story arc with novelistic coherence of theme and character. Highly honourable mentions to a bloody, strange and gritty second season of Vikings and the punishing 3rd and 4th seasons of The Walking Dead after its slightly limited 2nd season. Justified continues to be elevated way above its rather banal set-up by great script and acting in which every character overflows with Elmore Leonard-y detail. Orphan Black was good largely thanks to its brilliant central multiple performance. Suits is entertaining if a little lightweight. The Good Wife continues to be highly watchable and always that little bit darker than you expect. Arrow was enjoyable enough superhero hokum but fell short of its gritty ambitions. Black Sails was enjoyable enough pirate hokum, good when it put to sea but too often foundering on land. The 1st season of House of Cards was very strong, with a great mood and super central performances from Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, but I felt the 2nd season was a lot less believable. Hell on Wheels sadly crashed off the rails for me in its 3rd season after an action-packed 2nd.
GAMES – Last year had some splendiferous stuff in the form of The Last of Us, Bioshock, Tomb Raider, Telltale’s Walking Dead etc. as developers pushed the last generation of consoles to their limits and stretched unused storytelling muscles while doing it. This year began on a high with Dark Souls II, more ultra dark, ultra hard Japanese/Western hybrid roleplaying but with the difficulty softened just a little this time around. Moving over to PS4, the results have been a little more pedestrian than last year. Destiny was pretty and compelling and did give me a hell of a lot of gaming hours but ultimately was a slightly empty experience. Diablo III I found rather by-the-yard-y. Far Cry 4 good, but very much like Far Cry 3. Which leaves Dragon Age: Inquisition as my personal game of the year. One could criticise the gameplay, the voice acting, and the somewhat vanilla plot line, but the world, characters, detail and sense of immersion were top class.
WHISKY – Lack of time meant my planned Whisky Deathmatch: Islay Bloodfeud never happened. Well, it happened in the sense that I drunk the whisky, I just didn’t get round to writing about it. In brief, though, bottles I’ve particularly enjoyed this year: Lagavulin 12yo cask strength (smashed in the face with a sack of burned lemons), Ardbeg Supernova 2014 (Ardbeg, only more so, and with a touch of sweetness to it), Laphroaig Triple Wood (salty medicinal goodness with a sherry-wood softening), Amrut Fusion (awesome whisky distilled in India from Scottish and Himalayan barley), Talisker 30yo cask strength (full fathom five thy father lies).
CONTROVERSIES – I noted last year that after 7 or 8 years in the business I’m getting less and less interested in the cyclical nature of genre commentary. I’ve already expressed my opinion one way or another on most issues of note, and when they come up again, I find a world weary sigh gets across most of what I feel, an attitude reflected in my post on this year’s controversial Hugo Awards. That’s part of the reason for the greatly reduced blog presence of late, though that’s also a function of the sheer amount of stuff I’ve got going on. I’m finding twitter (@LordGrimdark) a better medium for general conversation, and I’m tending to use the blog only for more considerable announcements and reviews. This relatively thin level of posting may well continue next year, because…
THE YEAR AHEAD – My, oh, my, but 2015 is shaping up to be a busy one. I’ve already got visits confirmed to Detroit in Jan, Australia in Feb, Dubai in March and St. Petersburg in April. I’ve got not one but TWO books coming out: Half the World in February and Half a War in July, the first time I’ve done a publishing schedule anything like so densely packed. Since I toured in the UK and US only a few months back there probably won’t be a lot of events for Half the World, but expect another full-on tour in July for Half a War. Writing-wise, I’m going to be kept fully busy until the end of February with edits and revision on Half a War, then I’ve got a few short stories to write to complete a collection which will hopefully come out some time in 2016. It’s looking as if the main part of next year may be given over to some exciting non-book projects, of which more in due course, but I also need to lay the groundwork and do some thinking for another trilogy in the First Law world, although the publication of that looks like it will be some way off…
Happy new year, readers!
Posted on December 16th, 2014 in announcements, news
Half the World, second book in my Shattered Sea series, is out in hardcover, e-book and audiobook in the UK on February 12th and US February 17th, and you can now read the first three chapters right here.
Blurb, a couple of early reviews, further information, other options for viewing and downloading the extract, and those all important preorder options over here.
Posted on November 5th, 2014 in announcements, artwork
Yes indeed, SFX have revealed the UK hardback cover for Half the World…
I said, “Half The World is the story of Thorn, a young woman determined to take a man’s place as a warrior, who finds herself on the crew of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi, undertaking a dangerous voyage up the unmapped rivers of the world to seek allies against the numberless warriors of the High King. There’s love, hate, death, wit, vivid characters, crunching action and, yes, an awful lot of swords…”
It’s coming 12th February 2015, but you could probably preorder via the publisher and a range of other key retailers, if you so desired. OH LOOK YES YOU CAN.
Posted on September 26th, 2014 in announcements, artwork
Apologies for the limited posting around here of late, it’s many years since I didn’t make at least one post a week on the site, but my nose is to the grindstone after all the events trying to get a decent second draft of Half a War together by year’s end, plus various finishing tasks for Half the World. Tis a busy time. But I do love a nice piece of art, so I thought I’d bring to you the recently revealed cover for the French edition of Half a King, from those wonderful folk at Bragelonne, art by my old friend Didier Graffet (who produced the weapons that adorn Best Served Cold, The Heroes, and Red Country):
Nice, huh? Evocative, atmospheric, dramatic. Draws you in. And it sits very comfortably alongside Jon McCoy’s excellent vision of the same world for Subterranean’s limited editions, I must say. Some nice clean lettering too. I particularly like the contrast with the more graphic covers in the US and UK. The book’s coming out in French translation late October, with the other two books in the trilogy both following in 2015. Further details over on Bragelonne’s site…
Posted on August 19th, 2014 in announcements, Graphic Novel
For folks in the UK, getting a book delivered from amazon.com can be a little steep, which is why I’m delighted to announce that the trade paperback collection of the first four issues of the First Law Graphic novel is now available direct from amazon.uk for a shade over £10 with delivery free.
Adapted by Chuck Dixon, art by Andie Tong, colours by Pete Pantazis, all closely supervised from a spiked throne atop a hill of skulls by yours truly.
The trade paperback version is a really slick piece of work by Blind Ferret, even though I say so myself, and gives you about 100 full colour pages, plus 30 or so pages of extras including annotated character designs, pencils and inks.
The project is on hiatus right now, so there’s no guarantee there’ll be more issues forthcoming, but if the uptake on this trade version is good, we may well see more.
Posted on July 16th, 2014 in announcements, appearances, news
Greetings American cousins, my new book Half a King should now be available across the nation in hardcover, electronic, and audio formats. But that’s not all, for on the 22nd July I shall be flying out to be present in your country in my actual person. The main event is San Diego Comic Con, so I’m afraid there’s a West Coast flavour to my visits this time around but, fear not, I’ll hopefully be fitting in some east coast action early next year with the release of the sequel, Half the World.
Here’s the full itinerary, including my panels and signings at Comic Con:
Wednesday, July 23 – SEATTLE, WA
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
July 24 – July 27 – SAN DIEGO, CA
Thursday July 24, 4:00-5:00pm
PANEL: Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy
Panelists: Robin Hobb, Raymond Feist, Django Wexler, Morgan Rhodes, Sam Sykes, Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks
*Signing to immediately follow in Autograph Area
Friday, July 25, 11:00am-12:00Noon
SIGNING, Random House booth #1514
Saturday, July 26, 11:00am-12:00pm
SIGNING, Orbit booth #1116
Saturday, July 26, 3:00-4:00pm
SIGNING, Random House booth #1514
Saturday, July 26, 4:15-5:15pm
PANEL: Rulers of the Realm
Panelists: George R. R. Martin, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, Patrick Rothfuss
Sunday, July 27 – SAN DIEGO, CA
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111
Monday, July 28 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tuesday, July 29 – TORRANCE, CA
Barnes & Noble
21500 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503
Wednesday, July 30 – SANTA FE, NM
Jean Cocteau Cinema
418 Montezuma Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
*event with George Martin and Cherie Priest
And THEN it’s straight on to Celsius 232 in Aviles, Spain, along with Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson, among others, with further details in due course. I shall hope to see some of you at these events…
Posted on July 15th, 2014 in announcements, news
Yes, celebrate, my cousins across the pond, for Half a King is published throughout the Land of the Free today. It’s the Sunday Times no. 3 Hardcover Bestseller that GRRM called, ‘A fast paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page one and refused to let go,’ while Robin Hobb found it, ‘Enthralling. An up-all-night read,’ and Rick Riordan said it had, ‘eye-popping twists and rollicking good action.’ I could go on, but I already have, over here. Take a look if you fancy seeing a trailer, reading an extract or further reviews or, I don’t know, maybe finding some buying options…
Posted on July 3rd, 2014 in announcements, reviews
I am delighted to announce that the UK edition of Half a King is published today: in Hardcover, Ebook, and unabridged audiobook read by Ben Elliot.
“Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain his throne.
First he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
The deceived will become the deceiver.
Born a weakling in the eyes of the world, Yarvi cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The Betrayed will become the betrayer.
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
Even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and the death of a king…”
A few kind words about the book from critics and peers…
“Joe Abercrombie does it again. Half a King is another page-turner from Britain’s hottest young fantasist, a fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page one and refused to let go.”
– George RR Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
“Half a King is a remarkable achievement — thrilling, enthralling, and relentless. The action is frenetic, the characters are as sharp as the blades they wield, and the humour is biting.”
– Derek Landy, author of the Skulduggery Pleasant novels
“Abercrombie’s stellar prose style and clever plot twists will be sure to please both adult and teen readers.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Enthralling. An up-all-night read.”
– Robin Hobb, author of the Farseer novels
“I got all the grit that I love in Abercrombie, and the craft, and the character…but it never got so far as being bleak. Simply said, I think this is my favorite Abercrombie book yet. And that’s really saying something.”
– Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind
“Gripping as a bear hug, warming as a bear skin.”
– The Daily Mail
“Friends turn out to be enemies, enemies turn out to be friends; the line between good and evil is murky indeed; and nothing goes quite as we expect … With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, Half a King is definitely a full adventure.”
– Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson books
“Classic Abercrombie, and yet also something unexpected — grimdark fantasy for people who aren’t necessarily very young.”
– SFX, 5 star review
And here’s the book trailer:
I’ve already done five great events on tour and there are plenty more to go, including a signing in Central London this afternoon (3rd July) from 4.30 at the wonderful Goldsboro Books, Covent Garden, where the first 100 in line will get numbered 1st Editions from a limited run of 250. But if you can’t make a signing, worry not, Waterstones up and down the country have signed stock and Amazon are offering the hardcover for a cutting-our-own-throats £5 and the kindle for £4.35. Sound good to you? You’ll find some buying options, further information and a considerable extract over here.
Posted on June 18th, 2014 in announcements, artwork
So Harper Collins have put up their book trailer for Half a King, and I think it’s really rather excellent…
I’m generally a wee bit ambivalent on Book Trailers – I think reach often exceeds grasp and you end up with slightly embarrassing live action efforts where a lot of resources have clearly been expended to make something that looks like a rubbish version of a scene from Gladiator. But Ben North and his team have done a brilliant and very canny job here, I think, going for something simple and stark and applying a lot of thought and craftsmanship to achieve a really powerful result. You might even call it a brand.
Posted on June 17th, 2014 in announcements, artwork, interviews, news
GRRM and Gardner Dozois’ latest cross-genre mega-anthology ROGUES has published in the US today, featuring stories from GRRM himself, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Pat Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Paul Cornell, Cherie Priest and little old me, among many others. My contribution is a hefty 12,000 word novelette, as it goes, following an eventful night in the life of a whole series of disreputable inhabitants of Sipani, a few old friends among them…
In other news, Half a King is out in just two and a half weeks in the UK on the 3rd of July (bites nails) and a week and a half later in the US on the 15th of July (bites them again). I’ve got a piece up on the Waterstones blog about the genesis of the book AND there’s an interview with me at Den of Geek about writing for the (slightly) younger audience.
Hardcover copies of both are now in my possession. They definitely do exist…
UK in white, US in black, both looking rather beautiful, I would say, with silky, foil, and spot gloss finishes and all and they’re a pair of handsome hardcovers without the dust jackets too…