Category Archive for ‘appearances’

Forthcoming Appearances

Posted on February 25th, 2014 in appearances

I’m going to be out and about a lot this year, what with the release of Half a King in July.  There’ll certainly be a few bookshop events in the UK around that time which are yet to be scheduled, but a few festivals and conventions that are already definite:

March 1st-2nd – Cominks, Messina, Italy

May 22nd-25th 2014 – Imaginales, Epinal, France

July 19th 2014 – Edge Lit, Derby, UK

July 22nd-27th 2014 – Comic Con, San Diego, US

July 30th-August 2nd 2014 – Celsius Festival, Aviles, Spain (this one’s a possible, depending on the touring schedule, but I’ve been there the last couple of years, and with Rothfuss and Sanderson along this year, I’d like to make it for at least a couple of days).

August 14th-18th 2014 – Loncon 3, London, UK

April 23rd-26th 2015 – Eurocon, St. Petersburg, Russia

No totally firm details of what I’ll be doing when at these various events, but by all means consult the websites for further details, and I’ll post more when I have more…

The Joe Abercrombie Christmas Sale

Posted on December 3rd, 2013 in announcements, appearances, news

These days I get quite a lot of requests for me to sign things of one kind or another via the post.  And I mean quite a lot, especially around this time of year.  For people who want me to sign their book by post/send them signed photographs at my expense (or, indeed, theirs)/deliver by hand my eye teeth, my policy has to be this:

I REGRET THAT I DO NOT SIGN THINGS BY POST.

Maybe that seems harsh.  Maybe it seems small and mean, like I’m an edgy fantasy Ebeneezer Scrooge, and maybe I am.  Maybe you think a few minutes out of my day on behalf of my dedicated fans is not too much to ask.  But the thing is, I might get 10 such requests a month, or more, and they’re surprisingly time-consuming to deal with.  Unless I want to give out my home address (I don’t, much) I have to get stuff sent to my editor or agent, then it’s their time spent handling it, and my time spent emailing and arranging it, then signing it, then packing it and sending it back.  The postage is never right.  Then things go astray and people get upset and others have to chase the mail and … NO.  I’m really sorry, I am, but I’ve got more actual writing work than I can handle already without moonlighting for the postal service.

I REGRET THAT I DO NOT SIGN THINGS BY POST.  REALLY.

But all is not lost!  If you DO desire a signed book, photo, bra, etc. and it’s lovely that you do, your options are these:

1. Come to an event.  I will more than happily sign for you at any appearance.  At bookshop events you may have to buy a book, but no one’s going to be upset if you bring other books to sign.  Usually I’ll happily sign whatever  you’ve got of mine.  If there’s an unusually high attendance and hence long queue, we might have to send folk to the back after getting their first book signed, or maybe limit things if the staff really need to turn the lights off, but that rarely happens.  At a convention, unless I’m right in the middle of something, feel free to collar me and, again, I’m more than happy to sign anything of mine you’ve got.  I mean, if you’re a dealer with 50 books, I might get all twitchy but, in essence, find me at an appearance or convention, I will sign.

2. Go to a dealer that carries signed stock.  Around release date of a new book I usually sign some stock.  Goldsboro Books or Forbidden Planet are good options, and you could probably reserve a signed copy with them before publication if you so desire.  They’ll also probably have some signed stock in any Waterstones I pass through if I’m touring.  They might even be able to swing a dedication if you ask nicely…

3. Buy a book from my bumper Christmas e-bay sale.  Whenever something gets published, I get sent copies.  Sometimes I get sent loads of copies.  They sit in my wonderfully dry and well insulated basement in appetising mint condition.  Every now and then, when the shelves overfloweth with the bounty of my publishers, and usually in the run-up to Christmas, for tis the season of giving, I and my wife organise a sell-off with the proceeds going to charity.  Books of various types and editions will appear on e-bay for purchase, with postage price displayed, and in these books you can get written pretty much anything you like (though Joe don’t draw).  They might even arrive in time for Christmas.  Who’s Scrooge now?

I REGRET THAT I DO NOT SIGN THINGS BY POST.

BUT it just so happens that there are a bunch of my books up on e-bay RIGHT NOW, with others going up over the next couple of days.  All proceeds go to Shelter, a UK homelessness charity, and I’m delighted to say that thanks to your goodwill, generosity, and hunger for high-quality fantasy fiction, we already raised some £500 yesterday alone.  So if you want something signed as that special gift for the committed Joe Abercrombie fan in your life: NOW IS YOUR RARE OPPORTUNITY.  That is all.

World Fantasy Convention

Posted on October 21st, 2013 in announcements, appearances

So the World Fantasy Convention, along with its galaxy of authors, publishers, editors, agents, and serious fans from the length and longth of the known world is coming to Brighton in a couple of weeks, and I will be amongst it for the first time.  Probably going to be pretty busy because a lot, and I mean A LOT of folks known to me from home and abroad are going to be there, including some collaborators who I rarely get the chance to see.  However, my official schedule, such as it is:

Thursday 31st 8-9.30pm, Oxford Suite: David Gemmell Legend Award: Yes indeed, watch me clapping with a fixed grin as someone else snatches the axe from my grasping claws for yet another year.  I believe this event will also see the launch of Legends, an anthology in honour of the late great Gemmell which happens to contain a story by me, and the authors will be signing of it…

Friday 1st 8-10.30pm, Oxford Suite: Mass Signing: Very unlikely I’m going to be there for the entire two and a half hours, but I undertake to be there for at least an hour from 8.30 to 9.30, and will probably nip back just in case I missed anyone…

Friday 1st, 2-3pm, Library: Kaffeeklatsch: Yes indeed, the exclusive and never to be repeated until next time opportunity to meet me, in an informal group of 20 like minded friends and neighbours, to discuss my work and stuff with the additional star-spangled attraction of my editor and future of the British Fantasy Genre Gillian Redfearn.  Sadly sold out already, this one.

Saturday 2nd 12-12.30pm, Hall 8A: Reading: A little something to whet your appetites from my forthcoming masterpiece Half a King, and hopefully time for a couple of questions too…

Saturday 2nd, 5-6pm, Oxford Suite: Elvish has left the Building: A panel on the exciting new directions taken by fantasy fiction over recent years, and perhaps even the years to come.  Don’t know who else is on this one, but expect it to be star-studded. Maybe.

Sunday 3rd 1-god knows when pm, Oxford Suite: Banquet: Once wasn’t enough? Then watch me clap with a fixed grin AGAIN as I fail to win twice in one convention, this time the British Fantasy Award.  Wicked…

Hope to see some of you there….

Back from Russia

Posted on September 17th, 2013 in appearances

Phew.  Back from Russia, and it was quite a trip.  Probably the busiest foreign trip I’ve done in terms of sheer density of interviews and events.  10 or more print interviews and 3 TV ones, 5 bookshops, a reading at a library, a panel at an outdoor festival, and a Q&A at the Moscow Book Fair.  Probably the best attended events I’ve done too.  Well over a hundred at most of the bookshops and at the 24 hour bookshop in St. Petersburg there were, apparently, 250, some of them fitting into the shot below:

IMG_0970

Signing took an hour and a half.  Seemed like the queue would never end.  How guys like Martin or Gaiman deal with thousands at an event I will never know.

Got to see about 5% of the Hermitage, and a look round the Kremlin, including such classically tsarist wonders as a cannon too big to ever be fired, and a bell too big to ever be rung.

photo

Managed to fit in a visit to the World Medieval Fighting Championship Club in Moscow for a demonstration of medieval era fighting in full armour which was quite the eye-opener.  These guys hit hard, and with anything available.  The noise and aggression was pretty intense, though of course less than when I was playing Pathfinder in a Sushi Bar with Maksim, Alexander and Alexandra. Those goblins never knew what hit them.

I need to give a big thanks to all the bookshops and events that hosted me, as well as to Dmitriy, Anna, Alexander, and Gianna from my Russian publisher Eksmo for organising the trip and variously getting up extremely early or staying up unreasonably late to escort me to and from events.  Also a big thanks to the unsung heroes of the trip, Masha in Moscow and Yulia in St. Petersburg, my translators, who had the unenviable task of rendering my blather into something vaguely intelligible.  And lastly but not leastly, thanks to Mikhail, a very pleasant guy from the oil and gas business with whom I shared the sleeper train back to Moscow and who both translated for me and payed for beers.  If you find yourself in the UK, Mikhail, I owe you a beer…

Russia

Posted on September 4th, 2013 in appearances

The Heroes is out this week in Russia, and I’m going over there for a week or so as a guest of my publisher Eksmo, attending the Moscow Book Fair, EveryCon, and doing a bunch of interviews and other events.  The schedule for public events, in as much detail as I have:

Sat September 7th
13.30 – Event at Moscow International Book Fair, VDNH, pavilion 75
17.00 – Public Talk at the Bookmarket Book Festival with Dmitriy Glukhovsky

Sun September 8th
14.00 – Meeting with Readers in Dodo Bookstore, Moscow

Mon September 9th
15.00 – Reading & Meeting with Readers in British Book Centre, St. Petersburg
19.00 Meeting with Readers in Bukvoyed, Ploshad Vosstaniya, St. Petersburg

Tue September 10th
19.00 Meeting with Readers in Zinger Bookstore, St. Petersburg

Wed September 11th
19.00 Meeting with Readers in the Moskva Bookstore, Tverskaya St., Moscow

Thurs September 12th
19.00 Meeting with Readers in the Biblio-Globus Bookstore, Lubyanka Underground Station, Moscow

Sat September 14th
13.30 Q&A and signing at EveryCon, Moscow

If you need more details, I’d contact the relevant venues.  Perhaps I’ll see some of you out there.  Posting here and email response may, understandably, suffer until I return…

Wonderbooks! Cheltenham! Interviews!

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 in announcements, appearances, interviews, news

Another smorgasbord of news items for your delectation.  Firstly, I see that Jeff Vandermeer has announced his latest publication, Wonderbook, a unique project that I suppose you could call an illustrated guide to writing speculative fiction, with contributions from a whole range of big figures in the genre, including Gaiman, Le Guin, Martin, Beukes, and many more.  Oh, and me, talking about the maps in The Heroes and the way in which maps and narrative developed together and informed each other.  Jeff gives some examples of the one-of-a-kind artwork over here.

Next, a quick heads up that I’ll be appearing at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, no less, on Saturday 5th October discussing the enduring appeal of Lord of the Rings, alongside Tolkien’s editor (not to mention GRRM’s, Robin Hobb’s, and one of mine) Jane Johnson, Tolkien scholar, author, satirist, and hilarious conversationalist Adam Roberts, and Brian Sibley, co-adapter of the classic Radio 4 serialisation. See?  I am a serious literary figure! Not to mention a fan of Tolkien. In your FACE.

And finally, the David Gemmell Legend Award are running some interviews with their shortlisted authors, and they’ve got a quick one with me up now, covering Red Country, my mission, and the importance of awards (or not).

For now, that is all.

Celsius Festival 2013

Posted on August 7th, 2013 in appearances

I was invited to Celsius 232 once again this year and enjoyed a wonderful few days in the temperate Asturian climate, writing, eating, signing books, and kicking back with some writers I knew a little, like Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Paul McAuley, Chris Priest, Ian Watson and David Moody, and some that I didn’t like Nina Allan, Rob Sawyer and Marc Pastor.  It was great to meet Lauren Beukes, who I knew by reputation but had never looked at over a giant gin and tonic, and Steven Erikson, who many would say works in a similar dark and challenging corner of epic fantasy, and actually had some rather tantalising ideas for a collaboration.  Also had the opportunity to listen to one of my favourite TV writers, the creator of The Wire, Generation Kill, and Treme, David Simon.

Excellent, easygoing organisation from Jorge, Christina, and Diego.  Though they’re all festival veterans, last year was their first in Aviles and they had George RR Martin to kick things off.  Without him I thought they were sure to have taken a step back but in many ways they took a big step forward, with better attendance at most of the events and signings, certainly at mine.  Good people.  Good times.  Look forward to heading back next year if I get the chance.

Celsius, and Holiday

Posted on July 22nd, 2013 in appearances

I am off on my holidays as of tomorrow, so posting level and reaction to email will probably be even worse than usual.  Following that, I’m going to be back at the Celsius festival in Aviles, Asturias, Northern Spain for a second year running, from 31st July-3rd August, this time in the company of Lauren Beukes, Paul McAuley, Steven Erikson, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and Christopher Priest among many, many others. Not sure exactly what I’ll be doing, but there’ll be an interview at some point (probably late afternoon 31st), a signing, and I’ll be about the town and approachable for the whole time, I would expect.  Hope to see some of you there…

Plus ca Change

Posted on October 28th, 2012 in appearances, reviews

Red Country is published in the UK.  It sold somewhere over 3000 hardcovers in its first week, as a result of which it’s just scraped into the Sunday Times UK Hardcover Bestseller list at no. 10.  The Heroes made no. 3 last year, but at a far less challenging time at the end of January.  This week’s top ten was populated (outside of me) by serious end of year heavy hitters the likes of Rowling, Mantel, Judy Finnegan, Jackie Collins.  Physical sales have, as a rule, dropped by about a third over the last couple of years while e-book sales have soared, especially in sf and fantasy.  Red Country sold some 1500 kindle editions in its first week as well (though for the time being these don’t count towards the bestseller lists, of course), making well nigh a third of its sales digital, and presumably indicating that a whole lot of readers have shifted from hardcover to kindle over the last couple of years.  Not that that’s news.  The English editions also seem to be doing pretty well in foreign markets, with well over 20,000 hardcovers shipped overall already.  Which is nice.

Tour of the UK was interesting.  A couple of ropey events, especially in the daytime, but also some excellent ones in the evening, with Leeds, Edinburgh, and Friday’s homecoming gig at Toppings in Bath being the best.  My thanks to those who went above and beyond to give me gifts, including Glencairn glass from the staff at Guildford and a bottle of whisky from Jason.  Thanks, fellas.

As regards critical reaction, professional and semi-professional reviews appear fairly to very positive.

Sci-Fi Now liked it:

“Red Country is Abercrombie’s love letter to the Western, and unlike many that make a complete hash of the spit and sawdust stereotypes that make up the genre, he gets it magnificently. There’s much love here, but at the same time there’s none of the rose tinted romanticism and certainly none of the cheesiness you’d associate with certain aspects of the Western. As you’d expect from Abercrombie this is chockfull of grim humour, action and violence, and very much aimed at the cynical, gritty end of the fantasy spectrum.

Jared at Pornokitsch had some interesting criticisms and observations to make.  I’d actually like to have seen him follow a few of them further.  But overall it seems he liked it too:

There’s jaw-dropping violence, twists, turns and character arcs that prompt the occasional muted cheer. Abercrombie is fast supplanting George R.R. Martin as the standard by which all contemporary epic fantasy should be measured.

Read it.

His words, not mine.  There was even a four out of five in that esteemed figurehead of the British media, The Sun, of all things, though I don’t have a clipping to hand so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Trawls through amazon, goodreads, and various other websites and fora for a more grassroots response reveal that Red Country is both a triumph and a disappointment, too much of a departure or not enough of one, is overwhelmed by its western elements or expertly masters them, is a severe come down after the triumph that was The Heroes and a magnificent return to form after the disappointment that was The Heroes, that it is more overwhelmingly cynical than ever and shows an undoubted mellowing and all-pervasive optimism.  It’s my best book and my worst.

Ah, plus ca change…

Right, off to Australia day after tomorrow.  I’ll try to cobble a post or two together while down there, but it may be that you won’t hear from me for a while…

Australian Tour

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 in appearances

Finishing out my touring schedule for Red Country, and probably the last travelling I’ll be doing for a little while, I’m going to be down under during the first half of November.  Some dates for your diaries, Australians:

2nd – 4th November – GenreCon, at the Rydges Parramatta, Rosehill, outside Sydney, where I’ll be a guest of honour, on a couple of panels, being interviewed at 4pm sat 3rd, and generally about.  You can find further details here.

7th November, 7pm – Hobart, in conversation with Joel Rheinberger, no doubt with questions, reading, and signing, at the Westend Pumphouse, 105 Murray St. through Ellision Hawker Bookshop.

9th-11th November – SupaNova Brisbane, RNA Showgrounds, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane.  Not sure exactly what I’ll be doing here, but it’ll be supa.  And I’ll sign books.

13th November, 6pm – Dymocks Belconnen, Canberra, meet and greet (with wine and nibbles, though nibbling the author is frowned upon).

16th-18th November – SupaNova Adelaide, Adelaide Event and Exhibition Centre (Adelaide Showgrounds), Goodwood Road, Wayville.  Again, not sure what I’ll be doing, but I’ll be there.  Signing books.

Chances are high I will also leave a glistening trail, slug-like, of signed stock across the coastal regions of Australia as I go, as well as doing a fair few meetings and interviews.  Information is a little sketchy so you’re probably better approaching the events for any further information.  But I’ll be there, and will happily sign anything you got…