Category Archive for ‘competitions’

April Fool’s Winners

Posted on April 1st, 2009 in competitions

So the competition to win a signed, lined, and dated proof of Best Served Cold draws to an end, and it’s been quite the couple of months. There have been some 300 entries and you crazies tried pretty much every approach imaginable to coax, cajole, threaten and flatter those books out of me. The sentence “I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…” was completed in just about every way you can imagine and a few I guarantee you never would. Let me give you a flavour…

There were some frankly poor efforts who were definitely relying on the dice:

“…I have nothing else left to read.”

“…actually I don’t know because i haven’t read the First Law Trilogy yet, but whatever…”

“…I didn’t enjoy the conclusion of the first trilogy, and you wouldn’t want to leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.”

There were, of course, many appeals to my vanity (very sensible), though occasionally unintentionally missing the mark:

“…I absolutely thought your “First Law” trilogy was brilliant and superb – even better than Dan Brown novels.”

“…Because ur a badass author and I want to be like you when Im old.”

But usually just kissing up good style:

“…Joe Abercrombie books are like sweet, sweet crack, and I need them to live.”

“…Abercrombie : Tolkien = Sergio Leone : John Ford”

“…you have ruined all other books for me and now your’s are the only I live for, and its been a real bad wait for this man. REAL BAD. I’m tweaking out man. I need a literary fix. NOW. YOU OWE ME!!!”

“…because I, like the almighty Joe Abercrombie, have an uncontrolable sense of supierority to the rest of the world and must further express my complete and total greatness to the horribly boring and unexciting citizens of Earth by reading the future World’s Best Selling Book by the greatness author on the planet, including Narnia, Lankhmar and Lyonese before anyone else, besides you Joe because your you and you can do anything.”

Sometimes, very good style:

“I firmly believe it’s my only way of surpassing the emotional high I received after reading Last Argument of Kings. Upon finishing that book, I knew I’d visited a place only whispered about in forgotten Buddhist texts. I searched for new thrills but nothing came as close as reading your transcendent prose. Food lost its taste, the sun disappeared behind clouds, kittens lost their appeal. Base jumping into shallow waterfall plunge pools failed to rouse me. Becoming a test pilot for experimental supersonic jet aircraft proved a futile gesture…”

There were appeals to my pity/mercy/conscience (hugely misguided):

“…i currently have the flu and have a crying baby to look after and an unsympathetic wife”

“…I have never won anything that really means something to me in my whole enitre 40 years of mediocre existence.”

“… I need something to do while my boyfriend is playing his 150h-full-world-exploration-session of Fallout 3 on MY computer.”

“…My life is in your hands, Dear Sir. I know you’ll do the right thing… I know you have a good soul…”

But they were almost outnumbered by an awful lot of threats:

“…you’ll find it useful to have both your ankles intact.”

“…I will unleash the Joker riding Falcor the luck dragon unless you send me an ARC. Think of the innocent, Joe.” (with accompanying picture of the Joker riding Falcor the luck dragon).

“…in the unfortunate event of me not receiving the book, I would of course be forced to curse you with ingrown toenails, bad breath and incontinence. That, and of course the world would end.”

“…I’ll kung fu your ass all over this motherfinagling, lopsided, 360 degree rotating, outer-galactic-rim-dwelling mudball AND YOU CAN BET YOUR TOP DOLLAR (erm… pound) that snapping sound will be my foot breaking off in your ass, Joe.”

Promises to attack me with banisters or some other piece of household carpentry in particular seemed to have become a bit of a theme:

…I’m just a big bloody liar and can handle a bit of wood quite well and if I don’t win I’ll turn you into Glotka, okay?”

There were attempts at distraction:

“I must read Best Served Cold before everyone else because (HUGE BREASTS)

There were the strange:

“…last week I was forced to leave the house to pick up supplies and everybody at the supermarket was staring at me, EVERYBODY! A whole supermarket, from customers to checkout girls, every last one an undercover operative – scary stuff.”

“…after being told “Fuck [you]” by Wil “Westley Crusher” Whedon while he signed one of his books that I purchased, I have decided to start a collection of signed books around the theme that the author told me to fuck off. What could be better than “Fuck you! Love, Joe Abercrombie” for an inscription?”

“…because I want to taste it (I will be sure to chill it first). I literally plan to turn each page with my tongue. I figure I should get a head start on that.”

“…it is the sole missing component in my scale reconstruction of an Assyrian war chariot.”

The touching:

“…I cut off my hair to be like Ferro, man. honestly, i think that deserves something right?”

The insulting (though true):

“…because I’m tired of reading about you on your blog, I sometimes wonder if you chose to write fantasy as a way to stop talking about yourself for a moment. Really though, the purile self aggrandising rubbish that you spew onto the pages week after week have become quite tiresome.”

The painfully honest:

“…I intend to nick all your ideas and write a cheap knock-off under the pen name Moe Abernathy, then get rich by selling it at car boot sales before the real book comes out.”

“…I am a self-centered egotistic prick that believes that the World resolves around me.”

The funny:

“because I need to know if the Gurkish eat Gherkins or if they like me flick them out of the bun and hope nobody saw…”

or at least, attemptedly funny, including at least fifty puns on the title Best Served Cold, not one of which was worth reading let alone reprinting here. There were also the mildly unsettling:

“…the barbarian and the wizard inside the head of the little woman inside my head won’t be still or quiet until i get my hands on it.”

The very unsettling:

“…I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because my four year old and ten month old sons are anxiously awaiting your new book with baited breath.”

And the extremely unsettling:

“…I need to furiously masturbate to the AWESOME US Cover Art before anyone else.”

“…if you do I’ll send you a picture of my bearded clamola! You’ll be surprised at how much it looks like a badger in a trap. Can I have some cash as well please?”

No, madam, you cannot.

Yes, it’s been quite the couple of months. Thanks all, for the efforts (in those cases where there was some). I wish I could give away 300 proofs (obviously, that’s a lie). Sadly, though, there is only one UK proof of Best Served Cold remaining, and that goes to the winner of this year’s competition, Robin Everett McGuirl, who MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…

“I am the Herald of Abercrombie.

I proselytize from street corners and mall kiosks. I re-organize book shelves and shake The Blade Itself in the faces of terrified children. I force friends and family to endure readings from the Books of Abercrombie, heedless to their bleating cries for mercy. I have accepted the Burden of Revelatory Oratory. My role
, as it has been laid bare to me, is that of the Prophet. Indeed, as stated, the Herald.

I announce His presence and His wonder. I champion His conquests and assure the sceptical. Those dubious are shown the True Path. His inscrutible hand has put forth undeniable proof of His Divinity, terrible and wondrous, brutal and miraculous, utterly ruthless, yet utterly truthful. The Tomes. Unassailable and concrete substantiation of His existence.

Penetrating in His insight, delightful in His play, yet relentless in His wrath. All cower in His shadow.

And He continues. He has deemed, for reasons discernable only to His own staggering intellect, to gift us, the unworthy, with more of His canon.

To properly fulfill my duties to Him, I must be prepared. I must be shown so that I can prepare others. So I may clear the path and ready the masses for His arrival. There is much work to be done, so I must begin at once. If I am found worthy, I shall perform my duties with zealous dedication. I shall be endebtted to Him, and forever shall be thankful for the opportunity to be even a shred closer to Him than the rest of the undeserving.

I await His judgement.”

Oh, my faithful disciple, yours is the final UK proof of Best Served Cold. But Robin Everett McGuirl will not receive my bounty alone. No. Because my American publisher, Orbit US, have just printed their galleys, and have agreed to send one to three runners up of my choosing. These won’t be signed and dedicated, alas, because, well, they’re in the US and I’m here. But still, I think you will agree, they will enjoy the prime benefit of READING BEST SERVED COLD BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE. Step forward Luis Velez for this cheeky little number:

“I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because… if I do not I will fall dead instantly upon learning someone else got to read it and my dog will then be forced to feed upon my decaying corpse, acquire a taste for human flesh, thereafter escape my lowly, squalid flat and go on a rampage through San Francisco that may result in the death of countless people. Picture of my dog is attached.”

The Horror. Step forward also, Josh Olive:

“I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because… I have indulged my geekery for your First Law books to the extent that I name my civilizations and cities after those in your books when I play Civilization IV and its expansions”

Ha ha! I’ve done that as well! Finally, step forward Jorg Ruber, who threw a little bit of everything at me:

“I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because it is best served cold to me

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because I have nothing good to read until A Dance with Dragons comes out

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because I AM GOD, therefore it is rightfully mine

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because I’m fresh out of toilet paper

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because I can rub it in my wife’s face who IS a fan

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because I love you love you love you love you

I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because if I don’t, I will kill this kitten (pic)

I WILL be reading Best Served Cold before everyone else because, all kidding aside, you ARE going to send it to me”

Yes, Jorg, yes I am, if only for the picture of your adorable little kitten. Congratulations to the winner and runners-up, you should be in receipt of an email from me requesting contact details. Commiserations to the pitiful failures they left hacked and bloody in their victorious wake. But remember, they’re only special for a couple of brief months. On June the 18th, you can all join them…

The Dice Decide Once More

Posted on March 16th, 2009 in competitions

It is the 16th of March, day of the death of the Emperor Nero and (I need hardly point out) 349th anniversary of the disbanding of the British Long Parliament. All over the world, people are putting on their tricorn hats back to front, painting their faces puse, and setting fire to the traditional suet and gelatine Long Parliament Cakes. Here at we are celebrating in a slightly different way. Yes, by giving away, YES, GIVING AWAY a signed, lined, and dated proof copy of one of the MOST IMPORTANT fantasy books to be released in the UK on 18th June 2009 – Best Served Cold.

Once again the dice will decide from the – now – 273 applications received.

And the dice say…

That the…

2 hundred

and 19th application is victorious.

Yes, Mark Rowell, you are a winner. And he must read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…

“due to the credit crunch, I have taken to reading by candlelight to help reduce my fuel costs. Last night, in a fit of sheer pleasure whilst reading Last Argument Of Kings, I knocked over the afore mentioned candle, causing it to set fire to my book collection. My books are my only source of entertainment; they also double as my bed. You can only imagine my dismay when the books caught fire. I never even noticed it had happened until my large, unkempt pubic mound, was suddenly ablaze with a strange orange glow. At first the warmth was a welcome rest from the usual draft in my nether regions, but after a short while, the pain and panic set in. If it wasn’t for my friend Barnaby Blowhard’s quick thinking, and powerful lungs, the fire would have spread to my belly fluff and I wouldn’t be here to tell you the story. Now, I am glad I survived; it’s just that life really isn’t worth living without books, and a left testicle. You are the only man who could ease my pain. Please, the book would mean so much to me and my remaining ball bag.”

My god, it’s almost exactly how I lost my left testicle.

Mark Rowell, you lucky thing, you should be in receipt of an email from me soliciting your address and desired inscription. The rest of you should swallow your crushing disappointment, though, because there is still time to win a proof of Best Served Cold. That’s right. On April 1st I shall select the completion of the sentence, “I must read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…” that pleases me the most…

Can you smell the tension?

The Dice Decide

Posted on February 28th, 2009 in competitions

It is the last day of February and, as foretold, today the Gods of Fate, with the help of my olde percentile dice, shall pick the first winner of a signed, lined and dated proof of Best Served Cold. Can you taste the tension?

To date there have been 218 hopeful entrants from across the globe, some of them funny, some of them sad, and many of them, frankly, lame. But, at least at this early stage of the contest – as with so many things in life – success isn’t about quality, it’s about luck. Therefore I will employ one of my many d6s to make a d3 for the hundreds column. Man, it’s just like being 13 again. Well, thinking about it, it’s not quite like that. My skin is better, my language is worse. I weigh about four stone more. I have children of my own. I live in London, not Lancaster. I write fantasy books rather than read them. I don’t play loads of computer games any more.

Alright, you got me, I was kidding about that last one.

In any case. The dice say the winner of the first proof of Best Served Cold is…

The 0 hundredth…


40th entry. Which is from…

Drum roll please…

More drum roll…


That’s all it says. Elke. Who apparently MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…

“…it’ll deport my sorry ass out of the January depression, it’ll make the man I’ve fallen in love with notice that there are other men that mind boggle me (notably you) and finally you’ll sell a couple books more, because I already infected four of my friends with the genius output of your mind and I intend to infect more.”

Yes, Elke, yes, infect all your friends. You should be in receipt of an email from me requesting your address and desired message. The proof itself will soon follow. But don’t forget those 217 of you who were disappointed, there will be more winners, and they MAY ALREADY BE AMONG YOU. The dice will pick another in but a couple of weeks, then finally, on April Fool’s day, talent will win a rare victory over blind chance when I select the completion(s) of the sentence “I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…” that please me the most. Anyone who has been foolish enough not to enter, may find the details of how to do so here.

Win more widely!

Posted on February 2nd, 2009 in competitions

Following an avalanche of complaints from those resident outside the EU, as well as a still more intolerable wave of smugness from those resident inside, I have now consulted with my various publishers and am delighted to report that the competition to win proofs of Best Served Cold is now open to any resident of Planet Earth no matter where-so-ere you may reside. Celebrate, citizens of the world, for today the universal brotherhood of man is drawn one significant step closer together!

There may even be some American proofs to be won, courtesy of the good folks at Orbit US, though those probably wouldn’t be signed, since they’re there, and I’m … here.

I deeply regret that those residents of Narnia, Lankhmar and Lyonesse who complained will just have to suck it up and wait until June/equivalent midsummer month in your invented calendar. As for the Brobdingnagians, you know very well that the book would just have come apart in your giant sweaty hands. Honestly, some people…

Win! Win! Win!

Posted on January 31st, 2009 in competitions

Yes, bound proofs (or Advance Reader Copies if you prefer) of Best Served Cold are in and they look FINE. My wife is reading it NOW and she says it’s GREAT. It is “violent, fast-paced and bloody,” it is “a superb edge-of-your seat read from a critically acclaimed author,” and it is “perfect for fans of George RR Martin and David Gemmell,” and these things are FACTS that you can COUNT ON because my PUBLISHER says so on the BACK OF THE BOOK.

I regret that the goodly folk of the sf&f blogosphere may have to wait a few weeks longer to receive their review copies, as Arch Hype-Sorceror Simon of Spanton wishes to delay their release, that the INEVITABLE TSUNAMI of positive interweb hype-buzz shall combine with the swell of print attention and OVERWHELM THE MARKETPLACE closer to the actual release of the book, rather than going off in a premature hype-ejaculation that merely disappoints everyone involved and is nothing more than another guilty memory when the book appears in shops six months later…

What could possibly be sweeter, therefore, than that YOU, yes YOU, the HUMBLE READER, should be able to steal a march on JOHNNY CRITIC by being welcomed into the BLESSED CIRCLE and reading a proof of BEST SERVED COLD even before it goes to the reviewers and full MONTHS before it becomes available to the jealous fools that constitute your FRIENDS, FAMILY, and the REST OF THE NORMAL POPULATION? Is such a thing possible? Can it be? Believe me, my friends, it CAN.

But what Herculean ordeal must you undertake to harvest this scintillating bounty? Traverse the length of the world to fling a ring of power into a volcano? Defend an undermanned and demolarised fortress against a numberless all-conquering army of savages? Provide clean water to every member of an irradiated post-nuclear wasteland? NO! To win this mind-blowing, earth-shaking, bowel-loosening contest you neeed not even LEAVE your COMPUTER. You only have to email me at:

comp[at]joeabercrombie[dot]com (obviously removing the anti-spam bracketed bits and replacing them with the relevent symbols)

Including a completion of this sentence:

“I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…”

On the last day of February I will let my old-skool percentile dice – which, in their time, have made so many successful to-hit rolls and caused one much-loved character to memorably fumble a rope and fall to his death – pick one winner with the help of the gods of randomness. On the 16th of March, in order to commemorate the 349th anniversary of the disbanding of the British Long Parliament and, of course, the death of the Emperor Nero, my dice shall select another winner, aided by the hand of fate. Finally, on April Fool’s Day 2009, I shall select the completion of the sentence “I MUST read Best Served Cold before everyone else because…” which delights/scares/excites/praises/amuses or otherwise causes me to emote the most. There may even be further winners depending on whether I am in the giving vein that day and availability of proofs at that time, though believe me, those bad-boys are in DEMAND.

As if that weren’t enough to bring you out in HIVES of anticipation, all such proofs will be SIGNED, DATED, and INSCRIBED with an inscription of your own personal choice by MINE OWN DREAD HAND, then delivered to your FRONT DOOR by Her Majesty’s or other relevant postal service. Only one question remains to be answered…


Or alternatively immediately put it on e-bay?

I await your responses…


1. This contest is now open to ANYONE RESIDENT ON PLANET EARTH. You lucky humans.

2. I reserve the right to disqualify anyone at any time, just because I’m a small, small man and it makes me feel good.

3. Only one entry per person, you cheeky so-and-sos. Anyone found to be violating this rule will be visited by my Uruk-Hai hit squad.

Free Books!

Posted on August 29th, 2008 in competitions

Fantasy Book Critic is running a competition to win the entire First Law Trilogy courtesy of the wonderful Pyr Books in the US.

You lucky people.

I deserve a proof because…

Posted on December 31st, 2007 in competitions

You didn’t think I’d let 2007 slip away without declaring the last winner of my Win a Proof of Last Argument of Kings competition did you? The time is now upon us. But this will not be a LUCKY winner, oh no, because this winner will be chosen not by THE DICE, but by ME, and will have EARNED their proof with the work from their brain, which, as everyone knows, is FAR HARDER work than mere back-breaking physical labour. They will have won by providing the conclusion I like best to the sentence “I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because…”

It’s been four months or so since I started this competition, and during that time there have been an astonishing 164 entries, inluding one late last night. There were long answers and short, there were funny answers and tragic, there were answers that people had poured their heart and soul into, and there were others frankly lazy and slapdash. But hey, ever author gets the readers they deserve, right? Let’s take a closer look at some of my favourites:

There were attempts to delight me with humour:

“I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because I wish to blatantly plagiarize it for my forthcoming novel Final Discussion of Regents.”

“…because simply put I’m dying. I’ve contracted a little understood disease known as Ineverwinthesefuckingcontestsitis.”

“…because these books can be as disappointing as a tampon on a wedding night and gratifying as a good jerk after being in a cast for three months.”

There were attempts to softly play upon my heartstrings:

“…I’m 6 weeks pregnant and cannot seem to stop vomiting at the most embarrassing places you should just give it to me out of sheer sympathy!”

“…because I was born on April Fools Day, and winning this book would be the one shining moment in a life otherwise filled with cruel mocking and pain.”

“…because I have worse teeth than Glokta, and I need some hook to meet hot chicks.”

“…because I AM FREEKIN’ OLD! and I want to live long enough to read the entire series!”

There were attempts to scare, threaten and intimidate:

“…because if you don’t send it to me, I will take the eurostar, hunt you down and threaten you with a soldering iron.”

There were many appeals to my vanity (well, aim for a big target, right?), some of which I expect may have been deliberate exaggerations:

“Oh great and magnificent Mr. Abercrombie…”

“I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because I think Joe is as talented as Shakespeare, and as well endowed as Big Dave Bignob.”

“…because I solemnly swear to be suitably sycophantic on sffworld, showering you with a deluge of great praise at every opportunity and offering limitless gratitude for the marvellous and, quite frankly, astoundingly well crafted series.”

“Oh Great and Mighty Author, Your Faithful Disciple here, and I am ashamed I didn’t reply sooner! I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because I have devoted the last 3 months of my life, dauntless in my efforts, to the first two testaments of The First Law and spreading the good word of the ALMIGHTY Joe Abercrombie to the peoples of the Americas…”

Some of these went perhaps a shade too far:

“…because Joe is my solemn God and I worship him daily before eating my morning serials, before taking a dump, and before every sexual intercourse (even if self-serviced)!”

There was shameless pleading:

“…because I am saying please. Pretty please, if that gets me anywhere. Better yet, pretty please oh great-wondrous-author-whose-book-I-most-emphatically-want-to-
get-my-paws-on. I am willing to throw metaphorical cake into the bargain.”

“…PLEASE, PLEASE, do not let me go crazzzy: send me the book, pretty PLEASE.”

There was painful honesty:

“…because the proceeds from ebay will be used to buy beer.”

There were frequent promises to gloat:

“…I will revel with a disgusting lack of shame in the fleeting sense of superiority over my similarly-addicted friends.”

“…because I want to read it before my mate who raves about the series and got me onto it and rub it in his face like the prick I am.”

There were attempts to show off:

“…because I’m probably the greatest person ever.”

“…because I too have a pentagonal trapezohedra and have just generated a saving-throw thereby negating any thou-shalt-not-win spell from even being thought of, let alone being cast…”

There were several out-and-out bribes, though, in general, disappointingly unspectacular ones:

“…because I will bake Joe a chocolate cake if he lets me read it before March”

And some pretty spectacular ones:

“…because I love your books and I must find out what happens! Can I bribe you with my firstborn?”

There were even some of a sexual nature that were somewhat worrying:

“…because I am wearing black frilly knickers.”

“…because I just orgasmed (a literal one) thinking about it…while at work.”

Yes, it’s been quite a few months. I wish that I could give a proof to everyone who entered. Well, not everyone, since then there’d be significantly less people to sell books to, but certainly more than one of them. But, my friends, I am sorry to say that there can only be one winner. Yes, the entry that delighted me the most was THIS one from Dean Wightman, partly because the tragicomic events of his life mirror my own so closely:

“I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because of my tragic childhood. Surviving a plane crash over Micronesia as a baby that killed my adoptive parents, I was initially raised by a whoop of wild Gorillas, then later by savage pygmies who idolised me as someone with special powers and christened me “Mighty White Man”, shortened recently to Dean Wightman.

My search for my real bloodline took me to the 4 corners of the world, where a random conversation at the Basilica brought me under the tutelage of Pope Gregory the Ninth. I found myself “Blackballed” during the “Pulpit poofta scandal of 1986”, and then found casual work as head mechanic of the all conquering Ferrari Formula 3000 race team. Latching on to the shirt tails of race God Henrik Fastbender, I enjoyed the Billionaire lifestyle jetsetting around the world, basing myself in Monte Carlo buying up super yachts and dating supermodels.

An allergic reaction to some dodgy Cocaine resulted in a multiple leg amputation and I now get by on remote control legs powered by solar batteries located in my forehead, with reading Joe Abercrombie novels being my only remaining pleasure in life.”

Dean Wightman, YOU are the final winner of a proof of … but wait. What am I hearing? Can it be a message from my Dark Masters at Gollancz? A message that there is room in this wonderful contest for TWO MORE runners-up to also win a signed proof of Last Argument of Kings? Is this generosity or insanity? Or is it something more sinister?

Either way, there is a proof available for the very first submission that I received, this brief yet chilling submission from Ady Hall:

“… because I’ve watched you write it, from my camper van across the street. And when the court order finally lapses, we’ll be able to be the bestest of buddies like I know we should be.”

If only to ensure that never has to happen, a proof for you, my friend. And another? Why not, Christmas comes (slightly) late this year. JG Thomas, whose submission had a little b
it of everything, including this gem:

“…because winning one of these proofs of Last Argument of Kings would be the most exciting thing that happened to me since I left a teaspoon in my Muller Rice desert and blew the microwave up. The top shelf of my bookcase is special: only my favourite books/authors get to squeeze in there. The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged are both on it. And there is just enough room to fit in what would be the crown jewel – the proof of Last Argument of Kings. Such a sight would make me weak at the knees. I might even piss my pants a little.”

Here’s to your crown jewels, JG. Our three winners should be in receipt of e-mails from me shortly. To everyone else who entered, both mentioned or not, my grovelling thanks for your (hopefully ongoing) support and, again, I’m (slightly) sorry I couldn’t give you ALL a proof. I can offer you one consolation – you only have to wait until March, and the book is REALLY good. Ha ha.

A happy new year to one and all. See you in 2008, maybe.

November Winner

Posted on November 30th, 2007 in competitions

Swishhhh-Swushhhhh-Swooooooo! That’s my impression of the windy end of autumn. Brilliant, isn’t it?

Ah, the year grows late, dusk draws in early, fallen leaves flail upon the chilly norwesterly, and ’tis time to toast one’s toes before the open fire, perhaps while enjoying a cup of mulled wine from the soft hand of a serving wench. What’s more, ’tis the final day of November, and therefore by the ancient laws made up on the spot by me seven weeks ago, the dice shall choose the second (extremely) lucky winner of a Signed, Lined, Dated proof of Last Argument of Kings.

Pray to whatever dark gods you worship that the dice favour you.

And the winner is:

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

The dice are rolling.

Wait for it.

The 112th entry to the competition, which was from …

Drum roll please …


Who, apparently, deserves a proof of Last Argument of Kings because …

“…I’m in the middle of “Before they are Hanged”, and I don’t want to wait 5 months for the end of the story. You get so close to the characters such a long absence would be like being separated from your girlfriend for those 5 months.”

Ah, Pedro, far be it from me to stand between you and your lady love. A round of applause, Ladies and Gentlemen, for PEDRO MARROQUIN. Don’t hate him, hate the dice.

(Pedro, you should be in receipt of an e-mail from me requesting your postal address, and your choice of personalised inscription.)

I should point out that the proofs are now printed, and some of them already posted and in the sweaty hands of reviewers. So the winner should receive their proof within the next couple of weeks, just as soon as I get a response from Pedro, and can get to the publisher and sign the thing.

The dice have chosen the victor, but the unfortunate many should not despair as, on New Year’s Eve, I shall pick the entry that tickles my funny bone/plays upon my heart-strings/flatters my bloated ego the most to win the final proof. The competition remains open, and anyone who wishes to enter should follow the instructions HERE.

Once again, I am FAR TOO GOOD TO YOU.

Halloween Winner!

Posted on October 31st, 2007 in competitions

Woooooh-Ooooooh-Ooooooh! That’s my impression of a ghost.

It’s the final day of October, and by the ancient laws set down by me three weeks ago, it is time to let the dice choose the first (extremely) lucky winner of a Signed, Lined, Dated proof of Last Argument of Kings.

Pray to whatever dark gods you worship that the dice favour you.

And the winner is:

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

The dice are rolling.

Wait for it.

The 72nd entry to the competition, which was from …

Drum roll please …


Who, apparently, deserves a proof of Last Argument of Kings because …

“…if I order any more of your books shipped overseas my wife will KILL ME. I will, no doubt, have some type of statement as to that being your fault on my headstone. While it might be good press, we don’t want that, do we??”

No, Josh, we decidedly do not want that, even if it is good press. I am happy to have saved your life. A round of applause, Ladies and Gentlemen, for JOSH MEYER. Don’t hate him, hate the dice.

(Josh, you should be in receipt of an e-mail from me requesting your postal address, and your choice of personalised inscription.)

I should point out that, in classic style, the proofs are not actually printed yet, so there may be a SLIGHT DELAY in receiving the forbidden bounty. However, I am assured that it will be ANY DAY NOW.

The dice have chosen the victor, but the unfortunate many should not despair, as the dice will choose a second (extremely) lucky winner on the last day of November. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I shall pick the entry that tickles my funny bone/plays upon my heart-strings/flatters my bloated ego the most to win the final proof. The competition remains open, and anyone who wishes to enter should follow the instructions HERE.

Once again, I am TOO GOOD TO YOU.

Competition Time

Posted on October 14th, 2007 in competitions

Are YOU, the AVERAGE READER, the PERSON IN THE STREET, the EVERYDAY FOLK, sick of seeing SMARMY INDUSTRY INSIDERS, ARTSY-FARTSY CRITICS, and even worse, SELF-CONGRATULATING BLOGGERS, boast about receiving advance reader copies of the latest, keenly awaited books of your favourite authors, when you know YOU WANT THEM MORE?

I offer you, JOE PUBLIC, the chance to strike a blow for the COMMON MAN (or woman) against the FACELESS MACHINE OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY.

Over the next 3 months, I shall be giving away THREE, yes THREE BOUND PROOFS of the forthcoming Last Argument of Kings, final gripping installment in The First Law Trilogy, days, weeks, and yes, months prior to publication in March 2008.

As if this were not enough of a stab in the eye for JOHNNY PROFESSIONAL CRITIC, these books shall also be SIGNED by me, the author, DATED on the first day they reach my sticky hand, and LINED in my own handwriting with an inscription of your own personal choice (within reason – nothing unseemly/legally compromising). All delivered to your front door, anywhere on Planet Earth (again within reason) at the expense of my dark masters at Gollancz.


The rules of this game are simple.

1. Send an e-mail to comp[at]joeabercrombie[dot]com (replacing the [at] and [dot] with the relevant symbols). This e-mail should contain your name (fake names are acceptable), your e-mail address (fake e-mail addresses are not acceptable), and, to deter spammers and the unworthy, a completion of this sentence. “I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because …”

2. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. At the end of October (if proofs are ready by then) I shall dig my old ten-sided dice from the cupboard and use them to randomly select the first winner. They shall receive an e-mail requesting a postal address and desired inscription, and, shortly thereafter (we hope) their proof will drop into their mailbox. At the end of November I shall again randomly select a winner. At the end of December, in celebration of my birthday, I shall select the answer to the sentence “I deserve a proof of Last Argument of Kings because …” that makes me laugh/cry/otherwise pleases me the most. The author of that sentence shall receive the final proof.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT: All duplicate applications, spam, overlong nonsense and other frippery shall be consigned to the flames of Mount Doom. I, Joe Abercrombie, refuse to be held legally responsible for anything, and retain the right to blame any/everything on my editor, Gillian Redfearn and/or my webguy, Ariel.