Category Archive for ‘Other Life’

2012 in Review

Posted on December 31st, 2012 in film and tv, games, Other Life, reading, reviews

Worst.  Christmas.  Ever.  I was hit with a stomach bug late Christmas Eve and only got out of bed all day to haunt the bathroom saying, ‘oh god, oh god, oh god.’  In total, I ate four shreddies.  Only member of the household to escape was my wife, and in a sense hers was the worst fate since she had to clean up after the three children, who all got it too.

But Christmas is past now, thank heavens, and New Year is upon us.  38 today, and blow me if that isn’t another year down the pan.  Last year I was talking about how the building project was finally dragging to a close.  I can happily report that it still hasn’t quite finished another year on.  Crazy.  I actually have a six year old daughter now.  When the hell did that happen?   And I published one more book.  That makes six altogether, over 1.2 million words of fiction out there in the marketplace.  So what’s been happening this year, then?

A YEAR IN BOOKSELLING – Yeah, again, I really can’t complain.  Well, I could, and frequently do.  But I really shouldn’t complain.  Red Country came out in October in the UK, and though it only made no. 10 on the hardcover bestseller list, it was during one of the most competitive weeks of the year.  It sold slightly fewer hardcovers in its first week than The Heroes had done the previous January to make no. 3, but sold considerably better on export across Europe, and also a far greater number of e-books, demonstrating the shape of things to come, no doubt, with a dwindling hardcover market and a steadily increasing e-book one.  The US edition followed in November and, despite last-minute rescheduling, made the New York Times list for the first time.  No. 27 but, hey, still immensely pleasing, and I love room for improvement.  I’m an international Sunday and New York Times bestselling author, biatches, you can never take that away from me!  The other five books continue to tick over rather nicely too, and I’ve done more travelling and conventioning than ever this year, with visits to the US, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia as well as a goodly number of British appearances.  Need to scale that back a bit next year or I’ll get nothing done…

A YEAR IN BOOK WRITING – Better than last year, certainly.  Wrote the last third of Red Country and edited it, obviously.  Also turned in a pretty substantial short story, about 12,000 words, which should appear in due course.  There’s actually another short story of some 8,000 words which I wrote not last year but the year before (end of 2010) which is still waiting for publication, more news on these when I have it.  The hefty touring schedule took out most of October and November, though I’ve still managed to make a fair bit of progress on a couple of other projects the details of which shall for the time being remain secret but will in due course be revealed to shocked gasps of shock, amazement, shock, wonder and delight.  Probably.

BOOKS – A pitiful amount of reading has been done this year, truly pitiful.  A few more westerns early on, some viking-related stuff towards the end of the year, the pick of it probably Frans Bengtsson’s classic The Long Ships which is well worth a look.  Other notable reads have all been by friends/acquaintances, so the usual disclaimers that I know these authors at least a little bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed all three.  Adam Nevill’s British Fantasy Award Winning The Ritual is survival horror with the edges left on, as a set of wayward weekend walkers fall foul of something hideous and unknowable in the primordial forests of Sweden.  Robert Low’s The Wolf Sea is the sequel to his excellent The Whale Road – savage, dark, authentic-feeling viking fiction.  Garth Nix’s Confusion of Princes is space opera with wit, wonder, pace and focus.

TV and FILM – I finally saw the first season of Game of Thrones, and thought they’d made an excellent fist of it, I must say.  I’m really delighted to finally see a gritty fantasy (THE gritty fantasy, some would say) so convincingly brought to screen, especially the small screen, as that seems to be where a lot of the exciting work is happening these days.  That exciting work for me this year has included the bleak and brilliant Breaking Bad season 3, the bleak and beautiful Mad Men season 5, the bleak and insightful In Treatment season 2, as well as a vintage season of Strictly Come Dancing. But I’m not sure the best thing I saw all year wasn’t the excellent Danish/Swedish thriller The Bridge, even better than The Killing, second season of which didn’t quite reach the heights of the first.  On the larger screen there were a clutch of interesting SFnal releases.  Prometheus I found a baffling mess.  The remake of Total Recall was pants.  The Hobbit was far from awful but also far from the heights of Lord of the Rings and could have shed a good half hour of self-important bloat.  In the increasingly congested superhero arena the new rebooted Spiderman reboot started well for me then middled badly and ended worse and probably the franchise needs another new rebooted reboot now, I shouldn’t wonder.  Iron Man 2 was pretty good, partly because of Sam Rockwell’s ace performance.  Avengers Assemble gave me mixed feelings, though.  The Dark Knight Rises wilted a little under the weight of its own unrealism and fell well short of its predecessor.  Pick of the SF for me was probably the stripped-down, tough and hungry Dredd, which hit squarely what it aimed at, and the interesting Looper, which had big ambitions it perhaps fell slightly short of.  A lot of people liked Skyfall but I found it very disappointing – a hodge-podge of bond-ish moments without much plot or coherent thread through the middle.  Having seemed to offer so much this latest Bond incarnation feels like it’s falling back on all the cliches, now, with only deliciously nasty Javier Bardem offering much zip opposite an oddly uninvolved and uninvolving Daniel Craig.  Perhaps my favourite film of the year was the stylish yet brutal, silent yet explosive Drive.  Hmm.  Bryan Cranston has been in two of my favourite things this year.  And one of my least favourite…

GAMES – 2012 promised much but there have been perhaps a few minor disappointments.  Stuff like Darksiders II and Kingdoms of Amalur passed hours but left little long-lasting impression.  Dragon’s Dogma was charming but sorta … odd.  I personally doubt that extremely violent games make you violent, but Max Payne 3 proved that they can certainly make you bored.  Dishonored looked like a real humdinger, and in many ways it is, with superb styling, original setting, and looks to die for but, I dunno, after putting a few hours in I haven’t felt hugely compelled to go back to it.  Instead I started playing Assassin’s Creed 3 which, again, looks like a real humdinger, with a huge world, some nimble plotting and loads of diverse content but, I dunno, there’s a LOT of running around, the resource management system is stunningly clunky and over-complicated and, lovingly rendered though its American War of Independence setting is, it lacks the pop and variety of Renaissance Italy.  Plus there seems something, I dunno, rather hamfisted and wilfully stupid in its treatment of the historical subject matter that either was done better or just didn’t bother me in the more distant historical material of the previous games.  So what was good?  Well, X-Com ticked most of the boxes with a good deal more depth and content than you’ll usually get on a Playstation and that’s my number 3 for the year, with a two way tie for number 1 between two very different beasties.  The ending of Mass-Effect 3 went down a storm with the gaming public.  A shitstorm, that is, unparalleled in its ferocity.  I was a little bemused by the reaction.  The series just didn’t have a heavy central theme that could produce a barnstorming conclusion like Red Dead Redemption, so I got pretty much what I expected – half an hour of incoherent hand-wavy nonsense.  But that by no means spoiled my enjoyment of what, up until that moment, had been a brilliant game.  Lacking the depth, edge, and subtlety of Mass-Effect 2, maybe, but with the game system, cutscenes and arcade elements better than ever before.  I don’t think there’s a better fusion of action, roleplaying and sheer filmic storytelling to be had in a computer game.  Yeah, crappy end, real crappy, but even so.  And sharing the laurel wreath, a late entry in the form of Borderlands 2, building on everything that made the first one such an unexpected treat and upping the ante in terms of looks, settings, humour, ludicrous quantity of guns, and delivering one of video gaming’s classic villains in Handsome Jack.  It’s just an awful lot of fun.

BEST REVIEWS – Quite a few nice ones for Red Country, if I say so myself.  Allow me to pick out a couple of highlights.  Publishers weekly said, “Terrific fight scenes, compelling characters, and sardonic, vivid prose show Abercrombie at the top of his game.” Jared at Pornokitsch thought, “Abercrombie is fast supplanting George R.R. Martin as the standard by which all contemporary epic fantasy should be measured.”  Phew, I don’t know about that, Jared, but thanks all the same.  The Guardian said, “Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else: Red Country is a marvellous follow-up to his highly praised The Heroes.”  The Independent had it, “This is not the epic fantasy of your fathers … Red Country reads like neither a Western nor a fantasy novel, but something new, fresh and exciting.”  But I’ll give the last word to Niall Alexander writing for Tor.com, when he says: “Red Country is vile at times, and plain ugly most all others, but mark my words: from source to termination, you won’t be able to look away… because by the dead, this book is brilliant … the work of Joe Abercrombie is as blackly fantastic as it’s ever been, and markedly more approachable than before.”  Zing.

BEST WORST REVIEW – I’m a little surprised, actually.  There was, of course, the usual crop of amazon one-starrings, Goodreads-lashings, accusations of overratings and offhand chat-room pastings, but nothing really stands out as did Leo Grin’s existential broadside of last year.  Ah well.  Perhaps next year someone will really tear me a new one on the internet.  We can hope…

Happy new year, readers!

Whisky Galore

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 in Other Life

Ah, the simple pleasures.  I have for some time enjoyed a drop of the old single malt, but have done so in a pretty scattergun fashion.  So I figured that it was time to take things to the next level and remove all the fun from the business by really starting to identify what I like and what I don’t, hence:

I had inherited an old bottle of Macallan from my grandad (1960 vintage), and thought it would be kind of worthless.  Imagine my surprise when I was able to trade it for a dozen serious bottles of scotch and still have some change left over!  So, from Islay – Ardbeg Corryvreckan, Bruichladdich Infinity.  From the Highlands, just a Dalmore 15.  From the Islands, a Talisker 18 and a Highland Park 18, from the Lowlands, a Bladnoch 20 and an Auchentoshan 3 Wood.  From Speyside, an AnCnoc 16, Longmorn 16, Balvenie Single Barrel, Aberlour 18, and a Glenfarclas 21.

The differences in packaging and presentation always amuse me, I must say.  Look at the Bruichladdich (second from the left) in a can and with information technology type jargon on it – they so modern!  Look at the mid-80s gentleman’s club styling of the Glenfarclas (third from right) – they so traditional!  The plucky folks at Bladnoch couldn’t afford a marketing consultant so they just used an old milk-bottle and stuck the label on with spit.  The Longmorn on the far right has had a fancy relaunch and hence sports some truly ludicrous packaging, with articulated magnetic box and leather footed bottle.  Really.  Cos I often find when I put the bottle down the jarring impact is most upsetting and I think to myself – I don’t care what it tastes like, what I really want is a whisky whose bottle-bottom is somehow softened for my added convenience.  THEN I’ll feel like I’ve arrived.

If anyone’s interested in hearing more about this self-indulgent voyage into my own navel, let me know.  I’m not really a tasting notes kind of guy, but I may well pair them up and compare them in a grudge match styley, a blood-sport tournament of whiskies in which there can be only one winner…

Or, if no one’s interested (and I wouldn’t blame you), maybe I’ll just drink ‘em in contemplative silence.

 

 

2011 In Review

Posted on December 31st, 2011 in film and tv, games, Other Life, reading, reviews

37 today, and another year flows beneath the bridge.  Go quick, don’t they?  From a personal standpoint I moved back into my house and continued the long building project, only now lurching dysfunctionally to a close.  Had a third baby.  Published a fifth book.  The good thing about babies is that they’re actually quite good fun to make, the hard work and expense starts after.  The good thing about books is that, while they’re quite hard work to make, once they’re published they require minimal maintenance and with any luck actually make you money.

A YEAR IN BOOKSELLING – Yeah, I really can’t complain.  Well, I could.  As a venomously ambitious sociopath without the emotions of guilt, shame or regret, it galls me deeply that anyone in the world sells more books than me.  But I really shouldn’t complain.  The Heroes came out in January, made no. 3 on the UK Hardcover bestseller list and stayed in the top ten for four weeks, which makes it by far my fastest selling book.  Didn’t do too badly in the US either, especially in ebook format, which is rapidly becoming a significant slice of the pie, especially from an author’s standpoint as royalty rates can be five, six, even ten times higher than on a heavily discounted paperback.  Various translation deals were done for various books of mine, including first deals in Brazil, Italy (which had been strangely stubborn), and simple and complex Chinese.  I think that puts the Blade Itself in about 25 languages now, though don’t ask me to list them.  All 3 of the First Law books have now sold over 100,000 copies in their various UK editions.  You’d be amazed how hard it is to get reliable sales figures, especially from overseas, but in all languages and editions of all my books we reckon we’re at well over a million sold.  And all this for a load of nonsense I dreamed up in the middle of the night purely for my own amusement.  I really shouldn’t complain.

A YEAR IN BOOK WRITING – I will admit, not my best.  I’ve written about two thirds of the first draft of A Red Country so far, and I reckon it’s going to need a fair bit of work when it’s finished.  Indeed a couple of chapters near the front might well need total rewriting from scratch, which will be the first time I’ve ever really done anything along those lines.  Why the slightly disappointing work rate?  The house was a mess when we first moved in and serious work didn’t end til April.  Then my new baby appeared, the eldest started school, Skyrim was released … so many distractions, so many excuses, and attempts to routinise the working day haven’t really panned out yet.  Hard to believe I wrote Last Argument of Kings in about 14 months while still working more or less full time as an editor.  But then I had no kids (or just the one baby towards the end) and a long-established plan to work from.  Full time authorship is a bit of a different deal, with an awful lot of additional stuff to do.  But I’ve had a good few days since Christmas, as it goes, and I’m hopeful I can hit my stride a little better next year.  We shall see…

BOOKS – This year I have been reading mostly fiction and non-fiction related to the American West.  Non-fictionally I’d say the best thing was actually Ken Burns’ TV documentary series on the subject.  A lot of the non-fiction books have been a little dry and specific – if anyone knows of any really good western non-fiction do comment below.  Some of the fiction’s been great, though.  Pete Dexter’s Deadwood, Elmore Leonard’s Western Short Stories, AB Guthrie’s The Big Sky and Richard Matheson’s Journal of the Gun Years were some of the highlights.  Call me ridiculous but I don’t think I’ve read a single fantasy or sf book this year.  Just haven’t really had the time.  One of these days, probably when I’ve finished the latest book, I’ll have to sit down and crack through a few recent genre classics that I might pontificate at length about just how far short of my stuff they fall…

TV and FILM – I may have interviewed George RR Martin about Game of Thrones for Sky TV, but I haven’t actually got to see the series yet.  How indescribably lame is that?  The televisual highlight was probably the first two series of cynical Danish procedural The Killing, with Spartacus: Blood and Sand providing some gore-daubed entertainment in the background.  Film wise I can’t think of much new that really floated the boat for me this year.  The Conan re-imagining sucked.  X-Men First Class was surprisingly good.  Otherwise I shrug my shoulders and concede that Unforgiven, Lonesome Dove and Deadwood are as brilliant as they ever were.

GAMES – Excellent year again.  Skyrim was my game of the year in the face of tough competition, and redefined fantasy roleplaying.  Dragon Age II didn’t.  Rage was kinda rubbish.  Deus Ex was kinda alright.  Dark Souls was fascinating but so, so hard.  LA Noire was fascinating but so, so flawed.  InFamous 2 and Arkham City were both excellent but perhaps lacked that special spark.  Resistance 3 I thought was very impressive, I don’t think I’ve seen so original and atmospheric a first person shooter in a long time, not that it’s my genre of choice mind you.  Uncharted 3 I’m playing now and all I can say is those guys can do a grandstand sequence like no one else.  It’ll probably be my no. 2 for this year.  Very much looking forward to the new Mass Effect in the new year, though…

BEST REVIEWS – There was a fair amount of praise for The Heroes even if I say so myself.  In the UK I managed to pull off the not inconsiderable feat of uniting The Guardian (“it’s imbued with cutting humour, acute characterisation and world-weary wisdom about the weaknesses of the human race. Brilliant.”) and The Sun (“Don’t miss it or you deserve to be gutted like a stuck pig, your entrails left to feed the crows.”) in enthusiasm.  Time magazine called it, ‘a magnificent, richly entertaining account of a single three-day battle’, while SFX said ‘an action-packed novel full of brutality, black humour and razor-sharp characterisation,’ and gave it all the stars they had.  Five, in case you were wondering.  I could go on.  No?  Oh.  I’ll leave the last word to Sci-Fi Now, who in their latest issue have declared The Heroes their best book of 2011.  No, seriously, they have: “Some books successfully capture the geist of the times and speak to the evolving expectations of the genre’s readers … this cynical, gritty, and realistic fantasy homage to the epic war movie is character-driven writing of the highest order.  It’s bleak and thoroughly modern view of human nature through a dark fantasy lens is a showcase for how much the genre has changed, and why Abercrombie holds his position at the forefront of British Fantasy.”  Zing!

BEST WORST REVIEW – The usual crop of amazon one-starrings, blog-lashings, accusations of overratings and offhand chat-room pastings, but one meaty slice of criticism bestrid the others as ’twere a colossus over pygmies, and it was, of course, Leo Grin’s fire and brimstone assault upon modern fantasy or, as he had it, “postmodern blasphemies against our mythic heritage” and “Abercrombie’s jaded literary sewer” in particular.  And a proper storm in the internet teacup ensued, didn’t it, though?  My own response became my most commented-upon post of this year or, indeed, ever, by some considerable margin, with 224 comments and 26 trackbacks.  I cannot imagine that I have ever seen so many people resolving to buy and read my work as I did in the wake of that article.  Proof, if any were needed, that there is truly no such thing as bad publicity.  I can only hope that I continue to “shock, outrage, offend and dishearten,” critics everywhere in the months to come.  I’d say it’s a virtual certainty…

Happy new year, readers!

One of those Weeks

Posted on July 28th, 2011 in ebooks, Other Life

You ever had one of those weeks?  I daresay we all have.  I was geared up to give a nice little optimistic progress report, then my wife got a bit ill, and before you know it she’s been in hospital for a week with an impacted gall stone.  Ouch.  Three children under five?  With my parenting skills?  What were they thinking?  So my brother and his wife came down to help.  Overnight she started feeling ill, and before you know it, she’s in hospital as well!  The veritable bed next door!  Ridiculous.  Then there’s been a veritable cornucopia of delayed joinery, urgent packages stopped by customs and levies charged, contractual wranglings and other such to distract me.  Then two members of my extended family died.

Unbelievable.

Luckily my wife came out of hospital this morning, so hopefully things can return to a normal level of panic.  But work somewhat delayed.  Perhaps we’ll have an optimistic progress report next week.

ON THE SUBJECT OF ENHANCED EBOOKS – some folks have been asking whatever happened to the enhanced e-book of The Heroes that I announced would be coming in January and … hasn’t.  Well, it is coming, but has been delayed by various design and retailer related issues.  Hopefully it will be released alongside the trade paperback of The Heroes in the next coupla months.  Watch this space.

Edward Lascelles Abercrombie

Posted on May 29th, 2011 in Other Life

Born on the evening of Thursday 26th, in fact, but haven’t really had a moment to make a post until now.  5 gruelling hours of labour but, you know, with my wife there to rub my back and whisper encouragements I made it through with just the gas and air.  That makes three, and I think that’ll be all, thank you very much…

In case you’re wondering, Lascelles was my Great Grandfather’s name.  He was an academic, critic, poet, close friend of Rupert Brooke, was the first name on the list of people to be immediately arrested in the event of a Nazi occupation of Britain (an alphabetical thing), and was once challenged to a duel by Ezra Pound, apparently.  Since he received the challenge, he had the right to choose weapons, and suggested that they bombard each other with unsold copies of their books.  Which would have given Lascelles a decided advantage in quantity of ammunition.

I like the way he already seems to be viewing the world with a slightly ironical raised eyebrow, as if to say, ‘I daresay writing speed will suffer for the next few weeks, father.  If not to say decades.’

Year End 2010

Posted on December 31st, 2010 in film and tv, games, Other Life, reading

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear me-eeeee.

Yes, indeed, the candle has almost burned right down on another year, and I’m thirty six today.  When the hell did that happen?  It’s been a busy couple of years, what with one thing and another.  Five months looking for a house, finding a house, and buying a house.  Eleven months living in it, largely untouched for forty years and the wiring and plumbing for a lot longer, without such niceties as showers, decent windows, or working drains, while we planned what we were going to do with it.  Then eight months living in a rented place while the builders stripped the house back to the bare bones and beyond, extended, renovated and otherwise created the house of our dreams … or occasionally nightmares.  Hard work, this stuff, even if I didn’t do any of the actual work myself.  You watch Grand Designs, and they say things like, “wow, this is really hard work,” and you think, “yeah, whatever.”  But man, this is really hard work.  Most stressful thing I’ve ever done, I would say.  Anyway, yesterday, we moved back in.  Wa-hey!  Crack the champagne!  Or maybe, you know, just a can of coke or something, ’cause I’m really knackered, and there’s still a lot to do.

A lot for the builders to do, both inside and outside, and a lot for us to do shifting furniture around, discovering those things that have exceeded expectations and those things that have fallen short (malfunctioning central heating, I’m looking at you) and otherwise getting things the way we want them, but we’re in the house.  We’re in.  Now, I hope, I will have more time to do things like, I don’t know, write stuff.  And maybe blog, and reply to email, and sit staring out the window with an enigmatic smile upon my face like what writers are supposed to ain’t they?  But probably some other piffling destraction, like book tours or children or whatever will get in the way.  Still, we can hope.  We can dream.

An odd year, this one, 2010, in the sense that, for the first time in four years, the first time since 2006, I didn’t have a new book out.  At least in the UK or US.  So no doubt I shall be cruelly excluded from consideration in the various year’s best lists, not to mention next year’s glittering prizes.  So no Pulitzer, Booker or Nobel next year.  Well, the Nobel is given for a body of work rather than an individual book, so I suppose that’s still very much on the cards, in fact.  I shall wait by the phone for the committee’s call.  But while I wait, I could always tell you of some things that I’ve enjoyed this year:

FILM: You know, nowt really stands out for me.  Not that I’ve seen much at the cinema, since parenthood tends to keep me away.  I was enjoying Toy Story 3 until my elder daughter insisted on leaving because it was “too boyish”.  As for the rest, Star Trek – Kack.  Inglorious Basterds – Pretty Kack.  Hurt Locker – Bit Meh.  Inception – Very Meh.  Do you know what, I think the most interesting thing I saw was a very old black and white film about the aftermath of the second world war from the point of view of various veteran inhabitants of a small town, called “The Best Years of Our Lives.”  Predates the hollywood decency rubbish, and is surprisingly vibrant and modern in its characterisation.

TV: Again, can’t think of much that has truly electrified me.  The Wire, The Shield, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood have all gone.  Pacific seems like real crud compared to Band of Brothers.  House is always good.  Breaking Bad is good.  Damages is good.  But nothing’s really knocking the socks off lately.  Roll on Game of Thrones…

GAMES: Now this is more like it.  A truly vintage year, with the latest generation of consoles seeming to have finally come of age.  Red Dead Redemption was my number one game of this year, with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Fallout: New Vegas coming in two and three among a lot of stiff competition.

BOOKS: That there The Heroes was pretty damn awesome, wasn’t it?  Oh no, wait, you lot haven’t read that yet.  A ha ha.  As per usual, it’s mostly been non-fiction for me this year, and mostly on the subject of WAR by way of research and preparation for the aforementioned The Heroes, and the book that really stood out for me was David Finkel’s The Good Soldiers, a non-fictional account of one unit’s involvement in Iraq, but with a fictional eye for theme and character.  Top stuff.  Sebastian Junger’s War wasn’t bad either…

Let pop the corks.  Or at least the ringpulls.  See you in 2011, suckers…

V Festival 2010

Posted on August 24th, 2010 in Other Life

I was at the V Festival over the weekend, working in my old job as a video editor – something I did for some seven or eight years before I started writing, but that I’ve been doing less and less over the last few years as the writing has gradually become my main employment.  Basically I sat in a porter cabin for two days straight eating donuts and trying to listen to one band through a set of headphones while the bass of whoever was on the main stage made the soles of my muddy trainers vibrate.  This particular job is a great laugh, though, as the same team of editors, assistants and producers have been doing it for years and everyone knows exactly what they’re doing – it’s a smoothly oiled machine with rarely a mistake or a cross word.  It’s a big event, there are about a dozen in the editing team but maybe two or three hundred involved in the TV side of it altogether, and probably thousands in the event as a whole.  My role is to check over the music pieces, fix any mistakes (shots of the cameraman’s shoes and so on) and sometimes tidy up the edits a little if I have the time, which I rarely do.  Another editor is cutting interviews and links with the presenters, a third is stitching these bits together into six parts with break bumpers, graphics and all the other bits that make a finished show.

Bands are on throughout each day and the show goes out at night so, unlike with most of the jobs I used to do which would go on over weeks or months, there is serious time pressure and it gets more and more pressured as darkness falls.  By the time the headliners are on you might only have minutes to check things over before they need to be stitched into the show, played out and transmitted.  You’re nearly always still working on the last part when the first is on TV.  Once the first bands come off stage, twelve hours rarely passes so quickly.  You look up and it’s one in the morning.  There’s a breathless energy about the event, and a feeling of team spirit and involvement in a group that is pretty much the absolute antithesis of writing.  Exhausting, but exhilarating.  Which is kind of the reason that I still do it, and I hope I’ll be asked to do it again next year.  It’s nice to get out of your own head once in a while, and participate in something larger.  Larger than my head?  Yes, it is possible…

Service Interruptions

Posted on May 1st, 2010 in announcements, interviews, Other Life

Yeah, The Heroes is finished!  Again.  Kind of.  I’ve revised the last part now and it’s been sent off to my editor, so it is considered DELIVERED.  Pay day!  Time to celebrate!  Crack the special bottle!  And then start on the heavy revision of the first part, which always needs the most work.  Sigh.

In other news, our long-awaited building project is about to begin!  Yes indeed, the contractors arrive the week after next to rip our house apart with extreme prejudice, so next week we move out and into a rented house.  One with actual hot water and stuff!  The downside is that I may have some patchy internet for some time, which may mean reduced posting and failure to respond to email, though, hey, I’ve been failing to do that effectively for quite a while now…

I leave you with an interview conducted by Justin at Fantasy Literature.net.  Enjoy.

Bedlam, Bath

Posted on May 25th, 2009 in Other Life, reviews

Experiencing the most manic couple of weeks of my life at the moment. Been to Portugal for a wedding and Southport for a funeral with a two year old and a two month old in tow, and during the two days in between the two trips entirely packed up and moved all our stuff into storage, sold our flat in London, bought a house in Bath. That house has been rewired, has the plumbers in and will be shoddily decorated by me this week, then I’m off next Monday to sign a thousand books at the warehouse, will be looking after the kids on tuesday, will actually move in on wednesday, then I’m off to manchester, then london to do signings on thursday and friday. Life’s rich tapestry.

Progress on the new book, as you might imagine, has been negligible. At least this once I have an excuse.

To add to my woes my email is screwed, so I can get emails via the usual route (see contact page) but unfortunately cannot send any. So do not hope to get a reply to anything any time soon…

In the meantime, I note that Pat of the redoubtable Hotlist, noted organ of the internet sf&f; scene, has reviewed Best Served Cold and he actually quite liked it thank you very much:

“Abercrombie’s latest is his most ambitious work to date. Moreover, if it’s any indication of what he is capable of, it bodes well for the future indeed. His accessible style could make him one of the biggest names in the genre in the years to come.”

11 letters surely makes mine one of the biggest names in the genre already…

“Best Served Cold is an excellent tale of murder and vengeance. It’s a morally ambiguous work with many shades of gray. The good guys become the bad guys, and vice versa, and back again. There are more twists and turns than in The First Law, and I get the feeling that Joe Abercrombie truly came into his own while writing this one. Best Served Cold is filled to the brim with all the elements that made The First Law such an enjoyable reading experience, yet it is definitely the work of a more mature author.”

I have been accused of many things, but never before maturity.

“If you are one of those poor drifting souls who have yet to give Joe Abercrombie a shot, Best Served Cold is your opportunity to get acquainted with the author’s style. For fans of Abercrombie, it will scratch that itch and more. Hard to put down.”

You heard the man. Scratch that itch, people.

Right, back to the madness…

Eve Abercrombie

Posted on March 25th, 2009 in Other Life


I don’t bore you with my personal life nearly as much as I bore you with nonsense about my writing, but I really had to make an exception on this occasion. My second daughter was born four days after term, on monday 23rd at 6.45 in the morning. She weighed five and a half pounds, tiny compared to Grace, who was a strapping nine when she was born. Anyway, mother and baby both home and doing well, but sleep, work, and posting may suffer in the next few weeks, if not the next eighteen years…


Say it with me: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.