December 2007 Archive

I deserve a proof because…

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.

Read more | 18 comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday dear Meeee-eeee… You get the idea. Yes, I’m 23 today. Raconteur, bon vivant, and pillar of the sfnal community Joe Mallozzi has finished Last Argument of Kings, and gives his opinion on the First Law over on his blog: “Readers who have appreciated the likes of Lynch’s roguish Locke […]

Read more | 12 comments | Posted in announcements, reviews

Best of 2007?

Ho ho ho, merry christmas, and God bless us, every one. OK, so it’s the day after boxing day, but there’s no internet at my Mother-in-Law’s so we’ll have to make do. After a brief sojourn into the world of the silver screen, it’s high time that we returned to what this blog is really […]

Read more | 8 comments | Posted in reviews

Days of Glory (Indigenes)

I don’t mean for this to become some kind of film reviewing blog because, hey, let’s not forget this is supposed to be all about ME, but I saw Days of Glory last night, a French film about North African soldiers fighting for France in World War II, and it’s well worth talking about. Firstly, […]

Read more | 5 comments | Posted in film and tv

American Gangster

Following the RUNAWAY SUCCESS of my post on cowardly Will Smith vehicle I am Legend (22 comments and counting, mark you) I have been prevailed upon (by me) to run my highly developed critical eye (yeah, right) over Ridley Scott’s American Gangster. I’m going to find this considerably more difficult to take the piss out […]

Read more | 3 comments | Posted in film and tv

Baron Destructo & Me

Joe Mallozzi’s in the midst of reading Last Argument of Kings at the moment. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Joe, he’s the executive producer, and therefore the supremo (I’ve always wanted to use the word supremo, and you have to use it emboldened) of Stargate: Atlantis. Now this man, apart from being […]

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Second Reaction

Ah, another advance review of Last Argument of Kings from a lucky receiver of an ARC. This time it’s from Susi at Sandstorm Reviews, another long-established and much-respected source for all things genre. It goes a little something like this: “Each book in this trilogy has shown a distinct improvement, and with this fantastic concluding […]

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I am not Legend

Once upon a time there was a book called I am Legend, written by Richard Matheson. It was rather a good book. In fact it’s safe to say that it’s a masterpiece of sci-fi and horror both. Robert Neville is the last man alive, everyone else having become a vampire. By day he hunts the […]

Read more | 22 comments | Posted in film and tv

First Reaction

So, the proofs have gone out, and the very first reaction to Last Argument of Kings can be found, entirely spoiler free, here, at The Wertzone: “Last Argument of Kings delivers exactly what this trilogy needed: a no-holds-barred war story in which secrets are exposed, mysteries are explained and the author resolutely refuses to pull […]

Read more | 6 comments | Posted in reviews

Me? On TV?

So, you’re never going to believe this, right, but I was interviewed for a TV show the other day. No, not as an eyewitness to/perpetrator of violent crime, but as a bonafide EXPERT on the field of FANTASY WRITING. I know what you’re all thinking, but wait, wait, it gets worse. Contributors to the series […]

Read more | 10 comments | Posted in news