January 2008 Archive

Imagine if Tarantino wrote a Sword & Sorcery Novel…

The guys at Unshelved have done a webcomic review of The Blade Itself, which is a wonderful thing (though due to the limitations of blogger you might have to click on it to enlarge so you can actually read it). I particularly like the line: “imagine if Quentin Tarantino wrote a Sword & Sorcery novel.” I’m a bit of a fan of Tarantino (alright, of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction a hell of a lot, True Romance and Jackie Brown a bit, and the rest, not so much, but hey, two brilliant films is two more than most of us make, right?) so I take a comparison to him, however tongue-in-cheekly made, as a great compliment. But it did get me thinking about some similarities of approach…

Lurid, over-the-top violence? Check.

Conflicted, treacherous, shades-o-grey characters, haunted by their pasts? Check.

Black humour in the midst of the most awful situations? Check.

A focus on the crazy randomness of every day life? Check.

Fast cut, parallel plotlines that interweave in shocking and unexpected ways? Check.

Realistic dialogue that finds pearls of humour amongst the hum-drum of normality? Check-ish.

An un-ignorable legacy that has forever changed the way people work within a chosen genre? Erm … alright, alright, I’m working on it.

Lots of cool 70s hippety-hoppety music and the involvement of Harvey Keitel? Well … not so much. But what happened to Harvey Keitel anyway? At one point congress passed a law that you COULD NOT RELEASE a film without at least a Keitel cameo. Can’t remember the last time I saw him.

But I digress. You know what? On the whole, it is as if Tarantino wrote a Sword & Sorcery novel.

Kind of.

There have been a lot of Blade Itself style posts around the place lately, so apologies if I never got to yours. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you have to say. I definitely appreciate what they had to say at The Horror Review:

“Up and coming Brit author Joe Abercrombie has presented the rapidly tiring fantasy genre with the most refreshing, original, and entertaining tome it has seen in years … I cannot recommend The Blade Itself enough. In fact, this was my favorite book of the year with ease, and I am not sure I can wait until March for the U.S. release of book two of the trilogy, Before They Are Hanged.”

And lastly, but by no means leastly, JG Thomas, who was able to secure a proof in the competition recently, has reviewed Last Argument of Kings on his new blog Speculative Horizons:

“Last Argument of Kings has everything you could ask for: huge battles, political intrigue, masterly characterisation and surprises by the bucket-load. This book will by turns shock you, excite you, make you laugh, and above all entertain you.”

What do you know, another reviewer with a deadly allergy to top marks. He gives it 9.75/10 as well, though I prefer to think of it as 39/40, or maybe 98%. SIGH. I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with that.

I wonder if – some day – I should present some more content on here that isn’t just self-aggrandising excerpts from other people’s reviews of my books. Maybe soon. Maybe soon, I will…

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Stars in my Eyes

Publisher’s Weekly, that esteemed organ of the American book trade, was not entirely bowled over by The Blade Itself when it was published in the US back in September. They said, and I quote, though it hurts me to do it: “British newcomer Abercrombie fills his muddled sword-and-sorcery series opener with black humor and reluctant […]

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Forthcoming Appearances

So you’ve probably bought one or two of my books, read them, maybe even liked them. You’ve turned up to my blog, read it, maybe even cracked a little smile, here or there. Come on! Just a little smile! You’re doing it now! But what next? Is this all there is? You want more, I […]

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What THEY are saying this year

Ah, more reaction to Last Argument of Kings, this time from Ariel over at The Genre Files. Now in the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that Ariel has been known to do some work for, among many other genre writers, me. In fact he designed the rather wonderful website that you are […]

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The Face of Black Dow and Other Stories

Ooooh, look what I found while messing about on the internet when I should have been writing in direct breach of my new year’s resolution. Entirely independently of me, I might say, a computer artist by the name of Chris Archer has posted some 3d character sketches of Black Dow over on a graphics forum […]

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Progress Report

I’ve noticed that readers can sometimes get a little … irritated … when authors don’t keep them informed as to what’s going on, particularly with regard to publication dates etc. So in the interests of full transparency, I thought I’d begin the year with a little progress report: The Blade Itself is coming out in […]

Read more | 11 comments | Posted in news, process