February 2008 Archive


Have YOU ever wondered what happens when six or seven sci-fi and fantasy authors are put in the same room with curry and beer paid for by a publisher?

Me neither.

But that’s precisely what’s happening tomorrow lunchtime (Wednesday 27th February), with a positive cornucopia of Gollancz authors in attendance. It’s going to be me, Tom Lloyd (Or Lloydy, as we affectionately know him), Rob Grant (Grantsy), Adam Roberts (Robertsy), Mark Chadbourn (Chadders), and Robert Rankin. At least three of those people write proper, honest-to-goodness amusing books, with gags and everything, so you can bet some pretty damn hilarious shit is going to go down.

Richard Morgan (Morgsy) couldn’t make it, alas, he’ll be watching whales.

So to recap – me, Lloydy, Grantsy, Robertsy, Chadders, and Robert Rankin, in a curry house, talking that high-brow jive that authors talk to each other. You know, where Nabokov went wrong, the shortcomings of the third-person limited, who do you like for the Nebulas, and not at all the SAME OLD RUBBISH that everyone else talks.

Who knows what hilarious larks and hijinks will ensue? Well, actually, if you’re in any way interested, YOU, JOE PUBLIC, can know, because apparently the whole thing is being filmed on VIDEO TAPE MACHINES. Not to embarrass the various horrified writers involved as they spill Madras down themselves, but actually for marketing purposes. Publishers, man. What will they think of next? More as I know it.

I believe that Editorial Director Simon Spanton (Spanty, as I affectionately call him) will have an exciting, though probably heavy, brown-paper package to give to me. Ooooooh. More on that mystery in due course.

Following that it’s off for coffee with my editor, Gillian (I dare not even pretend to have a nickname for her), who’s had the PROFOUND PRIVILEGE of reading the first 90,000 words of my latest book over the last week or two and has, in her own words, “a few vicious suggestions”. Always she wants more blood. More torture. More gore. “The readers want gore,” I can almost guarantee she’ll say. “Gore, gore, gore, torture, and gore. Less of this namby-pamby characterisation bollocks, and more torture. There’s only one hideously violent murder in the first chapter! Call yourself a writer?” In all seriousness, we need to come up with ideas for the cover. Something parchmenty, with blood? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Then, finally, on BBC4 at 9.00 pm (though repeated at 12.00, I believe). There’s the first episode of The Worlds of Fantasy, a TV series on Fantasy Literature for which I have been interviewed, would you believe. This episode focuses on the child hero, apparently – you know, stuff like Potter, Pullman, Pan’s Labyrinth. Doesn’t feature me at all. The next one (on worldbuilding) might feature some contributions from me, though, moodily lit in a strange old house on Wardour Street. Unless I’ve bitten the cutting room floor, and HARD (not unlikely). I’m a film editor myself, I know the game. That one (the one that might feature me) isn’t until the following week (Wednesday 5th March) at 9.00 and midnight. Anyway, the show’s been getting some good write-ups, and fantasy fiction gets precious little attention from the rest of the media, so I’m sure it’ll be well worth a look for readers of the genre even if I’m not involved…

Read more | 21 comments | Posted in news, reviews

Big Fish, Little Fish

The UK Mass-Market Paperbacks of Before They are Hanged (seen here on the right – the smaller one) turned up from the publisher today. They’re due out mid-march and will swiftly replace the Trade Paperback edition (seen here on the left – the bigger one) which will go out of print. Seemed a good moment […]

Read more | 16 comments | Posted in process

Scalding, lukewarm, hot, hot…ish

Sci-Fi & Fantasy forum and review site SFFWorld, where I am occasionally to be found singing my own praises, have been voting on their favourite books of 2007 and guess what came top? Only Before They are Hanged. The Blade Itself was also fifth on the list for the second year running, which was nice. […]

Read more | 7 comments | Posted in reviews

Influences, Ideas, and A Game of Thrones

You lucky people! There’s a positive onslaught of content here at the moment. There’s an article by me in the latest SFX (no. 167, I think, with that cheerleader from Heroes looking sensitive yet spunky on the front) about George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones, a book which I daresay needs little introduction for […]

Read more | 25 comments | Posted in news

SF Site Readers' Choice

This is nice. SF Site have posted their Readers’ favourite books of 2007. Look what’s in there at number 5. Before They are Hanged, that’s what, by Joe Abercrombie. At number FIVE. Particularly pleasing since I didn’t even get near the also rans last year, and it’s a book that has barely even been published […]

Read more | No comments yet | Posted in reviews


If you should have a few spare moments at work and need to fritter them away needlessly on the internet (and let’s face it, you almost certainly already fritter at least 70% of your time on the internet or there is NO WAY you would have found your way HERE), you could do an awful […]

Read more | 3 comments | Posted in Uncategorized

American Edition

Jeez. You spend all week waiting for Joe Abercrombie to make another post, and then three come at once. But it’s good news, folks, it’s good, good news. The US Edition of Before They are Hanged wasn’t due to be available until March 25th, but I’m delighted to announce that due to the heroic efforts […]

Read more | 13 comments | Posted in announcements, news


Late to the party, as always, I went to see Cloverfield tonight. I’ve seen it get some stick around the place, which quite surprises me as I really liked it, and felt it did exactly what it said on the tin and then some. For those of you not in the know, and without giving […]

Read more | 3 comments | Posted in film and tv

Back on the Grid

Woooo! Got my computer back and it works, and now makes a noise like a quiet exhalation of air rather than an orc dying slowly of an agonising bowel wound. Got to be a good thing. Five star service from Sony, which has quite bowled me over. Six days between leaving the house and coming […]

Read more | 2 comments | Posted in interviews, news

Curios and Trivia

Various First Law related curios and trivia from the interweb this week: An interview with yours truly over on French website Elbakin.net conducted by Pat of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist in English or in French. It’s more of an introductory sort of an interview for the French audience, focusing on the first book, so those of […]

Read more | 7 comments | Posted in interviews, reviews