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.”
“…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.”
“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…
15 comments so far
*clap* *clap* *clap*
grats to the four whiners, uuh, winners!
Well, I’ve warned you. Ingrown toenails, bad breath and incontinence it is…
Oh, and not to forget zee Germans.
As for the winners: Congratulations! Last time I was looking in the mirror, I think I saw myself turning green with envy already.
Does anybody else see a baby cyclops instead of a kitten?
Robin Everett McGuirl, absolutely brilliant! Can I join your sect?
Congratulations to everybody else that won.
I’m off to google, ‘bearded clamola’.
Congratulations to the winners!
And I hope to see at least one of the ARC’s on Ebay before the month is out 🙂
My poor Assyrian war chariot will just have to wait for the hardback publication…
Is it just me or is their no “I must read Best Served Cold before anyone else because…..” in the winners entry?! CHEATER!!!!
The Joker riding Falcor the luck dragon:
So damn awesome.
The Assyrian War Chariot clearly deserved to win! X(
That said, I did not attend this little licking of the balls of Abercrombie (though I suppose it stands to reason that the biggest licker of them all got the price), as, quite frankly, it’s beneath me.
I still think you ought to send me a book anyways, though. Don’t make me pull out the hypnotoad from under my bed!
What a bummer! I thought the rules “complete the sentence” meant literally, it could only be one sentence. I didn’t know you could write paragraphs! Ah, well, sucks for me, I guess. I’ll just have to wait like all the rest of the unfortunates.
That’s a fucking kitten? I gotta go back to Biology class and update my learnin’!
I am a jealous God.
Didnt fall for my (HUGE BREAST) trap no… I am getting old.
Wha, HE writes books? better then Pratchett and worse then GRRM? no kidding? how do i get me one of those in US? well, i'd go for a free Russian copy if he can write in russish…
I just borrowed your books from a friend, sight unseen.
Mr. Abercrombie, I will find a way to make you family. I will marry the living daylights out of your relatives. I will force you to get a foreign citizenship in a third-world country so Angelina Jolie adopts you, and then mysteriously dies in a car accident after her will signs her adoptees over to me. I will… okay, wait, that’s creepy. never mind.
In short: You’re an awesome author, and keep up the good work!