The guys at Westeros.org have done a little survey to establish the top ten favourite sf&f; authors for their readership, and guess who came in 9th place?
That’s right, new kid on the block, Joe Abercrombie.
Oh, yes indeed. Finally OBJECTIVE AND INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF of what I have long suspected, that I am a writer situated WITHOUT FEAR OF CONTRADICTION at the DIZZY SUMMIT OF MY FIELD.
In order to reach the exalted heights of ninth place it was necessary, of course, to clamber up a mountain of the skulls of lesser authors. I opened a can of whoop-ass on such talentless hacks as Jack Vance, Arthur C. Clarke, and Edgar Allen Poe. I spanked Haruki Murakami, pwned Umberto Eco, and made Franz Kafka where his ASS for a HAT. I know what you’re thinking. Those last three aren’t really sf&f; authors by any meaningful definition are they? Well, no, I suppose they’re not, but they’re all united in GETTING LESS VOTES THAN ME.
Of course, this is a site dedicated to GRRM, so it’s understandable that epic fantasy, and epic fantasy of the grittier persuasion for that matter, should do well with the membership there. Plus there’s always a huge effect of recency in such votes and I have had three books out pretty close together, one of them just a couple of months ago, so the god of release dates (or is he a devil?) has been kind to me on this occasion. Still very gratifying, of course. My thanks to everyone who voted.
What’s that you say, you’ve read the entire First Law Trilogy and want more Joe Abercrombie? Well how about going to JW Builders, where they have not one, but two Joe Abercrombies for hire at once! Father and son, no less. Admittedly, Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. don’t write gritty yet hilarious fantasy, but rather are experts in steel construction within the Cedaredge Colorado region.
File this one under surreal. Natalie Hatch has listed me in her post on “more foxy male authors”. There, I am, all dark and dangerous, just under that picture of Chris Ryan looking all buff and oiled up. I must just correct the small error there however – I am an editor, not a producer. As far as foxiness goes, though, GUILTY … AS … CHARGED. Dear, dear, the things one can achieve with good lighting. And the things one finds using google blog search…
Back to safer and more familiar ground! A review of Last Argument of Kings from Robert at Sci-Fi London:
“all of the characters, even the bit players, are beautifully realised, being recognisable without resorting to cliche, the world they live in is nicely presented but without overpowering the story like so many fantasy worlds do and the writing is straightforward and direct giving the action scenes an immediacy that moves things along at a decent clip but at the same time it doesn’t flinch from giving us the grim details where necessary … The conclusion to this gripping trilogy, like it’s forerunners, is worth every second of your rapt attention. If you haven’t had the pleasure of diving into Joe Abercrombie’s world then I urge you to do so now, you’ll be glad you did.”
I likes it. A more mixed review from Larry Nolen over at Strange Horizons, where they like a bit of, in the timeless words of Samuel L. Jackson, that serious gourmet sh*t:
“My reaction to this novel could be summarized as “what could have been.” If the characters had been developed just a bit more, if Abercrombie had “shown” their conflicts rather than just “telling” us about them, if there had been a better balance between the external conflict and the characters’ internal clashes … if all of that had happened, then Last Argument of Kings could have been a work that transcended its setting. Instead, The First Law series as a whole will appeal mostly to epic fantasy junkies, with little to recommend it to those who believe that epic fantasies as a whole are little more than tired repetitions of the same worn-out schema.”
Limited appeal? I beg to differ! Am I not ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY OBJECTIVELY one of the ten best f&sf; authors on the planet ever? I think I am! Larry has invited me to call him a poopyhead in response. Naturally, I am entirely above such things, and will merely note instead that he’s used the phrase, “as a whole” twice in one sentence. Ah, what could have been – if it weren’t for such tired repetitions of worn out schema this could have been a review that transcended its setting…
Still, there’s nothing to stop you lot, the voice of the unwashed masses, calling Larry a poopyhead in the comments section below. I’m sure he’ll also thoroughly enjoy any use of the terms “pretentious” and “elitist”, along with, perhaps, some numerical evaluations of his reviewing skills, with as many decimal places as you should desire…