My copies of Subterranean Press’ ultra-exclusive, tray-cased, leather-bound, lettered edition of The Blade Itself came through the mail yesterday, and let me tell you those guys can make a book. I think it’s about the nicest book I own. I could just sit there for hours and smell it.
But work on the limited edition of Before They are Hanged is also underway, and I thought I might share one of the interior illustrations with y’all, my favourite of those that artist Alexander Preuss has produced so far…
Heh. Heh heh. It’s a strange and sometimes frustrating experience, letting an artist loose on your work, because you’ll rarely see something that you feel really encapsulates your vision (which, after all, you rarely have a clear idea of yourself), and generally you have to allow them to interpret and put their own spin on the material. Otherwise what’s the point? Sometimes you look at what comes back and don’t necessarily feel it sums up the mood and tone of your work at all. But occasionally you feel moved – even a little awed – to have provided the starting point for something so frakking cool. Incidentally, Alexander’s concept art for this one is here:
Which ain’t exactly bad of itself. The other rough that I’ve seen looks pretty darned promising too. You can order copies of Before They are Hanged here, although at the moment they’re not taking orders from anyone who doesn’t already own The Blade Itself limited (which I’m afraid to say sold out prior to publication. Actually, come to think of it, I’m delighted to say it).
In other news, The Heroes has sadly dropped from the UK Hardcover Bestseller list after three weeks in the top 10, mixing it up with the likes of James Patterson, Jo Nesbo, Clive Cussler, Dean Koontz. That’s mainstream, my friends, and a testament to the hard work put in by folks in every part of my publisher. Still need convincing to buy it? There’s a nice in depth review from Niall Alexander over at Strange Horizons:
“In short: Joe Abercrombie is a lean, mean, killing machine, and The Heroes is his best yet. Smarter, funnier, and harder than The First Law, more considered than Best Served Cold by a great, gory swathe, miss this one and heads could very well roll.”
And I’m talking about the book, among other things, on the first edition of Orbit’s new podcast. Apologies for the slightly dodgy line. And any of my dodgy lines. Phone interviews can be difficult, and you don’t always get your point across quite as you’d like to. I also seem to have a strange habit of talking in an incoherent rush, then pausing in odd places to gather my breath, before babbling off again. It doesn’t sound like that in my head, honest. Still, here it is. If you prefer your interviews in written form, there’s another over at Total Sci-Fi.