Bleed me a River

March 29th, 2010

Orbit US have posted the provisional cover art for the US Hardcover of The Heroes.  Cover your face now, lest you be sprayed with gore.


Art by Steve Stone, design by the blood-thirsty Lauren Panepinto.  There may be a bit of tinkering in due course, most particularly with the map, which the sharp-eyed among you may note has been purloined from Best Served Cold.  A new map from map-meister Dave Senior, which will feature on the UK cover also, shall replace it in due course.  There’s also a synopsis, though twasn’t written by me, so I wouldn’t take it TOO seriously.  Probably only slightly more seriously than if it had been written by me.  I should point out this is to kind of form a sort of set with the controversial US Hardcover to Best Served ColdThe MMP approach, as well as the UK cover, will be different.

In related news, rejoice, for the internet wunderkinds over at Orbit US have dabbled in the dark arts in order to restore the vast majority of missing old comments to this very blog right here.  Yes, all your old rumination, adulation and downright bile is restored.  Only a few posts are missing their comments, most notably the eighty or so frothing outrage at the new cover to Before They are Hanged not long ago.  That’s a damn shame.  But you can make up for it right now by frothing with outrage about this latest cover.  Go on, you know you want to.

In unrelated news, Best Served Cold has been named as SFFWorld’s favourite book of 2009.  And is third on SFSite’s reader’s choices of 2009.  Jeff Vandermeer has a comprehensive review of his best fantasy of 2009 over at Locus Online, in which Best Served Cold gets a mention alongside Richard Morgan’s Steel Remains and David Anthony Durham’s The Other Lands in the “Not your grandmother’s heroic fantasy” section.  Aidan at Dribble of Ink had a more ambivalent opinion :

“Relentless, but ultimately frustrating, Best Served Cold showcases Abercrombie’s growth as a writer amid his difficult-to-appreciate decisions as a storyteller.”

Ultimately a frustrating review, then, which showcases Aidan’s growth as a writer amid his difficult-to-appreciate decisions as a reviewer. A ha ha. Never gets old.  But who cares what they think?  Did you like Best Served Cold?  If so, you have but a couple of days left to vote for it on the longlist of the David Gemmell Legend Award .  See what I did there?  Smooth, huh?  The publisher told me to do it!  Honest!  They put a fucking GUN to my head.

Posted in artwork, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on March 29th, 2010.

35 comments so far

  • Hey! I care what they think….

  • Pink Ink says:

    Looks red bloody & kind of nice!
    Did those guys from the Time already read the heroes?
    Trial version? Why dont’ we get to? 😉
    And who belong those heads to? (cover)

    Hey the review is devastating! (kick ass^^)
    Here come the heroes

  • Dan says:

    Meet THE HEROES.

    Curnden Craw: a ruthless fighter who wants nothing more than to see his crew survive.

    Prince Calder: a liar and a coward, he will regain his crown by any means necessary.

    Bremer dan Gorst: a master swordsman, a failed bodyguard, his honor will be restored—in the blood of his enemies.

    Over three days, their fates will be sealed.

    So appears the pictures represent each of the main characters here. Curnden…wonder if he is from Styria or the North? Hard to stay patient now!

  • Navym says:

    Lol, It reminds me of Dragon Age (and his add-on) covers (Blood with the reflect of people).
    But I find it kinda nice ^^
    Well, maybe the map in the background would be better with some silver ice color :p (yeah, I know, my tastes suck a lot :/)

    And sorry for my bad english. Being french cannot excuse everything.

  • Rachel says:

    With a middle name like that, it’s as though you were destined to become the author of the First Law trilogy. What remarkable foresight on your parents’ part.

    Woo, blood. Maybe it’ll trick some of the Twilighters into reading it…

  • angela c says:

    eeee~ Do want 😀 Thanks in advance for the next book, I’m very eager to read it!

  • Jens says:

    If I didn’t know your other books I’d buy this one alone for its cover. And I’m quite sure that “The Heroes” will be called “Heldenklingen” in Germany… that’s why you called it “Heroes” in the first place: getting a great sounding (and fitting) German title made you write this book!

    Maybe even some “Dragon Age”-players will notice it?
    The sprays of blood will tickle their unconscious need for excellent entertainment – and they will get it. Both the book and the excellent entertainment (and blood and gore), I hope.

  • JenMo says:

    I like it. So… No ax then?

  • Elfy says:

    Great cover. I really like the way the characters faces are reflected in the spreading pool of blood. Looking forward to getting my hands on this book when it comes out.

  • H says:

    Yeah I really like the look of that. Buckets of blood.

  • Splat! I like that. I like that a lot. One can never have too much blood.

  • Harvey Quinn says:

    I like it, but its a little cheesey. It doesn’t compare to the original UK edition’s of the First Law Trilogy, it lacks the class that those covers had / have. Plus i’m not sure I like the font.

    Either way, i’m very excited.

  • Phil says:

    Bremer dan Gorst: a master swordsman, a failed bodyguard, his honor will be restored—in the blood of his enemies.

    Failed bodyguard… has something happened to Luthar then?

    I take it the UK cover will be different (more in line with Best Served Cold IIRC) but I do like this.

    And the map…so are we finally getting a map or will it only be of the area covering the battle?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Generally positive, then? I am all amaze.

    Axe will be on the UK version. Just got sent the coloured version today and it is COOL. Even cooler than the sword on BSC, if anything.

    The UK hardback cover will continue the parchmenty tradition.

    I used to think of that middle name mouthful as a curse, but it’s true now that it seems strangely appropriate.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Sipani was hardly a roaring success as far as the bodyguarding went…

    Maps of the battle as it develops, day by day.

  • Harvey Quinn says:

    Good lad

  • SwindonNick says:

    I’ve got to say I really like the cover, would certainly draw me to picking it up….

    For some reason it reminded me of the inglourious basterds DVD cover (don’t ask me why but I thought of it straight away).

  • Chris Upton says:

    Nick, (used to live in that west country sprawl once, my condolences) I see where your going with Inglorious Basterds. There’s something very ‘pulpy’ about this cover which I think is quite suitable. Also liked the cover with the snake wrapped around the sword cover as well.

  • Steve Aryan says:

    Really like this new cover. Tells you exactly what to expect and we know it’s not going to be pretty and opening the book may be like that funky lift on The Shining. Great stuff.

  • Khan says:

    Love the cover! Best one yet.

  • Carla says:

    You really need to find some rougher looking men for the cover. For some reason I found the whole unbathed, unshaved and possibly smelling of horse very sexy in your other books. Then again, maybe I’m hanging around the wrong people.

  • rick says:

    I did it. I went and voted.
    Best Served Cold is a great book! (I don’t think that Aidan bloke knows what he’s talking about…)
    Can’t wait for The Heros. Bring it on!

  • J. Christopher says:

    I like it. I think. Blood is definitely a recurring theme in your books. Although maybe a little pulpy. I think of your stuff as more literary than that. On the whole, thumbs up.

  • SGT. Austin Holland says:

    Mot. What. I wanted. But who am I to say. These covers seem to be boxing Joe further and further into a corner. A corner i’m sure he can ruthlessly cut his way out of, but still.

  • Jon says:

    Looks great. I can’t wait.

  • Scott says:

    Love the cover. The subtleties in the faces really makes it for me. But, is that really the best quote about your writing they could find? The gutter??? Really??? Sure, it may be true, and they probably know a lot more about publishing and marketing than I do, but c’mon.

  • Matt117 says:

    Still no Ninefingers? I cry.

  • Jim Crowley says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of your books to date. It’s been an interesting journey because, with each book, I think your writing skill has improved and Best Served Cold was masterful (I will happily post a vote for it).

    I am really looking forward to Heroes; the concept is excellent. But don’t be tempted to cut it down too much! I thought Best Served Cold was about the right length – I would have been quite happy for it to go on longer.

  • Scott M says:

    I’m looking forward too it, and im glad to see some of the minor characters from The First Law series are being given more depth etc… Although i wish Logen had sent Calder back to the mud in LAOK before his great escape.
    There are still plenty of branches from the First Law Tree to be explored too, so, hopefully you have many books in you Joe, as i demand to see everything resolved! 😀

  • Eric says:

    Just wondering will we see Crummock’s daughter in this all grown up?

  • Anonymouse says:

    The cover is simply fantastic.
    I’m sure the book itself will also be. 🙂

  • Ciaran says:

    Looks great! Been reading in the US since your books came out. (live actually in amherst, NY) Excellent stuff!

  • Well, since you asked, I did read Best Served Cold and I had similar feelings that Aiden had. I liked it. Sort of.

    My full thoughts were expressed here, if you care to read ’em.

    (By the way, I just realized my RSS feed was broken from when you switched your site around! That darned Google Reader…)

  • jason cousino says:

    Any one who gives a poor review of any of these books should be personally introduced to the bloody nine and smashed untill nothin is left but a greasy puddle of human pulp. These books have reguvinated my imagination. When I die, I hope heaven is a world just like the one that Mr. Abercrombie has created.

  • McSwain says:

    I am liking the covers but i think you should leave more to the readers imagination as far as faces. half the fun of these books is imagining what your incredible characters look like. on the whole…pretty bad ass. p.s. im hoping that the faggy prince thrown from the cliff comes back with a vengence like monza but less civilized after having spent some time in the north.

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