New Year, New Deal

January 4th, 2011

A happy new year unto you all, dear readers, and with the new year comes all kinds of new things, some of them even better than screwing up every time you write a date!

I have news, in fact, of something that happened early last year but which I haven’t got around to mentioning until now, what with all the kerfuffle and confustication of the last few months.  But be assured it is great news for those who enjoy my work, and a poke in the eye and tweak of the nose for those wrongheaded heathens who claim to dislike it.  Or at any rate it’s not particularly interesting for those who dislike it.  But there are none of them reading now, are there?  Are there?  Who cares what they think, the deluded poltroons, they are to be pitied, not hated!

Therefore stand amazed as I announce that I last year signed a contract with my doughty UK publisher, Gollancz, for four more books set in the world of The First Law.  That’s right.  FOUR MORE BOOKS.  Twice two.  Or more accurately, one plus three, since at the moment, those books are looking like they’ll be another semi-standalone in the style of Best Served Cold and The Heroes, followed by another trilogy, though obviously I reserve the right to be coy and change my mind, possibly while flouncing out of a meeting.  It’s a lady’s privilege, don’t you know. 

In terms of timescale things are still a little hazy.  I’ve been writing at the rate of about a book every 18 months or so, so one might reasonably expect the first of these books to appear on shelves sometime around the summer 2012 sort of a mark, but obviously I reserve the right to be coy and completely miss a date even that vague.  I’ve barely started writing it, so we shall see whether, now I am installed in my new abode, the words fly from my fingertips like lightning or … not.  As for the books after, there’s no point in even being vague at this stage.  If they do end up as a trilogy, I might well aim to draft the whole thing before publishing the first book, which would leave something of a gap between the standalone and the first of the trilogy, but would hopefully ensure that the books of the trilogy could come out no more than a year apart, possibly less, and that they would form a coherent and cohesive whole.  Or as coherent and cohesive as I am capable of producing.  We shall see.  It’s a long way off.  Far enough for me to safely pretend that it’ll never happen.

In terms of the content of these books, well, I’ll get back to you on that…

Posted in announcements, news by Joe Abercrombie on January 4th, 2011.

71 comments so far

  • Brendon says:

    Great news, I’ll look forward to the as yet unwritten battles, deceptions, deaths, plans, failures and unforgettable characters new and old. Happy New Year!

  • JamesY says:

    Exciting news! I for one am very glad to hear (read) that your New Year’s resolution is to carryong on writing. Looking forward to the release of The Heroes.

  • innokenti says:

    Woohoo! That’s great news. A steady stream of Abercrombie to look forward to in the future. A security that I think we shall all enjoy (provided you don’t get complacent… we clearly need something to keep you on your toes.)

  • majkia says:

    w00t! I am currently reading ‘The Blade Itself’ the first book I’ve read of yours, and enjoying it tremendously. Keep ’em coming!

  • Outstanding! Looking forward to having more of you on my shelf!

  • Neil P says:

    Great news for you, the fans and the publisher. 4 more “first law” (is there a name for the overall series?) books can’t be bad. I like how you cover your bases on what they will be and when they will be 🙂 Will any of them play with that “wild west” style you mentioned a couple of years back?
    If you change your mind and do more stand-alones that’s probably cool too as it would give us a chance to see more of the world as I always fear the next “trilogy” may have a sense of finality to it…

  • JonathanL says:

    What a pleasure! I am certainly finding the world of First Law to be a fascinatingly brutal and varied place, and I’m glad I can sit back, read The Heroes and all the others, and know this isn’t the end of this world.

  • Chad says:

    More of the Bloody Nine please.

  • Phil N says:

    Great news Joe. I’m counting the days to when Heroes drops through my letter box (playing catch up at the mo and am halfway through Before They Are Hanged).

    2012 isn’t that far away is it….IS IT!

  • ErikNL says:

    So first the Western-style book?
    Then, you think you’ll write the whole trilogy before publishing the first book? Or publish them as they come?

    Grats Joe, this is awesome news

  • Bryce says:

    Great news, I guess this confirms that there’s plenty of demand for ‘dark fantasy’ in the future.

    PS My newly turned 18 year old wee cousin, who loved Harry Potter and Twilight series asked me to recommend some more adult fantasy and I obviously recommended your good self. However, I’ve just realised I may have to explain one or two lines in BSC…

  • Mike says:

    Outstanding! Congratulations Joe! Can’t wait to see where things go. My vote for reappearing character goes to Glokta.

  • Chris Upton says:

    Will there be flying monkey’s? With litle hats?

  • Dan says:

    Fantastic news Joe! Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Can’t wait for details about the stories. Regarding that, I have a question. Can your publisher tell you what to write about? You said the deal was for four books set in the first law world. So can they tell you “we want the books to be about logen, we feel he is your star.” Can they do that? Or is it completely up to you?

  • madman42 says:

    I think a celebration is in order!

  • Jared says:


  • Mandred says:

    I’d like it better if you wrote a couple of books set in an entirely new universe, but this is good too.

  • mus says:

    Happy to hear that there will be more books set in the same world. When can we expect a bring/small screen adaptation then? or the Video Games? 🙂

  • JonathanL says:

    mus, I thought the same when reading Best Served Cold. How awesome would a Showtime/HBO/Starz miniseries of that be?

    Pray that Game of Thrones does well. If it does, we could see much more grown-up fantasy in a big way.

  • Murph says:

    Great news! Can’t wait. I have two requests, however. More of Glotka please, and make sure you keep us on our toes in these books.

    Other than that thank you!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Unlikely the publisher would expicitly tell you what to write about as long as you’re selling books. In theory you give them a treatment of what you’re going to write and they agree to buy it or not, but of course if you have an existing successful relationship with you’re publisher they’ll probably trust you to carry on producing regardless. If they think you’ve turned in a very uncommercial treatment they might make that point to you, and suggest ways in which it might be more commercial. My ideas tend to be relatively commercial, though, or have so far, it seems. They might suggest ways to tweak it. If you’re not selling, obviously they might become more strident, with a new contract negotiation that goes something like, what you’ve been doing isn’t working, we want you to try something more like X, or you need to be much more Y, like author Z who actually does sell. On other occasions, an editor might get an idea for a book they’d like to see done and commission it from a suitably willing author. Or an editor and writer might come up with something collaboratively.

  • Björn says:

    Where can we pre order? 😉

    Great news, cant wait

  • Nick Sharps says:

    Freaking awesome!

  • Mark C says:

    Fantastic news, Joe! I’ll leave the First Law/ BSC/ Heroes re-reading for the gaps between releases.

    Mark C

  • Jon says:

    Congratulations! That’s good news. I look forward to the next ones.

  • Chris Bissette says:

    Great news 😀

    Out of interest, how do you go about plotting a trilogy like the First Law or this potential new one? I have enough trouble plotting a stand-alone novel (not that I’ve published anything yet, mind); as much as I’d love to write a sprawling bloody fantasy trilogy, the idea of sitting down and starting it scares the shit out of me. Any tips?

  • Matthias says:

    *twitch* *drool*

  • Juhan says:


    I reckon the first of these will be the long-awaited quasi-Western you’ve been talking about, aye?

    Knew it.



  • Wilfred says:

    Great news! This year has got of to an awesome start!

  • Zafri says:

    A bit surprised someone recommended you to a reader who enjoyed the Twilight series, but an Abercrombie recommendation is never bad I suppose. You are on my shortlist of 4 authors I buy from (Lynch, GRRM, Rothfuss, you) so thanks for the good news.

  • Kris says:

    Matthias above said it best, methinks.

  • Eddwigg says:

    Nice one, now pull your finger out and get on with it. Slacker!

  • YetiStomper says:

    Come on Joe. I reported on this months ago…

    I’ll be sure to let you know the next time you get a book deal.

  • Nick Sharps says:


  • JenMo says:


  • Ace of Knaves says:

    Wonderful, wonderful news. I’m fairly young, and when I look at a body of work comprised of something like fifteen interconnected novels set in the same world I’ve wished I could have been reading them as they were released, and after being recommended the First Law trilogy earlier this year, now I more or less can. So thanks for that.

    I’m wringing my hands in anticipation of The Heroes, and I hope to reread your first four books in time for its US release. Keep up the great work!

  • Ace of Knaves says:

    ^And by “earlier this year” I of course meant last year, didn’t I? Blasted Gregorian calendar.

  • Chris Eirkson says:

    Yes! This is excellent news. Great to hear you’re sticking around.

  • Sedulo says:

    I hope the contact includes a clause that you will be provided with at least one (1) gala reception where you can sweep down an opulent white marble staircase with a martini in hand and be toasted by a large group of admirers.

  • Sedulo says:

    I meant contract.

  • DrGonzo says:

    Cant wait. Just finished “Best served cold”. Love reading the reviews of these shocked fantasy guys not getting comfortable with all the gore and the sad ending. :o)

    Just left the fantasystuff for a while. Real-life stuff (more or less my common taste for literature) but 2011 will hopefully give me some good and fresh F-books (Heroes, perhaps news vom Martin, at last HBO should give us something ton TV thats grim and sad)

    Hopefully Heroes will arrive soon.

  • Krasi Valkov says:

    Great news, Joe!

    I just read “The Heroes”, cause i am the designated translator for Bulgarian publishing. It’s excellent as all your other books. So keep going and give me some more work 🙂

    Shivers => Bloody Nine 🙂

  • Yulwei says:

    Based on your first trilogy and your first standalone books I’d say you work better writing trilogies. s such I’m looking forward to the trilogy more since I reckon it’ll have Bayaz and possibly Khalul as actual presences like the first trilogy rather than shadowy figures in the background.

  • D. Geiken says:

    Awesome news!

  • Troy says:

    Amazing news! I cant wait till the end of this month! I know i shouldnt be wishing a month of my life away but damnit i want that book in my hands!!!!

  • The Grumpy Buddha says:

    I, for one, am hoping the stand-alone is about Logen’s pot. It really didn’t get the full arc it deserved.

    Or . . . . . . maybe save that for the trilogy?!

  • Steve Hick says:

    Thanks Joe, for your books, and the news, I do hope you continue to throw some chum (read some WIP stuff) out periodically to raise our appetites to a feed frenzy.
    Meanwhile, your short story, The Fool Jobs, really rocks.

  • A-drian says:

    Ha ha!! I see my slightly-evil minions have scared the hirsute folk at Gollancz into doing my bidding.

    You may thank me by ensuring Nine-fingers is in at least one of the next four books.


  • […] has signed a deal for 4 more books in the First Law world. New Year, New Deal | Joe Abercrombie __________________ –If it weren't for the gutter, my mind would be […]

  • ogbebaba says:

    great news

    I myself just got some great news I will be getting a copy of The Heroes in a few days coming all the way from Australia thanks to Ebay, all for the paltry some of $47 and that includes shipping. Well technically its a birthday gift for my wife but she has to sleep some time and i can be very sneaky

  • PinkInk says:


    Haven’t seen enough cash, eh?
    Still working on that first million?

  • Mike says:

    I believe that as long as someone from The North makes a reference to his lower jigglies as fruits, the books will most write themselves.

  • JohnG says:

    please, please come out to Phoenix, Arizona for a signing sometime…. wed love to have ya!

  • Rob says:


    Awesome news!

  • This is way cool! I will have to get through all the books in time to dig back into this wild world. And get more sticky-notes. ;D

    Thank you for letting us know and best of luck to you!

  • Matt says:

    Now we just need someone to buy TFL movie rights and everything will be perfect in the world.

    I take it you already have some vague plot ideas for these four books?

  • Dan says:

    So Joe, you admit to already starting the next stand alone. Which means you have some semblance of a plot. And you haven’t shared this plot with your most devoted followers here on your blog?!! Come now, our most awesome beacon of authorhood…don’t make me beg! Cause I will!!

    I’m guessing the next book will focus on Ferro and her adventures in the south. I also envision Logen searching for her, finding her, and the two go on an epic ass kicking contest!

  • AO says:

    A hearty congratulations!

    I’m hoping to see you deal a bit more with archers at some point (for no reason other than that I enjoy the subject), though perhaps Heroes may have some greater focus on them? Either way, I’m sure that I will enjoy the books and look forward to hearing more about them in your future posts.

  • mark says:

    fuck yeah

  • Susanne says:

    Best news so far this year. Congrats, Joe!

  • MattNY says:

    This is the best thing that has happened to me all year. Well, besides the other day when the vending machine at work gave me back an extra quarter.

  • […] The First Law, insa de sine statatoare. La inceputu’ acestui an, Joe Abercombie incheie un nou contract cu Gollancz (diviza Orion SF/F) pentru alte patru titluri (printre care o trilogie) […]

  • Edward Wilson says:

    I never thought id get sucked into a series again after finishing Dune (yes the original 6 books, not the Dune Lite crap put out by Herberts son) but now its happened again, and now Ill be waiting till 2012 for my next fix. Thank god your publisher has the good sense to realize, “wow, this guy may actually us some money”, you have a (hopefully) fat contract, and we all get 4 more books provided you dont drive your new Maserati off a cliff or struck by lightning. Great news, congratulations, and btw..your Tunny would have made an excellent Marine.

  • Phil Brandes says:

    Please don’t sign a movie deal, an HBO or Showtime Series would be more appropriate considering A movie wouldn’t do all that story justice. And also I have to read all your books again to hold me over for the new release because I am now ruined of all other authors.

  • Greg Clark says:

    Love your books & have read them all, (some twice).

    Are you going do a movie deal?

    Best regards!

  • Gonzo the Great says:

    Awesome news! Greats books and excellent characters! Have throughly enjoyed all your books to date, keep up the good work and now the wait begins…..

  • MethanP says:

    I find the characters fascinating as well as the story line.
    The more I learn of Bayaz the less I like him. I do feel you are a bit to cinicle. Just keep doing the “right thing”.

  • Matthew Waltner-Toews says:

    Awesome news Joe. Really looking forward the next book!

  • Sicarius says:

    I absolutely love your books and can’t wait to read more. Please don’t let anyone else read your audiobooks besides Steven Pacey.

  • Brian says:

    The Second Law Trilogy?

  • alibongo says:

    Early 2012 eh? Ive heard that one before, george-i mean joe…

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