Progress Report April ’21

May 3rd, 2021

The progress report is a couple of days late, this time around, probably because I could hardly believe that May has come around so quickly. Honestly not a huge amount to report. UK cover of The Wisdom of Crowds was revealed, and the US cover is pretty much finished and should be revealed soon. I’ve just started reading the page proofs as well – always a nervous moment, since the book hasn’t strictly speaking left your hands but it’s too late to really make any major changes. Tweak a word here or there if you must but you’re not going to fix a bad book at this stage. It is always exciting to see something given the authority of a proper typesetting, mind you. Strange how a different font and arrangement makes it feel different. Still, in a few days The Age of Madness will finally be out of my hands. Or beyond the reach of my desperately stretching fingertips, depending on how you look at it.

My progress reports went through a slightly *ahem* bald patch around 2015-16, but it looks as though I started thinking seriously about this trilogy in late 2015, and actually writing A Little Hatred in early 2016, so this project has been over 5 years in the making. I’m both good and ready to see the back of it and oddly nostalgic about waving the characters goodbye. Still, all things must come to an end, and I’m currently battling grimly with the next book, which was supposed to be fun. Plus ca change, as they say….

Posted in news, progress by Joe Abercrombie on May 3rd, 2021.

19 comments so far

  • Lyle says:

    God dammit Joe, you are one hard working author.

  • Terry says:

    Thanks for the update good sir! I speak for everyone when I say September cannot arrive soon enough 🙂

  • Keith Caruthers says:

    Definitely bittersweet the idea of NOT having a first law book to anticipate. That uneasy feeling is squashed knowing that there is, as the man on the flying carpet world say, a whole new world to look forward to.

  • Sophie says:

    You’re one of my few auto-buy authors. Give me a link and I’ll pre-order your new book now. 🙂

  • Chris says:

    “God dammit Joe, you are one hard working author.” Working hard at writing and publishing unlike some other ‘hard working’ authors who are too busy world building or scripting for TV to write and leave their readers hanging for a decade. Good on you to work all three books the way you did; more writers and publishers should follow your example.

  • Joe Schmo says:

    I disagree with the sentiment that all good things must end. You write fiction. You can make up whatever you want to, that’s literally your job.

    My early prediction…

    We get a third (or fourth depending how you look at it) trilogy around 2028.

    I say that in hope and not in vain.

  • Klemen says:

    Saying goodbye to the characters, eh? Won’t be seeing some of them in the next one, I see…

  • Wombat of Hoskopp says:

    Glad to hear those ‘Devilish’ turds are not too easy to polish; as (I think) J. B. Priestly said, things that are easy too read are always very difficult to write.
    @Chris, I hear you, but I also feel for whomsoever it may be that you’re referring to. It can’t be easy wrapping up now someone else has already done it for you, though fewer spin-offs featuring pseudo-elfen imperialist overlords would help. I certainly won’t be selling off the rights to my latest trilogy to HBO before book 3 is wrapped up, so they needn’t bother asking. You hear that HBO? HBO…?

  • Alex says:

    Love all your books!! Can’t wait for this next one.

  • Alien-Come-Probing says:

    Hi Joe!

    The obligatory humbling of myself before your genius – I read every TFL book, at least a dozen times for the first 6 and half that for Age of Madness, I love your long running… running gags? How the Dogman would not have been offended except he specifically washed for this occasion when he and 3trees first offered their services to the union….and Rikke thinks exactly the same at the ball she attends. Not sure if this is the longest con I’ve detected so far.

    Also, if you even read this and have time for plebs like me, I’m super interested in all the talk about the ground in battle (Bethod, Ninefingers) and would like to ask you if you can refer me to books or online sources that go in depth into that topic which you would say are … of quality.

    Also, about the Shattered Sea….could it be that Yarvi is basically…an “allegorical” Bayaz origin story??

    Thanks if you read this and even more thanks for being simply the best author – reliable, unique, mind-blowing (your prose is a drug dude!!! I have like a 100+ sentences / sequences of sentences marked in my ebooks!! Whatever book you publish, I pre-order the ebooks instantly without further looks, that’s how incredible they are, and additionally, I wished for and got the first 6 books in paper too so I can have them on my shelf.

    Hope that, when the pandemic settles, you visit Germany sometime, would love to have you sign my paper books and the protective shell of my Kindle.

  • Alien-Come-Probing says:

    Forgot to add:

    YES I do have word files and spreadsheets to find the patterns in your stories and I’m amazed at the quality of those deep and subtle connections all throughout the books.

    PS: Orso is a wonderful, wonderful character. Only the Bloody-Nine ranks higher for me.

  • Alien-Come-Probing says:

    PPS. We also bought every single one as the audiobook because my wife also loves your books, but prefers listening to reading.

    It must be hundreds of hours where we discussed every detail of everything. Our current hot topic is: will Orso make it to/through the end of Wisdom of Crowds? It saddens me deeply, but I fear he won’t, she’s more optimistic. We got a bet going.

    So we own:

    All 9 (soon 10) TFL books as ebooks.
    (the first) 6 TFL books as paper soft-cover
    All 8 TFL books (not Sharp Edges) as audiobooks
    The 3 Shattered Sea books as ebooks

    Not a brag, just showing my admiration for your incredible, important, deeply insightful (especially into our all too human condition) writing.

  • alec keene says:

    How much are you paying Alien-Come-Probing.

  • Marco says:

    The updates are greatly appreciated Joe. Even if there’s “not a huge amount to report”, it’s really great as a fan to be able to easily answer the question: “What’s going on with [content creator]’s current and future projects?”

  • Perry Taliaferro says:

    Just patiently awaiting the next chapter to hit Audible (I wish that ability to preorder would hurry and show itself). Can’t wait to listen to the next great book in the series … no pressure implied 🙂
    Thanks for the updates

  • Josh from Texas says:

    Hi Joe,

    Absolutely buzzing for the next book to come out, and still pushing your novels on any friend that asks for a must read.

    Also, as excited as I am for The Wisdom of Crowds, I admit to being a bit sad that it’s the end of the First Law realm in sight… from what you’ve let on anyway.

    Wouldn’t be possible to have another pseudo trilogy of standalone novels for the new generation would there?

    I for one think that’s be a damn solid idea! You know, some fun new spin offs before the third “formal” trilogy gets underway.

    No pressure! Honestly just deeply enjoy getting lost in your books and hope the trips back to the realm of the First Law never end.

    Side note/question – the newest US covers for the original trilogy are red, blue and yellow… and the covered for Age of Madness so far are red, blue, and I’m assuming yellow to keep the theme.

    Is there any thought to releasing covers of the standalone novels in the same color scheme and art style? Would look amazing with the full set!

    Appreciate all you do and the updates you provide, you’re truly one of the greats, and my all time favorite fantasy author.


  • Devanthar says:

    Hopefully the new book will be less of a female power fantasy than what the Age of Madness has been so far.

  • DagoskaSapper says:

    Mate, I have always been a fan but I am truly immersed in the age of madness.. those characters! Now that I am here I am both so excited for the final instalment but also terrified I may just have to return to the “real” world for a little while. Still, never before have I loved/hated/loved again in a novel, and the characters you create are the most complex and relatable I have had the pleasure to engage with, I am just waiting to see each and every character out in the streets! Also, your writing alone is a major inspiration for others to have a go and write something “without sugar but plenty of salt on fresh wounds!”

  • Hubert from Bavaria says:

    Hi Joe!

    Sadly I did forget that but starting over now from vol.1 I was reminded that Logen was a late descendant of demons of the age of Euz. And also Ferro was one of those having certain powers that were inherited from these old times. Having in mind that they had sex a couple of times (over quite a period of time) I wonder wether this possibly has resulted in offspring. If magical influences from ancient times have diminished in the course of time a union of two such descendants could have unexpected consequences. With Ferro as the most unthinkable of all mothers, this could be an interesting story.

    Also “Best served cold” leaves us with lovely pregnant Monza whose child could have a possible legal claim to the throne over Styria. Now after “The Trouble With Peace” where generations slowly are beginning to replace each other a new chapter could start here too.

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