Progress Report December ’13

December 2nd, 2013

One could be forgiven for thinking this was just a video game review site over the last couple of weeks, but let us remember that it also serves as the mouthpiece for internationally recognised multiple award nearly-nominated author Joe Abercrombie.  What’s he been up to over the last couple of months, and what forthcoming works can serve as bright beacons in the otherwise pitifully hopeless futures of readers of dark yet thought provoking, violent yet amusing fantasy everywhere…?

Well, my [kind of YA kind of crossover whatever the hell it is] new book Half a King is now fully copy edited and therefore basically finished, with discussions about covers and copy and all that good stuff well underway on both sides of the pond.  Current publication date is July 8th 2014 from Del Rey in the US, and a not totally specific though probably very similar July date from Harper Collins in the UK, but ARCs should start to appear, hopefully, in the next couple of months.

But you know that righteousness never sleeps, and I’m already half way through a draft of the second book in the trilogy, Half the World.  Long time followers of this blog will know that the drafting is the bit I really dislike (a writer that likes writing? Puh-lease!), especially the front of a book, but I think this one’s starting to come together now, and will, of course, in my unbiased opinion, be FANTASTIC. I’m a little behind my initial, ludicrously over-optimistic schedule, but still well on target to have this one comfortably finished by the time Half a King is unleashed, hopefully with the 3rd and final book, Half a War, well underway.  I flipping despise those series which have themed titles that just change a little bit with each iteration, don’t you?  Then I went and did it.  I like to say that I’ve reinvented and subverted the concept, though, whatever the hell that means.  The dream is that these other two instalments will publish six months apart – so in Jan 2015 and July 2015 – but that’s very much not set in stone at this point. We shall see.

Meanwhile in the world of short fiction, my story Some Desperado is appearing in GRRM and Gardner Dozois’ multi-author anthology Dangerous Women, which is available right now in the UK and publishes tomorrow in the US.  I’ve got another sizeable story, Tough Times All Over, written in a many character mosaic styley in their next multi-author anthology, Rogues, which I believe is due early next year, we shall see.  Then there are two other stories in the First Law world, one involving a key moment in the relationship between the young Lieutenant West and the dashing Colonel Glokta, another a key moment in the relationship between Bethod and the Bloody-Nine, already written, soon to be joined by a third, and likely appearing some time next year in new editions of the First Law.  I’ve then only got three or four more stories to write before we have enough to put together a collection of my short work in the First Law world, which in theory should drop late 2015/early 2016.

By then I should hopefully be well underway with my next major project, another trilogy set in the First Law world, set some years after the end of Red Country.  This is at an embryonic stage right now, and I’m keen to get a solid plan, and hopefully a rough draft, of the entire trilogy before we publish the first book.  That’ll mean putting off publication of book one, but hopefully a faster, more regular and better managed publication of the best books possible thereafter.  But it also means I wouldn’t expect to see the first one before 2017 at the earliest.  Obviously it’s on the back-burner at the moment.

That’s everything on the work front right now, I think.  No appearances scheduled in the next few months, but there’ll be a LOT next summer, including but not limited to Worldcon in London, Edge Lit in Derby, and Comic Con in San Diego.  Until then, work, work, work, which means posting around these parts may continue to be light.  For more regular updates, plus hilarious badinage (of course) you can follow me on twitter, should you so desire.

Posted in progress by Joe Abercrombie on December 2nd, 2013.

32 comments so far

  • Kharanet says:

    I’m hoping for a Whirrun of Bligh story, or even novel!

  • Michael says:

    Glad things are going so well for you! Hope things are good with you and the family and you’re all feeling festive 🙂

  • Deb E says:

    I love your banter on Twitter. It helps cement your position as my favourite writer (until I find a better one… mwahaha).

    This is all excellent news. Looking forward to following the continuing of your career.

    Good luck with winning an award or two sometime in the future, eh?

  • Brian C says:

    +1 for more on Cracknut!

  • Daniel says:

    Great news! I hope that in the second trilogy back to see Logen!

  • Paul Bendon says:

    Thanks Joe for the update. Thanks for your terrific books as well. Great reading. Have a good Christmas and New Year. Don’t work too hard, just 25 hours a day will suffice. Have a few bevvies and chill.

  • Graham says:

    That is all excellent news, I think I speak for the entire internet when I say we will understand if any of these release dates get pushed back for any reason….

    How are you tackling swearing in you YA writing? I ask because I recently read a YA effort the author (one of my second favourites, very prolific) substituted the words “Sparks!” and “Calamity!” for when you would expect a character to decry “sh!t” or “p!ssfl@ps” and I found it really jarring.

  • Den Patrick says:

    ‘I’m hoping for a Whirrun of Bligh story, or even novel!’


  • Jordan says:

    Looking forward to all of your new works! I’m curious if you plan to write any novels which take place in the lands of Gurkhul? In my mind, it’s the most interesting place in the world, and it’s scarcely been touched on.

    At one point in Best Served Cold (which I just reread), Ishri mentions that her brother has been killed by a woman seeking revenge. I’m guessing that was Ferro. I’d love to read more about that… 🙂

  • thomas conneely says:

    Not sure how much personal input you have on such matters, but please ask the publishers to not do generic ‘Young Adulty’ (i.e GENERIC MAN IN CAPE WITH SWORD) covers on the new series – Some of us seniors will buy and read them as well. And we ESPECIALLY buy hardcovers with nice parchmenty covers to go with our other Abercrombies.

  • Casejord says:

    Would post as Jordan, but see someone already selected that name.

    As I’ve posted before, I can’t wait to find out what “Tough Times All Over” is about/who it stars. The Styrian crew are quite an enjoyable group of psychos to read about.

    Hmm, just had a thought- I’m guessing Carot Dan Eider shows up given that at the end of the First Law she was sent to spy on Styria, presenting herself as a noblewoman fallen on hard (tough) times looking for a “protector”.

    RE Whirrun stories, it would be cool to get something from his POV, although there sort of already is a Whirrun story- “The Fool Jobs”, which is about Craw’s crew during a time prior to The Heroes, and it sort of explains why Whirrun is the lovable nut he is in the novel.

    @Graham- Are you talking about Brandon Sanderson (I was guessing based on the prolific part). Good writer but he does something like that in all his novels.

  • Brodie says:

    God I admire you. Also agree with Jordan’s comment re Gurkhul. Looking forward to reading all these new stories! Cheers

  • Chad says:

    Joe Abercrombie is terrific for posting this progress report.

  • Thile says:

    ‘I’m hoping for a Whirrun of Bligh story, or even novel!’


  • Morrigan says:

    Chad: “Joe Abercrombie is terrific for posting this progress report.”

    He really is!

    Joe: “Then there are two other stories in the First Law world, one involving a key moment in the relationship between the young Lieutenant West and the dashing Colonel Glokta, another a key moment in the relationship between Bethod and the Bloody-Nine, already written, soon to be joined by a third”


  • JKJ says:

    Partly posting because I’m now the third Jordan, but mainly posting just to say that pretty much more of any single character from the First Law world would make me happy… I’ve blabbered on Facebook about how I’d love to see more Ferro, though. More Monza would be nice, too. Best Served Cold was fantastic. Logen/Lamb will always be my favorite, so I of course hope to see more of him as well. And I weirdly miss Glokta…

  • Ferro Ninefingers says:

    Hey, how about a story about Logen and the mean sheep?
    And of course, you can never get enough of Ferro. A short story, a POV in the upcoming trilogy, maybe a trilogy or at least a standalone novel about her early years – even though I know the second and especially the latter (despite sounding a bit like “Katniss Everdeen meets Daenerys Targaryen”, i.e. massively awesome) are pretty unrealistic. On the other hand, it could help her gain more fans.

  • Casejord says:

    Had a thought. Would be cool to get something from the Navigator’s point of view, either from before or after the Trilogy.

    He seems like a pretty straightforward/comical character, and so it would be interesting to see what makes him tick (Navigating I’d guess).

  • Elodin says:

    Awesome to see you keep on keepin on. Love how much work you’ve done and continue to do. Now can you tell Pat Rothfuss to get his ass into gear and drop his 3rd book? you put out 3 in the time it takes him to put out one. Cheers.

  • JKJ says:

    @Elodin I’m reading TNotW right now and am LOVING ITTTT. don’t spoil though…only 1/3 through

  • Nobodycris says:

    NYC Comic com plz ….

  • Ferro Ninefingers says:

    Some second thoughts on future projects: how about a First Law universe counterpart of “The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister”? Glokta is the most obvious candidate (NO, it’s not that injury to my leg that I got yesterday and which almost rendered it useless), but Logen’s words of wisdom would be nice, too.

  • AntMac says:

    I have a huge man-crush on you, Mr Abercrombie. I will buy them all, please’n’thankyouverymuch.

    ( I second the Ferro love, when you have a moment, mate, just knock out 600 pages or so for us, ok? 🙂 )

  • Ryan says:

    Well crap, now I have to go to Comic-Con. Ugh. Thanks a lot, Joe.

  • Craig says:

    I’ve never been much of a fan of sword and shield fantasy, but your books captivated me! I’ll be purchasing your YA book for support! Keep up the awesome work.

  • The Heroes! says:

    Just wanted to say that the Heroes was absolutely awesome. My favourite Abercrombie book thus far.

    Thank you for writing it.

  • Andrew says:

    Great news on more first law books, I’m looking forward to a reunion of ferro and the bloody nine for some magic and violence.

  • […] good news for all the Abercrombie fans out there: Joe blogged earlier this week that he has finished writing it! Joe revealed: “Well, my [kind of YA kind […]

  • manegarm says:

    can anyone tell me if the new editions of the first law 2014 will be hardcovers?

    keep the great work up joe, and remember the new triology wouldnt hurt if its already published 2016 🙂

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Very unlikely. In the absence of a truly massive surge in interest (like with a film or tv adaptation) it’s very hard to justify a new hardcover release so long after publication.

  • Ferro Ninefingers says:

    Then, what about a TV adaptaion? =)

  • Sean Fear says:

    I look forward to all of this. I want to see more of Ferro, plus the further adventures of Monza, Calder, Ishri, and Carlot. I think POV’s from Terez, Ardee, and Pike would be interesting as well.

    I think that Logan’s story is now done, and he doesn’t need to come back into the next trilogy.

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