Progress Report Feb ’14

February 27th, 2014

Excellent progress since early December, I’m pleased to say, partly due to *ahem* lack of interesting video game releases.  Half a King is done and copyedited and done and proofread and done and TOTALLY DONE. ARCs are out in the wild and even now being read and reacted to.  WITH UNIVERSAL JOY AND AWESTRUCK ADMIRATION. Publication is early July 2014, US and UK.

Better yet, the second book in this trilogy, Half the World, is done too! Well, I say done, the finished second draft has gone off to my early readers for a first opinion, which I shall attend to and absorb along with some thoughts of mine during March to produce a totally done 3rd draft. Which will then go to editors for further changes. Some more detail on exactly how those processes go down in due course.  There’s a fair bit of work still to do on the book, that’s sure, but I think one would have to say that Half the World is looking very good for its provisional publication date of Feb 2015, a mere seven months after Half a King drops.

Alongside the editing of Half the World I’m going to be getting started this month on the planning of the third book, Half a War, with a view to getting the drafting underway in April, with a view to getting the book half done by the time I start travelling for Half a King’s release in July, with a view to getting it finished by the end of 2014, with a view to getting it published a mere five months after Half the World in July 2015.  All three out within 12 months.  That’s a pretty challenging schedule, but at the moment it’s looking doable.  We shall see…

Also got a quick First Law-related short story to knock out in March with a view to getting a collection of all my short fiction together for probably an early 2016 publication.  Then we’re on to more adult fantasy in the First Law world, with a very, very provisional pub date of some time 2017.  If I haven’t gone insane.  Or perhaps if I have.

That is your progress report for February.

Posted in progress by Joe Abercrombie on February 27th, 2014.

34 comments so far

  • Matthew says:

    I really hope I don’t die before July

  • Chris Grigg says:

    Congratulations! It’s incredible that you can visualize the next THREE YEARS of your work life while I’m still unsure of what to eat for lunch… and it’s 3:30 PM.

  • Wow, good going! I’m jealous of your readers, getting to see this in the making as it were.

    Question; Is the Half Trilogy not an adult series? Is it more YA? Either way I’ll be fanboying, but this inquiring mind wants to know 🙂

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    If that’s a strong possibility, may I suggest you preorder now?

    Other Matthew,
    Tough question to answer. It’s midway between, I guess. Written partly with younger readers in mind but that’s partly just younger protagonists and a tighter focus. I think (hope) my established readers will find a lot to like. It’s not dumbed down. It’s not much softened or simplified. I feel that it’s as tough and challenging as my adult stuff.

  • Lundgreen says:

    Great news! I can hardly wait!

  • All of this sounds great. I cannot wait. Can. Not.

    And if you weren’t crazy, you wouldn’t be as fun to read!

  • Mark C says:

    Awesome stuff as usual, Joe. Would it be possible to get some insight into your planning stage as you approach the third part in the new trilogy?

  • Deb E says:

    Can’t wait! Great pacing on the releases, too. Swift, but not so swift my TBR list will get bogged down.

  • Jacob Ferguson says:

    “partly due to *ahem* lack of interesting video game releases” I guess this is a boon for all of us anxious readers out there. Though I do feel your pain, fortuitously though Skyrim has good replay value.

  • David Frank says:

    Good grief man you are in beast writing mode. Can you pass whatever you are consuming to Rothfuss and Martin??

    You are starting to reminds me of Sanderson =)

    Very much looking forward to the new book.

  • David Neale says:

    My project manager would love you. I think you’re a halfwit

  • Marc A says:

    Amazing news mate, been waiting patiently for this. Your books have got me through some dark nights on deployments. Just remember to take a break, don’t want you dropping dead…well not at least until you have finished the First Law world anyway.

    Any chance you will be swinging by Scotland on your travels?

  • Frank Fitz says:

    Do you intend to write further any further stories in Half a King’s world? Or as soon as this trilogy is finished it’s done and cast aside?

  • James w says:

    Do you have Steven pacey signed up to ready everything else you right? If not you should do, the man is incredible and together if makes for the happiest long running times ever


  • TheKen says:

    Dear Mr. Abercrombie

    First of all, I can’t wait to read Half a King, I’m almost done Red Country and it’s amazing!

    May I be so bold as to make a suggestion? After reading all your books set in The First Law’s world, I have come to love and expect the vicious authenticity of your characters. However, I kind of want to see you create a more traditional, good-guy fantasy character. Let’s say he (or very possibly she) were to be surrounded by a group of the typical Gloktas, Shiverses and Temples, I think that the contrariety would highlight both types of characters even more. Hopefully you’re not rolling your eyes disdainfully right now; I believe adding a less flawed protagonist amongst a group of aforementioned baddies would add even more depth and greater characterization to your already oh so excellent novels.

    If you choose not to do this, oh well.

    I remain a dedicated fan and hopeful future fantasy writer myself,


  • Andy Aitken says:

    Even though I’m looking forward to the Half a King trilogy, roll on 2017!!!!

  • Jake Hargrave says:

    Just wanted to thank you for giving your loyal readers the occasional update. It helps the time pass while we wait for your next treasure 😀

  • Shawn says:

    Can’t wait for more First Law stuff! I’ll make sure to check out Half a King in the meantime. Thanks for the update, it’s good to know there will be more!

  • Joy says:

    First Matthews comment had me laughing. I agree. New book from fav author – cant wait!!!!!!!

  • Paul Rooney says:

    Great news Joe. At the risk of sounding mercenary, keep punishing yourself and stick to that schedule! The world needs more of your work – and the rumours of a next gen Red Dead Redemption coming out next year scare me – write as much as you can before it comes out!!!

  • Darren says:

    I’m looking forward to the “Half” trilogy very much. Not sure about the younger audience angle just yet, but at least I can get my teenage son into your work earlier rather than later. Just re-reading the First Law trilogy, I forgot how much the West/Ladisla saga made me laugh at their interaction.

    I’m really holding out for a return to the First Law world when you get back to that, but just one thing – please please please leave the modern world ie guns, out of your work!!!

  • Darren Firth says:

    Really looking forward to the new book and even better news that there will be more First Law stuff. Will Half a King be available on audiobook from audible like all your other books?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Really depends how it goes down and how I feel. If these books are a massive success (fingers crossed) then it’s going to be hard to resist doing more in that world. But we’ll see.

    The Ken,
    Half a King and sequels feature some slightly less grey characters. Sometimes…

    James W, Darren F,
    Certainly there will be audiobooks, probably released along with paper and digital. Way too important a market to ignore these days. Steven Pacey unlikely to be the narrator, though. He’s been brilliant on the 1st Law stuff and I hope will continue to do that, but probably need someone new for these books to make the distinction and perhaps suit the younger protagonists.

  • Iangr says:

    Have a look at The Punisher MAX comics (I’m currently rereading them),especially the arcs written by Garth Ennis.
    (Or really, anything written by Ennis,the guy is a fookin’ genius)

    I’m fairly certain you’ll be inspired!

  • SwindonNick says:

    THREE years before any more First law? Fuuuuuuck.

  • No kidding, dude. I’m going to go into Bloody Nine withdrawals!

  • Ben says:

    I’ll be reading the “Half” trilogy with my three teens. If it’s as good as some of these advanced reader reviews hint at, then I don’t think we’ll be suffering too badly without the First Law universe for a few more years. 🙂

    For that matter, if moving on to new content helps to keep churning out *great* stories, I’d be okay with holding off on the First Law even longer than that.

  • Dempa says:

    I always wondered. When writing, do you (mr.Joe) put a mind map up on a screen like a investigating detective, or a psychopath?

  • Daniel says:

    Any news if your original trilogy will be re-released in hardback anytime soon? The prices for which they are going online are obscene :)).

  • AntMac says:

    I can see a LOT of parents facing a difficult time around about July 2015.

    “OH, MUM, I found these other story books by my new all time super favourite author J.Abercrombie, it is a series and some single books that he wrote before he started on the ” Half a ” series *. They are called “The First Law” series. OH, Please mum . . . will you buy them for me?”.

    Mum reads reviews . . . oh dear, I think they might be a little strong material for you, Anne. But it was too late, Anne was bitten by the “Must Read Abercrombie Until All Read” bug.

    I propose calling the series “The ‘arfa Series” =]

  • Thomas says:

    Hi Joe.
    Any news on what the british book cover for “Half a King” is going to look like? I already preordered mine from Amazon. Will the new trilogy´s covers match each other like The First law´s did?

  • Dennis says:

    Oh I can’t wait to get my hands on these sexy bundles of paper.

    I wonder however, with you talking about ARCS and stuff, wether it is possible for a normal, non-bestselling human being to get their hands on one of those early copies without sending you absurd amounts of money or threaten your life. Maybe I should send an application portfolio over to the island so you can read yourself the plethora of reasons why I of all persons should be the one to be blessed like this. Any chance…? 😀

  • DavidK says:

    Please no plush toys. Please. Really.

  • Karl Hobson says:

    Today something truly amazing has happened, in fact two things –

    No.1 – I realise that one of my favourite authors has a book due out soon (the wait is killing me!)

    No.2 – (and this is news of such epic proportions, I may burst in excitement!) Joe is coming to MY Home town of Derby in July!

    I will most definitely be attending Edge-Lit, and Joe, I apologise in advance if I involuntarily drop to my knees in Worship when I see you.

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