Swords and Lasers

March 23rd, 2011

A couple of interviews lately.  In print (or at least on screen) with the mushroom-meister himself, Jeff Vandermeer, at Amazon’s Omnivoracious, focusing on The Heroes.  And a very nice podcast over at Sword and Laser covering quite a bit of ground, including worldbuilding, influences, approaches to writing, and wee.

Reviews of The Heroes and other books also continue to creep out into the sunlight.  One from Todd VanDerWerf of The AV Club:

“As the battle rages, Abercrombie sketches in more than two dozen characters, getting into their points of view and offering thrilling excitement alongside a more modernist deconstruction of whether this war business is really worth it. It’s as if Tolkien wrote the battle of Helm’s Deep after staring at Guernica for several hours.”

Then Pat, of the Hotlist:

The Heroes is another morally ambiguous work with many shades of gray that should leave Abercrombie’s growing legions of fans clamoring for more … the pace remains crisp throughout, with not a single dull moment between both covers.”

And finally Martin Lewis has some interesting things to say about it:

The Heroes is funny, exciting adventure fiction which is completely guilt free because the reader has nothing to feel guilty about, they have already faced it head on. Every witticism is barbed, ever exhilarating scene of martial prowess must be repaid by the reader with an emotional hangover. Blood, black humour and bile are Abercrombie’s bread and butter and it makes for a tasty dish.”

Meanwhile SF Writer Neal Asher has been taking a gander at The First Law, and I have to say it seems like he liked what he saw:

“Great characters I really cared about, pain that really hurt, the dirt blood and reality of battles in which people are hacking at each other with effing great meat cleavers … it’s been wonderful to discover that I still like fantasy, or rather, I like fantasy that’s done well. Nice one Mr Abercrombie.”

Nice one Mr. Asher…

Posted in interviews, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on March 23rd, 2011.

23 comments so far

  • Davieboy says:

    “Already a few thousand words into the next book…”.
    That’s my lad!

  • JonathanL says:

    Subscribe to Sword and Laser, so looking forward to that. Glad to see positive reviews still trickling out, and I’m always looking forward to more adventures in your world.

  • JonathanL says:

    Also, the AV Club’s one slam was clever dialogue that is anything but.

    I think your dialogue is fine. I think good dialogue is terribly hard to write, and yours holds up quite well.

  • Chris Upton says:

    Thought it was Martin Lewis the newsreader for a moment. Obviously that would be weird.

  • Thile says:

    Late chiming in on the western theme from the other day; but, reading The First Law trilogy I saw the influence of Josey Wales already with Logen Ninefingers. “Reckon so”
    Interested to see how it develops. Reminds me of the “Protagonist” from the old Warmhammer which we always dubbed Eastwood.

    Can’t wait for the next one. Disappointed in the US cover; liked the UK cover a lot more for the Heroes. (Didn’t check out the blog or website until after I had read that one)

    I also pictured Johnny Depp as Cosca in reading Best Served Cold – which has been my favourite of your works so far!

  • Elfy says:

    I managed to turn a workmate onto The First Law and from the glowing praise he had for what he’s read of The Blade Itself, I think you’ve got another fan, Joe.

  • ssgorik says:

    Hey Joe any chance we’ll be seeing that short you wrote for the Waterstones edition of The Heroes on your website or something?

  • Chris Upton says:

    Wonder if there will be a ‘Missouri boat ride’ cropping up at some point?

  • Lars says:

    Arrgh, whenever I think back to Jezal’s nasty accident with a shield in the First Law it feels like it was my face instead of his, so I completely agree with Mr. Asher that the pain did really hurt.
    However, I disagree with Thile’s comment above, about Johnny Depp being a Cosca, I actually imagined that Johnny Depp would make the perfect Glokta! I thought that Sacha Baron Cohen would make an awesome, Cosca, but to each their own 😛

  • Sedulo says:

    Well! “As if Tolkein wrote the battle of Helm’s Deep after staring at The Guernica for several hours”. That sounds so cool that I cannot possible top the praise.

    I really enjoyed The Heroes! Everything is going so well!

    Did you stare at any specific paintings? Rembrandt?

    The aging Errol Flynn would have made a great Cosca, it is really too bad that Flynn didn’t age for very long. I cannot think of a contemporary actor at the moment, but I agree with Lars that Depp would be a fine Glokta. Hmmm….what about Christoph Waltz as Bayaz?

  • Sedulo says:

    Tolkien and possibly. Oh my god it is full of typos.

  • Mark C says:

    Finished the Heroes the other week and I cannot say enough good things about it. The best character in there was the war itself. Vividly drawn and described. Ugly and exciting at the same time…

    Well, better people than me are saying better things about your new book, and its well deserved. Looking forward to the next one. Fantasy with spurs on… beats little elven bells!

    Mark C

  • Dungeonmum says:

    I have my (signed) copy sitting on the shelf still but have decided to get it on audible next month. I enjoyed listening to the trilogy and BSC immensely. This will mean I have still read none of your books!

  • JonathanL says:

    I saw Bayaz as Patrick Stewart 10 years ago. Has the voice, the gravitas, the authority… if only.

  • Dungeonmum says:

    Here’s my cast list:

    Bayaz – Anthony Hopkins
    Logen – Sly Stallone in his youth
    Jezal – Robert Pattinson
    Ardee – Michelle Ryan
    Glokta – a younger Malcolm McDowell
    West – Sean Bean in his Sharpe days
    Ferro – Naomie Harris
    Yulwei – Morgan Freeman

  • Eddwigg says:

    Just finished Heroes again and is it me or is there a Comic Strip presents classic line in there… much kudos if you can spot it. I will give you a clue .. A Fistful of Travellers’ Cheques..

  • Thile says:

    Never in a million years would I have seen Colonel Depp as Glotka. Hmmm. Pictured Depp as Cosca from his introduction in the First Law trilogy.

    I do like the idea as Patrick Stewart as Bayaz. Think he could still pull it off.

    Didn’t really have anyone else in mind but I’ve seen some other names show up here at times – Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo on Rome) as Logen for one.

  • JonathanL says:

    Sascha Baron Cohen as Cosca is a fantastic choice. Depp is a great actor, but I think Cosca should be taller, a little broader, than Depp is. A younger Depp would’ve made a great Benna Murcatto. Though Calder now makes me think of Robert Downey, Jr.

    I also saw Yulwei as kind of a Morgan Freeman.

    I think of Jackie Earle Haley as Shenkt. Because I didn’t see Rorschach as looking pretty much the part.

    Someone try to cast Bremer dan Gorst. Other than a young Russell Crowe I can’t think of anyone with close to the right body type.

  • Sedulo says:

    Bremer Dan Gorst could be Sam Worthington.

    Tim Roth could be Glokta. Maybe more Tim Roth circa 1995, but still…or maybe Calder…

  • Sedulo says:

    Or Tim Roth could be Dogman…ooooh he’s so versatile.

  • Martin says:

    Slightly off-topic, but George R.R. Martin has been listing his favourite science-fiction films:


  • Matej says:

    Yo… greetings from Slovenia. Now I noticed on this site that when Best Served Cold came out, everybody said it’s Abercrombie’s best book yet, and now everyone is saying the same for The Heroes. That’s so not true. I mean, of course he is the best writer but his best work is the trilogy, followed up by BSC, and then Heroes. First Law has better characters, better story and more surprises and jaw dropping moments.

    BSC is very closely behind, with Morveer and Friendly and Shivers and of course Cosca, with its awesome twists and just epic moments like the one Morveer kills Day.

    The Heroes is also great, but a bit too ‘north’ and i had a feeling sometimes that not much changes trough some pages. Besides, Glokta is not even mentioned 🙁

    I hope to see more of him, in next books. He still remains the best character ever (not just in Abercrombie’s books), even though he has some strong competition.

    This is all my opinion of course. Sorry for possible bad english, and everyone go find Slovenia on the map. Oh and I hope this isn’t the wrong topic to submit my post.


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