The Face of Black Dow and Other Stories

January 8th, 2008

Ooooh, look what I found while messing about on the internet when I should have been writing in direct breach of my new year’s resolution. Entirely independently of me, I might say, a computer artist by the name of Chris Archer has posted some 3d character sketches of Black Dow over on a graphics forum . If you’re reading, Chris, hope you don’t mind me reproducing them here. I should point out it’s supposedly a work in progress, but I reckon it’s a bloody good one, and not a million miles from my own impression either. Here’s some of the earlier models, before Dow grew his hair and lost his ear:

Cool no? Kind of spooky to gaze upon the face of your own creation, or at least someone else’s idea of it. Perhaps this is how Tyrell felt when the replicants turned up at his apartment in Blade Runner … but less scared. It’s always a kick to see someone else pick up your ideas and run with them. Particularly when they do something nice, of course. Anyone does anything crap, they’ll hear from my lawyers. I’m joking. Or am I?

In other news, there’s a review of Last Argument of Kings over at most excellent site Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. Among other things, he said this:

“Joe delivers his normal dose of intrigue, action and black humour but ramps it all up a gear and smacks you in the gut with some stuff that I guarantee you will not see coming. And then (while you’re gasping for breath) he does it all over again, rendering some of the most powerful battles I’ve seen in fantasy literature almost pointless with the revelations that follow … ‘Last Argument of Kings’ will be one of the best fantasy books (if not the best) that you read this year.”

Not satisfied with the Wertzone’s insult of 4.5 stars, nor even Sandstorm Review’s slap in the face of 9.5/10, Graeme has made me his enemy for life by awarding 9.75/10. Like a beautiful woman without a nose, one’s eyes are inevitably drawn to that one small thing missing. He’s promised me an extra quarter on the next book of mine he reviews though, so I am somewhat mollified. Won’t stop me leaving him with three quarters of his head should I meet him at another publishing function, however…

And finally … you all know how I ABSOLUTELY HATE self-promotion, but I note in passing that nominations for the 2008 Hugo awards have opened. I note also (again without any personal feeling) that, since The Blade Itself was published in 2006, I am eligible for the second year running for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, having narrowly missed out on a nomination last year on account of no-one outside my own family having ever heard of me. It would appear that, regrettably, Patrick Rothfuss isn’t elligible because of some short fiction published way back when (Yes! Yes! Fist Pump!). Scott Lynch is still a possible however (Boo! Boo! Curses!), so I’m sure I have about as much chance of winning as I do of seeing the Queen’s tits. A nomination would make my American Editor very happy, though, and he deserves it, so for Mr. Lou Anders sake if no-one else’s, anyone with a membership of the 66th Worldcon in Denver might want to consider voting for Joe Abercrombie. Sorry, did I not say that loud enough? JOE ABERCROMBIE.

Transmission ends.

Posted in news, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on January 8th, 2008.

14 comments so far

  • Elena says:

    I’m halfway through Blade & I’ve decided it’s the next book all my fantasy-reading friends are getting next birthday or xmas, whichever comes first (this year it was Locke Lamora, and you can thank amazon for putting an “if you like this book try joe abercrombie” tag on it…see, he did you one favor at least :). Also, my husband’s best friend is named joe abercrombie and I can’t look at the book without laughing. not just the coincidence but becaue our joe is the funniest guy i know. it must be the name. just wanted to say thanks for the awesome reading, and i hope you can rock it like mick jagger, now you’re a tired old hack.

  • moonwitch says:

    That’s one mean looking Mother F*****! and very much how I imagined him too.

    Would certainly want him on my side in a game of soldiers.

    Let us know if she or anyone attempts some of the other characters. I would love to see a visual impression of Glokta or would I…………hmmmmmm

  • Elena,
    What do you know? I had no idea there was more than one hilarious Joe Abercrombie in the world.

    I’ll keep you updated if I see anything else, don’t worry about that…

  • I may regret doing this but:

    Because I know how much you hate hearing about how great you are, Joe 😉

  • Bob Lock says:

    That link didn’t work for me, Adam, is it this what you are talking about?

    Hugo’s There?

    If so, you realise he won’t be able to get his flipping head to fit on my monitor now don’t you? I’ll have to upgrade to a bigger one….

  • isis says:

    We might vote for you if you come to Denver.

  • Bob,
    There’s never a bad time to, or a bad reason for, getting a bigger monitor.

    Don’t give me that. I know you’ll all be voting for Lynch as soon as my back’s turned.

  • Nah, it’ll be done in front of you 🙂

  • Robin says:

    Actually, that’s more like I pictured Logen, … it’s not quite that far from my own drawing of the Bloody-Nine…

  • Tryos says:

    Ha!, you dared to picture the Bloody nine?, to put a very face on death! itself!……..anyways(yeah I get carried away)… would look more like black Dow if he had evil smirk and smelled filthy too(I know thats impossible)…..the model just looks too normal for my money……he looks more like the koethe from windkiller, sorry king killer chronicler somethingler.

    Thanks for Heroes Joe , it really was awesome, I mean I love scott lycnh too but Joe certainly gives out more books in his series than lynch(or a lot of other pompous big headed screen busting authors out there, Oh Georg. ….!… which for me is Big Big plus! You Rock man!.

    Hope you get this,

    Scans the corridor for dire wolves!

  • Noah Sichel says:

    Im about 200 pages into ‘the Heroes’ and might i say that it is by far my most favorite fantasy novel. I Don’t read many books, but by god this one has kept me reading for a couple of days. I love all the development of characters, and the fact that as you read new history presents itself, but Joe makes it seem so legitimate that i don’t question a single aspect of this fantastic universe. I had to look up Black Dow, because I love the character and the concept behind him. Being 14, the beginning was a little over my head, with the politics and what not. but once again, great development and the character portrayed above is close to what i had initially thought of. I only wonder (because i have no prior knowledge) if the other books tie into each other, as in involve the same characters, the same universe and what not. but so far its a Great read and I’m happy to have a better understanding of the Face of the renowned ‘Black Dow’

  • Brigitte says:

    I loved Heros soooooo much. A few days after reading it I realized that I am deeply in love with Black Dow!!!!

  • Tom says:

    I’ve always imagined Black Dow to look a bit like Thorin Oakenshield.

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