February 26th, 2008

Have YOU ever wondered what happens when six or seven sci-fi and fantasy authors are put in the same room with curry and beer paid for by a publisher?

Me neither.

But that’s precisely what’s happening tomorrow lunchtime (Wednesday 27th February), with a positive cornucopia of Gollancz authors in attendance. It’s going to be me, Tom Lloyd (Or Lloydy, as we affectionately know him), Rob Grant (Grantsy), Adam Roberts (Robertsy), Mark Chadbourn (Chadders), and Robert Rankin. At least three of those people write proper, honest-to-goodness amusing books, with gags and everything, so you can bet some pretty damn hilarious shit is going to go down.

Richard Morgan (Morgsy) couldn’t make it, alas, he’ll be watching whales.

So to recap – me, Lloydy, Grantsy, Robertsy, Chadders, and Robert Rankin, in a curry house, talking that high-brow jive that authors talk to each other. You know, where Nabokov went wrong, the shortcomings of the third-person limited, who do you like for the Nebulas, and not at all the SAME OLD RUBBISH that everyone else talks.

Who knows what hilarious larks and hijinks will ensue? Well, actually, if you’re in any way interested, YOU, JOE PUBLIC, can know, because apparently the whole thing is being filmed on VIDEO TAPE MACHINES. Not to embarrass the various horrified writers involved as they spill Madras down themselves, but actually for marketing purposes. Publishers, man. What will they think of next? More as I know it.

I believe that Editorial Director Simon Spanton (Spanty, as I affectionately call him) will have an exciting, though probably heavy, brown-paper package to give to me. Ooooooh. More on that mystery in due course.

Following that it’s off for coffee with my editor, Gillian (I dare not even pretend to have a nickname for her), who’s had the PROFOUND PRIVILEGE of reading the first 90,000 words of my latest book over the last week or two and has, in her own words, “a few vicious suggestions”. Always she wants more blood. More torture. More gore. “The readers want gore,” I can almost guarantee she’ll say. “Gore, gore, gore, torture, and gore. Less of this namby-pamby characterisation bollocks, and more torture. There’s only one hideously violent murder in the first chapter! Call yourself a writer?” In all seriousness, we need to come up with ideas for the cover. Something parchmenty, with blood? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Then, finally, on BBC4 at 9.00 pm (though repeated at 12.00, I believe). There’s the first episode of The Worlds of Fantasy, a TV series on Fantasy Literature for which I have been interviewed, would you believe. This episode focuses on the child hero, apparently – you know, stuff like Potter, Pullman, Pan’s Labyrinth. Doesn’t feature me at all. The next one (on worldbuilding) might feature some contributions from me, though, moodily lit in a strange old house on Wardour Street. Unless I’ve bitten the cutting room floor, and HARD (not unlikely). I’m a film editor myself, I know the game. That one (the one that might feature me) isn’t until the following week (Wednesday 5th March) at 9.00 and midnight. Anyway, the show’s been getting some good write-ups, and fantasy fiction gets precious little attention from the rest of the media, so I’m sure it’ll be well worth a look for readers of the genre even if I’m not involved…

Posted in news, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on February 26th, 2008.

21 comments so far

  • TK42ONE says:

    Actually I disagree completely. I think it should be “Gore, gore, torture, torture, and gore.”

    How I survive without Glotka is a miracle. Damn you Englanders for not exporting your books faster. Gah!

  • Elena says:

    I love that your bloodthirsty editor is a woman. Clearly her encouragement is not about what the people want but about what she wants. Whoever said women are less sadistic didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

  • Alex Bell says:

    So what affectionate nickname are you known by, Joe?

    Personally, I like Abercrumbles . . .

  • Alex Bell says:

    Or are you going to stick with Big Mac?

  • SQT says:

    Personally, I like Abercrumbles . . .

    Or Crumby for short.

    I just got my copy of “Before They are Hanged” today and I am psyched!

  • tk42one,
    Don’t worry, Glokta will get to everyone in due course…

    My bloodthirsty editor is indeed a woman. The same editor as Alex Bell’s, in fact.

    Alex Bell,

    I’ll look forward to seeing what you make of it.

  • Ady Hall says:

    And your editor (Spanty) is pimping the lot of you out by filming the whole process? Alarm bells are a-ringing, surely!

    And perhaps Richard Morgan (who’s moving into fantasy for his next bookywook, I think I’ve read somewhere) is planning to remove some of the serious competition and have you all, y’know, taken care of. (A curry is a fine meal to hide some unpleasant substances).

    Goodbye, Joe. At least ‘Best Served Cold’ will be saved!

    And – can we have a sweepstake for the first of the table to utter them immortal words ‘I could murder a curry . . .’

  • isis says:

    Well, sod being filmed while eating. That’s just inhumane.


    Caught the first episode last night. Not bad at all – even my husband managed to sit through it and he usually avoids anything involving the word fantasy like he’d avoid a subscription to MUTV.

    Bless Alan Garner for being completely non-PC about his HATRED of C S Lewis and Narnia.

    Also, I didn’t get what Phil Jupitus’s credentials were for being on the programme. :/

    Looking forward to the Mervyn Peake stuff next week.

  • Larry says:

    After reading all of your books to date, you sure Gillian isn’t saying “Porn, the readers want more porn?” Would make sense after reader reactions to that one sex scene… 😉

  • Ady,
    I survived the curry! I survived!

    Oh yeah, next week will be AMAZING

    Or maybe it’s “chords, the readers want more chords”? And Poison, man? really? I like to think of myself as more the Heart, or possibly the Europe of epic fantasy. Something with a lot of hair, anyway.

  • disrepdog says:

    Curry and beer for lunch doesn’t sound that appetising, but I’m glad you survived!

    So when do we get to see the vid, and will the out takes make it to youtube??? 😛

    I’m just getting to the end of Before they are hanged. I really really like Ferro, and West has just had *that* scene where he delivered some justice. Most excellent. Gore, torture poison or hairiness – Yikes!

  • taching up says:

    You could call us Joesy Public if you wanted – although that might be taking us into a rather different genre.

    I’d like to hear the definitive statement on third-person limited after you lot have imbibed a few pints or so.

  • Chadbourn says:

    You ate my special dhal.

  • Disrep,
    Curry and beer is pretty good for lunch, provided you don’t have to go back to work.

    Taching up,
    Shockingly, the third person limited never got mentioned. It was mostly just me bitching about maps.

    I’ll let y’all know when the edited version is posted.

    There’s nothing all that special about it.

  • John Meaney says:

    So Gillian the Redhanded aka Gillian the Bloody is someone you wouldn’t want to offend, huh?

    Luckily it’s Spanty who’s my editor?

  • I think it was very kind of Isis not to reveal the BwB’s nickname for Joe… 😉

    I remember asking Gillian’s opinion on Last Argument: “Irritatingly good.” I assume the level of carnage was well-received? After finishing it I felt like I’d just waded knee-deep through the results of an explosion in an abbatoir. It was great.

  • Anonymous says:


    There is little more irritating than having to admit to an author that his book is good. In this case, bloody and good . . . 🙂


  • John,
    Cheers for dropping by. No, you wouldn’t want to offend her. You certainly wouldn’t want to give her a dodgy manuscript. If you did, I’d do it at close quarters, though. Hand to hand I reckon you could get the better of her. At middle distance, with those archery skills, you’ve no chance.

    It sure is going to be hard to top that level of carnage. We’ll see what we can do, though.

    She’s here! Run for it! Run for it!

  • That’s it Joe, no more excuses now. Now your editor can see what you’re really up to whilst you’re supposed to be slavering over that tricky manuscript 😉

    Hi Gillian, hope you’re keeping that Abercrombie fella working hard!

  • Anonymous says:


    As Joe says, hand to hand you’re pretty safe. It’s the withering follow-up edit you’d have to watch out for. It’s lucky I’m pretty difficult to offend . . .

    Hi Adam 🙂

    Working hard or hardly working right? Since Abercrumbles (Alex I hope that sticks! 🙂 ) knows I’m on here too, though, I’m not sure I’d have a leg to stand on if I wanted to comment!


    I’m going, I promise – your blog is your own once more 🙂


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