Updates, Extras, Extract, New York

September 3rd, 2010

It’s all good news!  Some overdue updates to the site over the last few days, which include an updated home page, a fully fledged information page for The Heroes, with space for all the glowing reviews which will no doubt appear over the next few months (ahem) and, some among you will no doubt be delighted to see, a considerable new extract.

I’ve tried something slightly different with this book.  I’ve already talked briefly about the six main characters, three on the Union side and three on the Northern, and the great majority of the book is narrated from one of their points of view.  But there are also some chapters in which the point of view switches rapidly between a whole range of minor characters – extras, if you will, some closely involved with the main players, some not.  The idea was to give a sense of the vastness of events, of the epic nature of the battlefield, to follow the development of the combat without losing touch with the individual experience, to look at the way small decisions, accidents and quirks of personality can ripple out to have profound consequences, and also to paint what are hopefully some quick and engaging portraits of lesser characters.  Probably easier to see what I mean in practice than to listen to me try and explain it…

Anyway, with these chapters my character run-through is finally complete.  I’m taking the opportunity before the copy edit comes back to actually read the book.  You know, just sit there and read it, like a reader would.  One gets so bogged down in the details that you lose any idea what it’s like to just … read it.  I’m still not sure I have any idea.  Perhaps if I read it in a few years…

In other news, it looks like I will be making my first professional visit to the US next month, attending the New York Comicon October 8-10.  I’ll probably also be doing a bookstore event in New York on the evening of the 7th.  Not sure exactly where I’ll be when at this point, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do, you can depend upon it…

Posted in appearances, news, progress by Joe Abercrombie on September 3rd, 2010.

26 comments so far

  • Ferro's Big Toe says:

    Adrenalin, rage and bowl loosening fear all of these got conveyed to me with a few deft words. Tactics certainly exist but we don’t get so bogged in them that we get detached from the participants in the battle. This is why you write some of the best battles I’ve ever read but I’m no authority.

    In the First Law, aside from Logen I didn’t really find the Northmen all that interesting but with the Fool’s Job and Shivers in Best Served Cold I’m finding them a lot more enjoyable. This book looks to continue that trend.

    Nice to see the Gurkish still up to their old tricks. Hopefully they get as large a role as they did in BSC because I quite enjoy reading about them.

  • ErikNL says:

    Awesome Joe 🙂 Interesting to hear about the PoV’s. Did you plan this in advance, or did you figure out something like it was needed while writing?

    (small note: the layout of the updated homepage is weird when viewed in Chrome)

  • Dav says:

    I like it. The way you follow the action from man to man based souly upon who kills who is thrilling, and quite morbidly comical at times. It’s an inspired way of capturing the confusion and bloody feel of a medieval fight – and quite wrenching. I liked Sergeant Gaunt, and I liked Lightsleep.

    I miss Marshal West, however. Black Dow would meet his match in him. May I ask if he’s dead or alive? I think it was implied that the poor bastard died, but one can dream.

  • Harvey Quinn says:

    I call it “Joe Abercrombie’s Chain of Death”. You should trademark it. Maybe even go on Dragons Den…

    Seriously, I love it.

  • Madman42 says:

    Outstanding work! You never fail to impress. Furthermore, I’m delighted to hear about new york! Perhaps a trip to the east coast this october should be considered…

    And I agree with Dav, I miss Furious West.

  • Tobi A says:

    Well that was bloody amazing, like I needed any more reason to get the book. I’m dying of anticipation here. Just one question though, who would you say would win in a one on one fight to the death?

    Gorst or one of the major northmen from the previous books? Say Shivers, Grim or Dogman? Cause I’m pretty sure the bloody nine or Black Dow would kill him, just wondering bout the rest of them.

  • Dav says:

    No, I don’t think Black Dow could beat him: his main advantage is the fact he’s a ruthless bastard, and he only beat The Bloody Nine because he had pretty much every possible advantage. Shivers, though? Maybe, definitely a good fight. Grim? No, and besides, he’s dead *tear*. Dogman was always portrayed as more of an archer.

    And let’s face it: Joe won’t bring Logen back. We’re all clamouring for it way too much, and a War would be the perfect place for him to reappear: it’s expected, and as such, it will not happen.

  • ogbebaba says:

    what a great extract I have never read anything like it. I loved it

    So how exactly do I go about getting the Enhanced Ebook will it be available for the Iphon?

  • Khaldun says:

    Fantastic extract Joe. I like the chain-of-death POV, and the ending with Bremer dan Gorst. I’m still looking forward to reading more abour Tunny and his horseless cavalry though!!! Can’t wait for the release!

  • Nick Sharps says:

    Nah, Ninefingers isn’t the man for the job. If you want to bring down Black Dow it would take His Majesty, Jezal dan Luthar.

    😛 Just kidding

  • Corndog says:

    I feel like I’m missing something, but I keep coming up one short on the POVs… Gorst, Finree, Tunny, Craw, Calder, and…? Someone please get me up to speed. Thanks!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Er … can’t remember exactly when I came up with it. Quite early in the planning process but, you know, chicken and egg.

    More on the enhanced ebook shortly…

    Beck, the young farmboy obsessed with tales of glory…

  • MIkeS says:

    Doing you know what you will be doing yet at NY Comic Con? I’m going this year so this is great news

  • Tobi A says:

    Dav, I was talking hypothetically. Okay maybe not Dogman but the other characters have always been shown as great fighters. Black Dow, Tul and Threetrees put up the most fight against the bloody nine according to the book.

    And Gorst is ridiculously trained and experienced, I’m just curious as to how the fights would play out.

    Mr. Abercrombie, feel like making a book that’s just fights? Just pit one character against another, dead or alive in different settings and lets see how the fight plays out. I think it’d be amazing, random but amazing.

  • Tyson says:

    I hope you get a chance to do a full book tour around the US one of these days.

  • Nisse says:

    amazing that not a single comment has mentioned that shivers is obviously back in the north.

    “The far side of his face was crossed by a giant scar, a bright ball of dead metal in his eye socket.”

    and i would guess we will soon have the gorst vs shivers what if question answered.

  • Nisse says:

    and TobiA, grim definitely put up the most fight against the bloody nine, he impaled him with a spear ffs!

  • Jason says:

    I think that the Pov changes suit your writing style perfectly. I have loved all of your books and feel that you write your novels the way Quentin Tarantino does his movies. He too likes to use the old film style of POV changing. Btw, Glotka is one of my favorite anti-heroes of all time, some stories from his younger years would rock. I can’t wait to read your new book.

  • Bryce says:

    Reminds me alittle of a short film,’Elephants’ I think, set in northern Island during the troubles. The film followed the same structure, watching various terrorists, killing then being killed.

    Hopefully there are some of the breakers of the first law involved, the evil servant in the siege, who was almost impossible to kill,was actually a terrifying concept.

    Really great extract, well done.

  • Susanne says:

    Brilliant. Just brilliant. Thanks for this, Joe.

    Is it wrong that I pictured the entire first section happening on Culloden Moor? (Although that battle went rather differently for the guys from the north, of course.)

    Nice to see Gorst in action. Hope there’s going to be lots more where that came from.

    And Nisse, I so hope you’re right! 😉

  • Madman42 says:


  • Sedulo says:

    Observant looting award goes to Scabna.

  • Wayne says:


  • Phil N says:

    Very enjoyable, love the bowmen at the end reminded me of the bit in Zulu where the soldiers hold of hordes of Zulu warriors with a firing line.

    Was that in your head when you wrote that bit Joe?

    First rank FIRE…reload
    Second rank FIRE…reload
    First rank FIRE…reload
    Second…..you get the picture.

  • Brad says:

    PLEASE make a Los Angeles appearance.

  • Michael says:

    Damn, have just booked my own holiday to New York and THEN checked your blog. As such, I have only just realised that by not arriving until the 10th I will be missing Comicon and, more importantly, any signing that you do.

    I guess I’ll just have to wait for you to come to Manchester again.

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