Tag Archive: Joe Abercrombie


The First Law Graphic Novel

For the past few days Joe Abercrombie has been teasing fans on his blog with early drafts of artwork. It was obvious to most early on that these teases were pointing towards an comic adaptation of Joe’s first book The Blade Itself. Today the full announcement has been made via Joe’s blog.

http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2013/04/10/the-first-law-graphic-novel-2/

The First Law graphic novel will be available FREE to anyone who has an internet connection, the site is now live.

http://www.firstlawcomic.com/

And new pages will be added every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In addition to these freely available versions, you can also buy hard copies via Comixology – http://www.comixology.com/ – and there are also plans for hardback versions of collected series later.

This is great news, I’ve been a long time fan of Joe’s work and feel this only opens his work up to a whole new audience. And who knows, maybe if this is as successful as his prose then we may one day see a screen adaptation (you listening HBO?)

 

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red countryTitle: Red Country

Author: Joe Abercrombie

Publisher: Gollancz

Published: Out Now

RRP: £16.99 (Hardback) – £8.99 (Kindle)

They burned her home, they stole her brother and sister, but vengeance is following.

 Shy South hoped she’d buried her bloody past, but she’ll have to sharpen up her old ways to get her family back. She sets off in pursuit with a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step-father, Lamb, for company. But she learns along the way that Lamb buried a bloody past of his own, none bloodier, and out in the Far Country the past never stays buried for long.

 Their journey will take them across the barren plains to the frontier town from hell that is gripped by gold fever. Through feud, duel and massacre they must go, then high into the mountains for a confrontation Ghosts. But worse their journey will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple; two men no one should ever want to trust.

I’ve been following the progress of this sixth book set in the First Law universe with interest. I’m a late comer to the works of Joe Abercrombie, I only discovered him after he’d published the original trilogy, but since then he has fast become my favourite fantasy author. So it was with a tingle of excitement when I read on his blog that his next project after The Heroes would be the fantasy take on the classic Western. I grew up watching the genre, my Dad is a fan of John Wayne, and he instilled that same interest in me. From Bonanza to The High Chaparral, from True Grit to The Wild Bunch. Westerns were a big part of my non SF/F growing up.

Red Country is themed very much in that classic mould, with sweeping vistas, dangerous natives and lawless towns without a sheriff in sight. But it also draws from more modern takes on the genre, it is clear as soon as we reach the frontier town of Crease that the brilliant Deadwood was very much in Joe’s mind when he described it. With all the ingredients taken from the past few decades mixed together, the ingredients from the First Law world were delicately added, the outcome the best of both worlds, but with some minor glitches (more of them later).

Red Country is very much a swansong book. In a recent interview Joe has already hinted at his next project, another trilogy set in the First Law world, but set some fifteen to twenty years after the events of this book. So it should come as no surprise that one fan favourite character doesn’t survive this book and the other rides off into the sunset, with more an idea as to his fate than we were left with after he fell into a fast flowing river at the end of Last Argument of Kings. It feels that with this book Joe is drawing a line under the events and characters we’ve seen over the past six books, and laying the foundations for what is to come. The world of the First Law is moving on, unlike most other fantasy worlds there is a definite sense of progress, of time moving forward. Industrialisation is sweeping across the civilised world, the boundaries of the map are being pushed back on the unknown, but I feel that after six books of building his world and the forces at work within it that perhaps the unknown is about to push back.

That’s not to say this is a perfect book. I did find after reading it somewhat empty, I’d not felt like that since reading A Dance with Dragons last year. I think in my mind I’d built it up to such a height that when it came down to it that height wasn’t reached. I did enjoy it, it is still miles ahead of anything else on the market at the moment; but there was still something missing. I have no idea what it was; I have no answer to what is needed to set this book up alongside the pinnacle that is the original trilogy. But there are something’s that either didn’t work (for me) or could have been done differently.

The Ghosts for me were a missed opportunity. For the first third of the book we were led to believe these tribes of the plains were a big danger, they were uncompromising, vicious and could not be reasoned with. But when it came down to it they were little more than a desperate ragtag band, scavenging from the weak and unwary. And all it took to deal with them was for Lamb to kill their chief to make them fade away into the night. OK, I know the whole Ghost threat, when it came to the Fellowship, was a set up and the expected outcome was for the pioneers to pay out. But even so, I thought the son of the chief was going to break the deal that his father had made with Sweet and go native; alas he was never seen again.

The Dragon people, like the Ghosts, seemed to be all hype and little else. I appreciate the bulk of their strength was away dealing with the growing Shanka problem, but even so I was expecting more. And being honest I was hoping to see some Lamb/Shanka action which would have tied into the original trilogy.

But these were my only major quibbles. Joe Abercrombie has said himself that this book was the hardest of all the First Law books to write. I think some of those difficulties he experienced might be why there are some flaws with the finished product. That being said it is still a great read, and a great ending for two of the series stand out characters.

Gollancz and Joe Abercrombie have both posted on their respective sites an extract from Red Country, the sixth book set in the First Law universe.

http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/red-country/extract/

This extract looks to be from early on in the book – based on the blurb released – and depicts Shy and Lamb’s discovery of their burned out home. For the eagle eyed among you, there are some further hints to the identity of Lamb.

Red Country is released 18th October in the UK and 23rd October in the US.

 

Few bits of catch-up news and some of the things that interest me in the coming months…

 

Game Of  Thrones

HBO have signed a deal with UK based Blinkboxto stream S1 and 2 –http://www.blinkbox.com/TV/Series/1024/Game-of-Thrones?icn=GameOfThrones&ici=DHB_homepage – both are now available – £1.89 per episode or £17.99 for the series. Blinkbox are part of Tesco and looking through their site have quite a lot to offer. There is no monthly subscription, you pay-per-view.  As part of the deal with HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire and True Blood are also available. Whilst this is good news to non-Sky customers I do worry if it will have a knock on effect. If viewers can now what the show without signing up to Sky will it affect their viewing figures, and also with S2 now available to view 7 months before the proposed release date for the DVD/BluRay boxset, will this affect those sales as well?

Staying with GoT, Irish actor Ciaran Hinds has been cast as Mance Rayder.

 

Mance is the King-Beyond-The-Wall, he’s been mentioned numerous times during S1 & 2, and the last time we saw Jon Snow he was being taken to see him. Mance has amassed a Wildling army and is heading for the Wall.

Ciaran is a well known actor appearing in films such as Munich, John Carter, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. He’s probably most well known for his portrayal of Julius Ceaser in Rome.

 

Dredd 

The official trailer for Dredd was released a few weeks ago.

I’ve been a fan of Judge Dredd and 2000AD since the comic first came out in 1977, whilst I am looking forward to this film, I have some reservations. But those reservations are dwindling as the release date draws ever nearer and more information about what we can expect are made known.

 

Red Country

Publisher Gollancz have released a new trailer for Joe Abercrombie’s next book Red Country.

And a newish blurb.

They burned her home.

They stole her brother and sister.

But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own, and out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust. . .

The past never stays buried . . .

Red Country is out September 3rd in the UK.

 

Gypsys Kiss and more…

I mentioned a while ago that my current WIP – Gypsys Kiss – now has the first part completed and edited, I’m doing some research for parts 2 and 3 before continuing with the writing. In the mean time I’ve begun work on an as yet untitled project that I aim to have completed in time to submit for the Abaddon Books open submission month in September – http://abaddonbooks.blogspot.com/2012/07/write-for-abaddon.html – I’ve got about 3.1/2 chapters done (approx 9,000 words) and hope to have a first draft early in next month. This will hopefully give me time to re-read, edit and get it submitted.

I’ve also re-visited a 60 minute pilot script I started about 18 months ago (I had 20 minutes written and the rest notes). The aim on this one is to get it finished and an outline of the other six episodes in time for the next submission window for the BBC Writers Room in the Autumn.

Busy, busy, busy…

 

Over on his site Joe Abercrombie has posted about the planning that went into the map that will appear on the dust cover of his new novel Red Country.

http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2012/07/25/red-country-artwork-map/

I’m a great fan of maps, especially maps that are done well. This third map follows the trend already started with the map of Styria in Best Served Cold and the map of the area the battle took place in The Heroes.

Joe has commented on his blog in the past that he is not a big lover of maps, or the fantasy trend of world maps in general. He feels it restricts the author to write within the confines they’ve created by doing a map. He prefers to leave The First Law world up to the readers imagination, the edges of the map blurred so to speak.

Joe has posted the UK cover for his next book Red Country.

Carrying on the theme of maps and weapons used on the previous two books – Best Served Cold & The Heroes – this one shows the area the story is set in with some knives.

The wrap around gives you the full effect and the blurb…

They burned her home.

They stole her brother and sister.

But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing.  She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company.  But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own, and out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts.  Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust…”

Looking good and will sit nicely alongside the rest of the collection with the battered document style. And if further proof were needed as to who everyone assumes (hopes) the character “Lamb” is, then read the first line of Joe’s text where he quotes a familiar line.

 

 

Subterranean Press are releasing a limited edition of Joe Abercrombie’s first standalone novel Best Served Cold – http://www.subterraneanpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=abercrombie04&Category_Code=B&Product_Count=1 – and yesterday the cover art was released.

Surely a thing of beauty, featuring the central figure of Monza Murcatto – The Snake of Talins.

Springtime in Styria. And that means war.

There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

War may be hell, but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso’s employ, it’s a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular —a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto’s reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.

Her allies include Styria’s least reliable drunkard, Styria’s most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a barbarian who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that’s all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started…

Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

Subterranean Press plan to release the book in the Autumn.

There’s been a couple of updates on two on-going projects of interest over the past 24 hours.

First up (A) Red Country by Joe Abercrombie. The publication dates have only just been announced and now the American cover has been released.

This follows the theme already seen with the re-releases of The First Law trilogy and Best Served Cold. Not sure I’m overly keen on this style of cover, I much prefer the UK ‘damaged parchment’ style.

Next up, and thanks to Fantasy Faction – http://fantasy-faction.com/2012/a-red-country-release-date-teaser – we have a neat little teaser.

Very stylish, and for all you eagle-eyed types, did you spot anything missing on the bloody hands at 19secs in?

Tied in with the US cover (look at the hands) the worst guarded secret surrounding this new novel seems to be confirmed.

Next up Peter F Hamilton and his new novel Great North Road, thanks to The Wertzone – http://thewertzone.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/cover-art-and-blurb-for-peter-f.html – the cover art and blurb have been released.

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones – but none have been reported missing. And the crime’s most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed. Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never waivered under interrogation – claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra. Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency’s top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth’s economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra’s rainforests. Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it’s the alien, but her new colleagues aren’t so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra .

This is Peter’s first standalone in a long time, and his longest book since The Night’s Dawn trilogy. His next project is a return to the world of the Void but set on a different planet and with no plans to include any previous Commonwealth characters.

Great North Road is due for release September 27th in the UK & December 26th in the US.

 

Joe has posted the (hopefully) firm release dates for his new novel (A) Red Country over on his blog

http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2012/04/02/red-country-publication-dates/

UK – Thursday 18th October 2012

US – Tuesday 20th November 2012

There are links to Amazon so you can pre-order (already done mine).

 

Over on his blog Joe Abercrombie has posted about the ongoing editing process for his current work in progress (A) Red Country.

http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2012/03/30/first-words/

I like these informative insights into a writers methods, as one myself – albeit juts starting out – I find it incredibly interesting seeing how others manage their word counts. Looking at his cutting of chapter two its a marvel that he can get rid of 2,400 words – that’s a decent short story – and still have a chapter that works.

Looking forward to more posts like this, and more news on the progress of the book.