Today begins my deep, dark, dive into the mind of Joe Abercrombie. I touch on my interpretation of grimdark, what Abercrombie is trying to accomplish in The First Law Trilogy, and begin rereading the prologue.
Go check it out:
Welcome to the officially unofficial reread of Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, and, unless I do something horrifically offensive, eventually the entire First Law Trilogy.
If you’re not familiar with Joe Abercrombie I ought to cast you into Tartarus. However, due to the constraints unfairly placed on me by Tor.com’s legal team, I’ve elected to educate rather than banish to hell. Consider yourself warned.
[Read more after the jump. . .]
… Read the rest
It’s been a long time since I did an “If you liked” post. Since Joe Abercrombie is becoming the center of my blogging life for the foreseeable future, I figured I’d talk about him some more. One of the things that makes Abercrombie unique is that all of his books are written in a different style. The First Law Trilogy riffs on epic fantasy. Best Served Cold plays with the exploitation revenge thriller. The Heroes leans on war novel tropes. And Red Country dresses up in wild west garb.
Since I’m going to be writing the Abercrombie reread at Tor.com, and I presume many of my readers here have already read Abercrombie, I want to provide some Abercrombie inspired recommendations for those who’ve enjoyed his work. To make it more fun I’ve made a recommendation inspired by each of his works, and a fifth recommendation based on his entire catalog.
Enjoy!… Read the rest
Yes, that’s a really big picture of the title of Joe Abercrombie’s first book. I’m a pretty big proponent of his work, in case anyone wasn’t aware yet. I posted it in celebration of my first post at Tor.com which was published this morning. In it I review Abercrombie’s newest short story “Some Desperado”.
I had not really considered writing for Tor.com until recently when they let Jared Shurin from Pornokitsch in the door. Two things became apparent: (a) I couldn’t let Jared do something I wasn’t also doing and (b) I figured they’ll let anyone write for them. And here we are.
The story I’m reviewing today features Red Country protagonist Shy South and will appear in the George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois anthology, Dangerous Women. Perhaps more significant though, I’m announcing the OFFICIAL (unofficial) reread of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy which I will be writing for Tor.com.… Read the rest
Damien Walters of the Guardian did a list last week of genre novels that would/should appeal to mainstream readers. That’s cool, but such discussions always strike me as a little hat in hand to the mainstream reader asking, ‘please pay attention to us, won’t you?’ I think the reverse discussion might be a little more instructive, and certainly more interesting to my readers who already read the often maligned science fiction and fantasy.
Thusly. . .
#1) Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
You want an epic? This is an epic. I like to think of Titan as the non-fiction version of a KJ Parker novel. It’s a little dry, there’s not a lot of action, but damned if the subject matter isn’t compelling. Titan is all about how the richest man in America founded one of the most enduring entities in world history (Standard Oil).… Read the rest
Thoughts experiments are dangerous things. You know what’s even more dangerous? Thoughts of any kind from the mind of fantasy author Sam Sykes. Thought experiments. . . well, those are just frightening. Nevertheless, Sykes tweeted this gem:
I had to know more. What follows is Sykes’s proposed program of SamCon ’12. May God help us all.… Read the rest
He caught Handsome’s wrist just as he pulled his axe free, wrenched it up and with the other hand snatched the knife from his fancy belt and rammed it in his groin, dragging up the blade, ripping him wide open, blood spraying the pair of them.
And so goes Red Country. For those living under a rock, Joe Abercrombie is the best living fantasist. Notice, I didn’t qualify that by saying he’s the best living British fantasist, or the best living fantasist who doesn’t write A Song of Ice and Fire, or the best living fantasist who isn’t quite as good looking as China Mièville. I say this, not to trade in unnecessary superlative, but because I genuinely believe it. He’s subversive, creative, authentic, and all together, undeniably, modern.
His original trilogy, titled The First Law, was a fantasy enfilade — hard hitting, gruesome and completely unapologetic for a Nietzsche-esque worldview.… Read the rest