An interview with Joe Abercrombie

This week Josh interviews Joe Abercrombie, author of the highly acclaimed First Law trilogy. They talk about Joe's new book Red Country, darkness in modern fantasy, and what Joe is doing on tour in Australia.

Photo by Lou Abercrombie

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About Joe
Joe Abercrombie was born in Lancaster, England, on the last day of 1974. He was educated at the stiflingly all-boy Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where he spent much of his time playing computer games, rolling dice, and drawing maps of places that don't exist. He went on to Manchester University to study Psychology. The dice and the maps stopped, but the computer games continued. Having long dreamed of single-handedly redefining the fantasy genre, he started to write an epic trilogy based around the misadventures of thinking man's barbarian Logen Ninefingers. The result was pompous toss, and swiftly abandoned.

With heroic help and support from his family the first volume, The Blade Itself, was completed in 2004. Following a heart-breaking trail of rejection at the hands of several of Britain's foremost literary agencies, The First Law trilogy was snatched up by Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz in 2005 in a seven-figure deal (if you count the pence columns). A year later The Blade Itself was unleashed on an unsuspecting public. It now has publishers in thirteen countries. The sequels, Before They are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings were published in 2007 and 2008, when Joe was a finalist for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer. Best Served Cold, a standalone book set in the same world, was published in June 2009, and a second standalone, The Heroes, came in January 2011 and made no. 3 on the Sunday Times Hardcover Bestseller List. A third standalone, Red Country, is due in October 2012.

Joe now lives in Bath with his wife, Lou, his daughters Grace and Eve, and his son Teddy. He still occasionally edits concerts and music festivals for TV, but spends most of his time writing edgy yet humorous fantasy novels…

Music
The awesome music you'll hear at the beginning and end of this podcast is by musician and composer Bart Stoop, who you can find on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bartstoop and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/bartstoop1991

Our Joe Abercrombie reviews

Half a King

by Joe Abercrombie

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it al [...]

Series: Shattered Sea #1
Published: 2014

Score: 102

Our rating: 9.7 | 5 positive reader reviews

12+

Half the World

by Joe Abercrombie

Sometimes a girl is touched by mother war. Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named murderer by the very man wh [...]

Series: Shattered Sea #2
Published: 2015

Score: 99

Our rating: 9.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

The Blade Itself

by Joe Abercrombie

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body [...]

Series: The First Law: Book 1
Published: 2006

Score: 97

Our rating: 8.5 | 12 positive reader reviews

15+

A Little Hatred

by Joe Abercrombie

War. Politics. Revolution. The Age of Madness has arrived... The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep a [...]

Series: The Age of Madness: Book 1
Published: 2019

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Before They Are Hanged

by Joe Abercrombie

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is utterly unprep [...]

Series: The First Law: Book 2
Published: 2008

Score: 94

Our rating: 8.9 | 5 positive reader reviews

15+

Last Argument Of Kings

by Joe Abercrombie

The King of the Union lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is about to fall across [...]

Series: The First Law: Book 3
Published: 2008

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

Red Country

by Joe Abercrombie

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 s [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Half a War

by Joe Abercrombie

WORDS ARE WEAPONS. Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conq [...]

Series: Shattered Sea #3
Published: 2015

Score: 82

Our rating: 8.2 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Heroes

by Joe Abercrombie

They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Best Served Cold

by Joe Abercrombie

Monza is a cut throat heartless commander general of the Thousand Swords; a lethal group of mercenaries. That is until her gainful employer Grand Duke Orso decides to murde [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.2 | 3 positive reader reviews

15+

Sharp Ends

by Joe Abercrombie

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there's only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand d [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 70

Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+