GoH: Joe Abercrombie


Joe Abercrombie is a British writer, an author of «The First Law», a well-known dark fantasy trilogy that was followed by 3 more novels set in the same universe. Abercrombie’s books have been translated to many European languages, including German, Spanish, French, Czech, Swedish, Dutch, and Russian.

Joe was born on December 31st, 1974 in Lancaster (United Kingdom). He got his education in Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where he spent most of his time «playing computer games, throwing dice, and drawing maps of non-existent locations». Next he’s entered the University of Manchester to study psychology. After that he worked on TV, and later became a freelance movie editor. He cut several documentaries, award ceremonies and concerts, and also clips for Barry White, Coldplay, and The Killers (a list of TV series where Joe worked can be found on his IMDb page).

In 2002 Joe’s started serious work on his first book, the The Blade Itself novel. In 2004 he’d finished it and then spent 2 more years to find a publisher and print the book. Joe’s acquaintance with Gillian Redfearn from Gollancz has resulted in 3 consecutive contracts to publish 9 novels.

In 2007 — 2008 Joe’d finished the trilogy that began with The Blade Itself by publishing Before They Are Hanged and The Last Argument of Kings.

Next he’s published Best Served Cold (2009), The Heroes (2011) and Red Country (2012), that are three independent novels to follow up on the story of the Circle of the World universe. One should separately note Red Country that Joe positions as a fantasy western. In 2010 the The Fool Jobs story was printed in Swords & Dark Magic, a Lou Anders Jonathan Strahan’s anthology, together with works by such maitres as Robert Silverberg, Gene Wolf, Tanith Lee, and Glen Cook.

Among the extra-genre inspirations Abercrombie specifically mentions James Ellroy’s police trillers, Arthur trilogy by Bernard Cornwell, and also the TV series that were popular as of lately: The Sopranos, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and Deadwood.

Joe currently lives in Bath, Somerset, with his wife Lou, two daughters and a son.

For two consecutive years he’s been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award. Also, his novels have been named «the book of the year» twice by the readers of the popular SFF World portal.

Joe’s next books were nominated for The August Derleth Fantasy Award, British fantasy award and The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy (DGLA).

He also has another trilogy in his plans, that isn’t related to The Circle of the World, and it’ll be called Half Trilogy. Its first novel, Half a King, will be published in 2014 and introduce the readers to an alternative history world going through its Dark Ages. Joe also plans to write for the Dangerous Women anthology edited by George R. R. Martin, and a book of short stories to complement «The Circle of the World» novels.

All Joe Abercrombie’s books have been translated to Russian, but The Heroes and Red Country weren’t published yet. They are expected to be published by EKSMO this autumn.

Joe Abercrombie’s homepage


Photo by Lou Abercrombie