Pat's Fantasy Hotlist runs an interview with Joe Abercrombie today. Joe is the author of The Blade Itself, the first book in The First Law trilogy, published by Gollancz in the UK and forthcoming from Pyr September 2007.
I'm very excited by this book. First, it's one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time, and second, when it debuts in the US next fall, it will mark our first serious foray into epic fantasy. Yes, we've done some (I think) excellent fantasy already - more of it than people realize - with books like The Prodigal Troll and The Crooked Letter that I am very, VERY proud of. But those are fantasy plus, in this case fantasy plus wonderfully-realized Tarzan of the Apes pastiche and fantasy plus brilliant metaphysical quantum physics inspired afterworlds. They are tremendous books and you should read them right now if you haven't already (Go ahead; I'll wait) - just not what people think of when they speak of the post-Tolkien epic fantasy genre, the sure enough, dyed-in-the-wool fantasy of knights and wizards on a quest in an invented, secondary world. Which I've held off on publishing at Pyr until now, because, well, The Blade Itself is the first such work that came across my desk and knocked both my socks off at once. (I've had one or the other sock knocked off at a time before, but not both! Not both I tell you!) Because The Blade Itself is brilliant and subversive and imaginative and hysterical and dark, with great, great characters, none of which are entirely good or entirely bad, moments that make you ache and moments that are laugh out loud they are so funny without the book actually being a comedy. And I can't wait for you to see what I mean. (Of course, if you live in the US, I do urge you to wait. If you live in the UK, go right out and get the Gollancz edition right now, then come tell me what you thought.)
Meanwhile, check out Joe's interview, where he pontificates on such important concerns as:
"Characters, dialogue, humour, action. And the unfolding of the whole series will hopefully demonstrate that I can put a plot together in a tight spot as well (fingers crossed). The area for which I’ve garnered the most praise, however, is the nice feeling paper in which my books are bound. If you like nice feeling books, you can't go wrong with The Blade Itself."