Author, editor and blogger Jeff Vandermeer offers a round-robin interview of four new faces in fantasy on the Amazon Editor's Blog, Omnivoracious. In Heroic Fantasy Part I, he talks with our own Joe Abercrombie, author of The Blade Itself,as well as new writers Karen Miller, Brian Ruckley, and Brandon Sanderson. Additional interview material, which didn't make it into the Amazon Blog, is available on Jeff's website, Ecstatic Days.
Joe says: "I try to write fantasy...with all the grit, and cruelty, and humour of real life, where good and evil are a matter of where you stand, just like in the real world."
Update 10/26/07: Jeff informs me that Heroic Fantasy Part II is now online. Here is Joe Abercrombie on his literary influences: "Off the top of my head and trying not to get too pretentious--Charles Dickens (for weird and wonderful characters and dialogue), Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (for how people really behave under pressure), James Ellroy (for shocks and surprises in both plot and character), Philip Larkin (for fearlessness, brevity, and withering cynicism). Okay, so that was pretty pretentious, but hey, I'd stick J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, and George RR Martin in there with 'em. That's quite a dinner party, thinking about it. Then a lot of writers of history as well--let's pick out Shelby Foote for his Narrative History of the Civil War. But I'm a film editor by trade, and so I tend to find a lot of inspiration in film and television as well--everything from Manga, to Westerns, to Film Noir, to Cop Shows."