A great interview with Joe Abercrombie over on SF UK Book News. Even though it deals with the conclusion of The First Law trilogy, there's no spoilers for us US folks. My favorite bit:
UKSFBN: Throughout The First Law you've taken great and deliberate delight in subtly subverting established fantasy conventions. Given that you freely confessed, last time you talked to us, to doing this on purpose, will you also admit to having increased the satire levels in the final volume, or has the trope-bashing been kept to a minimum this time around?
Joe Abercrombie: "The trope-bashing is certainly still going, more than ever in a way, since the trilogy is a single story and it perhaps diverges further and further from what the reader expects as we draw near to the end. Epic fantasy is a genre full of clichés, so you can't really write in it without reacting to them yourself in some way – whether you embrace them, consciously reject them, or try to twist them to your own evil purposes.
"But, you know, for all the attempts to do something surprising and rework the formula and all that, I hope that what I've delivered first and foremost is a cracking fantasy tale. I'm aiming more for Unforgiven than for Blazing Saddles, if you like. A re-examination of the classic form, perhaps, a self-aware comment on it, perhaps, but also a solid example of the form. I'm not taking myself too seriously (despite appearances), but I'm not taking the piss either.
"Not too much, anyway."