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Author Profiles: Joe Abercrombie - Sci Fi & Fantasy

Author Name: Joe Abercrombie

Brief Biography:

Joe Abercrombie was born in Lancaster, England, on 31st December 1974. He attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where much of his time was spent playing computer games, rolling dice, and drawing maps of non-existent places (a sign of things to come!). He then studied Psychology at Manchester University, where his passion for computer games continued. He had a dream of creating a fantasy work with a difference, and from that was born the idea of an epic trilogy based on the adventures and mishaps of a thinking man’s barbarian, Logen Ninefingers. However, unhappy with the results at this point, the work was quickly abandoned.

Joe then found himself in London, living in squalor with two characterful men, and found work making tea for a pittance at a TV post-production company. He left two years later to become a freelance film editor, and has found success since working on an impressive array of documentaries, awards shows, music videos, and concerts for musicians ranging from Barry White to Coldplay.

Joe Abercrombie: Author, Sci Fi and Fantasy

However, this job gave him a great deal of time off, and Joe gradually realised that he needed to find something else to do other than playing computer games. In 2002 he resurrected Logan Ninefingers, and having learnt a lot since his attempt six years earlier this time the results were very promising. With a lot of help and support from his family the first volume, The Blade Itself, was completed in 2004. Having been rejected by several of Britain’s most well known literary agencies (who must be kicking themselves), The First Law trilogy was snatched up for a goodly sum by Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz in 2006. Books two and three, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of the Kings, were published in 2007 and 2008, and the trilogy is now published in thirteen countries. Best Served Cold, a standalone book set in the same world and starring an infamous female mercenary called Monzcarro Murcatto, was released in hardcover in July 2009.

Joe Abercrombie’s work has been described as ‘fantasy with the edges left on’. Fantasy containing the grit, cruelty, and humour of real life, where good and evil depend on where you stand. Dialogue that truly sounds like people talking, and action that truly feels like people fighting. Magic and adventure, yes, but with plenty of blood, sweat, and tears. Characters that are selfish, flawed, complicated, unpredictable, just as real people are. Fantasy than can shock and surprise, amuse and horrify, delight and excite. So if you like your fantasy with the edges left on try Joe Abercrombie.

Joe now lives in North London with his wife, Lou, and his daughter, Grace. He splits his time between film editing and writing.


The First Law Trilogy:
The Blade Itself, 2006, published by Gollancz (UK) and Pyr (US)
Before They Are Hanged, 2007, published by Gollancz (UK) and Pyr (US)
Last Argument of the Kings, 2008, published by Gollancz (UK) and Pyr (US)


Best Served Cold, 2009, published by Gollancz (UK) and Orbit (US)

Prizes and Awards:

2008 John W. Campbell Award (best new writer - finalist) for The First Law Trilogy

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