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Justin Landon

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Leadership” and “A Rock and a Hard Place”

It looks like I grossly misread something in last week’s chapters. I find this as hard to believe as you do, but it appears it’s true. In “Greater Good”, I believed that Farrad, a dentist from Kanta, was the man who removed Glokta’s teeth during his Gurkish torture. This is incorrect. The text, although not as clearly as it might have, indicates that Farrad consulted on Glokta’s dental issues after returning to Adua. It changes the scene somewhat, I think. Credit to “Hogsta” who pointed out my error in the comments last week.

Now that I’m done admitting fallibility, on to this week’s reread.

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Greater Good” and “Skarling’s Chair”

Hi. Remember me? It’s been two months since my last post. There’s reasons for that, most of which I won’t go into except to say two straight years of writing about Joe Abercrombie every week is harder than it looks. Not that there’s any shortage of things to say, of course, but two years of writing on a subject is the equivalent of running a marathon. I needed to take a knee for a few weeks to replenish my batteries. Apologies to my (er… Abercrombie’s?) fans.

During my hibernation, there’s been some significant Abercrombie news. First, his new book Half a War came out. I reviewed it. Let me tell you something, there’s nothing “not Abercrombie” about this new series. It’s just as dynamic and gut wrenching and authentic as any of his previous work. Combine that with a slightly different aesthetic and you’ve got one of the finest epic fantasy series I’ve read. Again. Check it out. [Read more]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rocket Talk Episode 62: David Liss

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! This week’s episode features first time science fiction and middle grade author, David Liss. Justin asks Liss about what led him to write middle grade science fiction after a decade of publishing historical fiction, before discussing the differences between children’s literature and adult fiction. Ultimately, the conversation concludes with what makes his new novel, Randoms, such a delight.

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 61: Ken from Neth Space and Growing as a Person Through Blogging

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! In this week’s podcast episode, Justin’s originally scheduled guests got bumped due his daughter breaking her arm. Thankfully, the day is saved by a last minute guest, Ken of the genre blog Neth Space. Justin conducts a short interview with Ken about his long standing blog and the state of the blogging world, before the pair jump into answering questions submitted via Twitter.

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Half an Adult: Joe Abercrombie’s Half a War

Joe Abercrombie returns to the Shattered Sea series with the final volume—Half a War. Like previous volumes, Half a King and Half the World, the novel follows characters on the cusp of adulthood, learning to bear responsibility in situations that would destroy the emotional well being of even the staunchest veterans.

Half a War not only continues on in the footsteps of its predecessors, but fulfills all the series’ promises in a way that rends the soul as compulsively as anything Abercrombie has written to date.

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Rocket Talk Episode 60: Sam Sykes and Tiffany Reisz

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! In this week’s podcast episode, Justin is visited by regular guest, Sam Sykes and first time guest, Tiffany Reisz. The trio discuss sex scenes, including a live reading of one of Joe Abercrombie’s sexual liaisons in his novel, Best Served Cold. Their conversation moves on to discuss why sex scenes can be rejected in some types of fiction and embraced in others.

Note: This episode of Rocket Talk contains explicit language.

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Authority” and “The Circle”

Welcome back to the reread of the First Law Trilogy. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, fight fans: Fenris the Feared and the Bloody-nine go toe to toe this week. Two men enter the Circle; one man leaves. If you’re not excited for this, I question your aptitude as a fan of Joe Abercrombie.

There’s also another kind of fight—one that makes me deeply uncomfortable as a reader.

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rocket Talk Episode 57: Linda Nagata and Marko Kloos

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! In this week’s podcast episode, Justin invites military science fiction authors Linda Nagata and Marko Kloos to the show. The conversation talks about their shared, non-traditional roads to publication, military science fiction as a genre, and some of the mysteries of fiction writing.

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “The Number of the Dead” and “Leaves on the Water”

So begins the end of the First Law Trilogy, Part II of the Last Argument of Kings. I’m doing the reread on my Kindle Voyage (which by the way is a tremendous reading device light years beyond the early generation stuff) and it still says we’ve got 50% left, which hardly seems possible.

Logen is about to fight the Feared and Ferro is out killing the Gurkish. Surely this book is almost over? It seems my memory of the “conclusion” of the trilogy is actually not at all. This is great news! Many more weeks of rereading! Huzzah!

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Sweet Victory” and “Rude Awakenings”

This week marks the end of Part I of Last Argument of Kings. Each part of Abercrombie’s books begin with a pithy quote, and this part began with Paul Gauguin’s: “Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” Thus, it would seem, that Part I is about how crappy life is and how our characters might want to take revenge on fate for making things so shitty. Pretty accurate summary I’d say.

All of our characters have seen a down hill trend in their life. Logen has become the Bloody-Nine in truth once more. Jezal is trapped in a loveless marriage. Glokta is being squeezed between two powerful factions. Perhaps Collem West has seen an improvement, but really he’s just been asked to take on a responsibility he isn’t ready for. Will Part  II give them the revenge on life they desire? It remains to be seen. In the meantime, let’s finish up Part I with this week’s chapters.

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rocket Talk Episode 55: Aidan Moher

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk Podcast! This week, Justin invites blogger and author Aidan Moher on to discuss his new self-published book, Tide of Shadows and Other Stories. The two discuss the state of self-publishing and why Moher chose that route. Afterward, they have a frank discussion about the state of blogging and a few books coming out later this year.

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “The Seventh Day” and “Too Many Masters”

Abercrombie rereaders, thank you for your patience. I’ve been traveling for work the last few weeks and trying to get these written has been a challenge. I have a particularly hard time writing while in a hotel room. I find them to be one of the Circles of Hell. And I’m like Brother Longfoot. You can’t shut me up when I’m comfortable, but torture me a little and I’m a gibbering mess!

Anyway, the first chapter this week is terribly sad as we lose one of the few characters who seems to have a heart. The second chapter we watch Glokta squirm under the thumb of Valint in Balk. Unfortunately, we’re no closer to finding out what the hell the bank is all about.

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “The Fourth Day” and “The Perfect Couple”

As you may have noticed, the reread went on a brief two week hiatus. Apologies! Things got a little crazy for me professionally and I simply couldn’t keep up. The good news is that we’re back now, and hopefully won’ t be rudely interrupted again as we race to the finish like in Last Argument of Kings and the entire First Law Trilogy.

Some long awaited events happen in today’s chapters. Well, one happens and the other almost happens, promising that it surely will in the coming days. For the former, Jezal gets married. For the second, Logen feels the Bloody Nine creeping up behind him. As it turns out, Jezal should dread the coming of his wife as much as Logen dreads the overpowering need to kill. Comforting, right?

[On to the chapters…]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rocket Talk Episode 53: Renee Williams and Shaun Duke

In this week’s podcast episode, Justin talks with Renee Williams and Shaun Duke, editors of Speculative Fiction 2014. Available now from Book Smugglers Publishing, SpecFic ’14 is a survey of the years best online reviews, essays, and commentary. The conversation covers the contents of the anthology, the year’s themes, and the mechanics of identifying what makes a piece of non-fiction “the best.”

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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast