British Fiction Focus

The Sharp Ends of Joe Abercrombie

Fresh from the accelerated success of his Shattered Sea series, Joe Abercrombie confirmed this morning that the dastardly masterplan he outlined in 2013 still stands.

With the recent release of Half a War, his HarperCollins Voyager holiday has come to a conclusion. As of now, Abercrombie has gone back to his old masters at Gollancz, and in order to plug “the gap a little before a new First Law world book comes out in very provisionally 2017”—as the author asserted in a relatively recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit—something called Sharp Ends is coming.

“A stunning hardback collection of superb short stories featuring best-loved characters from the world of The First Law,” Sharp Ends is certain to collect ‘Tough Times All Over,’ Abercrombie’s Locus Award winning contribution to the Rogues anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

Also as good as guaranteed to feature in the forthcoming collection, according to a blog post by the author called The Calm Before the Storm, we have ‘Some Desperado,’ the Shy South story from Dangerous Women; featuring Shev and Javre, ‘Skipping Town’ from Stories in Honour of David Gemmell; and three shorts originally written to fit into new editions of The First Law novels:

The Blade Itself one, ‘A Beautiful Bastard,’ is an episode from Glokta’s past, the Last Argument of Kings one, ‘Made a Monster,’ is an episode from Logen’s [and] the Before They are Hanged one, ‘Hell,’ gives a little insight into what happened when Dagoska fell to the Gurkish from the point of view of a young acolyte called Temple.

I’d also be very surprised if ‘The Fool Jobs’ from Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders’ Swords and Dark Magic didn’t make it into Sharp Ends.

The book is reputed to bring together a fair few new stories, too, including brand-new shorts devoted to Glokta, Jezal, Logen Ninefingers, Bethod and Monza Murcatto, per the press release.

Abercrombie himself had this to say about the announcement of Sharp Ends:

I’m very pleased that some widely scattered shorts are going to be brought together in one volume along with some new stories about old friends and enemies, filling in some blanks in the map of the First Law world and offering some different perspectives on key events. I hope readers will have as much fun revisiting some of these much-loved—and much-hated—characters as I have…

Sharps Ends will be published by Gollancz in Great Britain next April, day and date with its release on the 16th in the United States, out of Orbit.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He lives with about a bazillion books, his better half and a certain sleekit wee beastie in the central belt of bonnie Scotland.

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