Episode 63 of Speculate! — Joe Abercrombie Author Interview


Welcome to Episode 63 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we continue our triptych of shows on Joe Abercrombie‘s Red Country with an interview of the author himself, who confesses his early love for role playing games, his desire for something more out of his epic fantasy (specifically:  grit, emotional range and humor), and his investment in the world he’s built and in which he wants to remain.  Joe’s got a lot of interesting things to say about the usual parameters of epic fantasy, and this was a fun interview to conduct.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll conclude our triptych with a discussion of a few of the more notable writing techniques used in Red Country.  Until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!


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10 Responses to “Episode 63 of Speculate! — Joe Abercrombie Author Interview”

  1. Mace December 22, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Hey, regarding that cliché of the farmboy? Isn’t it by now a big of a stretch or even a cliché to name this? I honestly don’t know a SINGLE story with this premise. Maybe David Eddings, Ted Williams and Wheel of Time, though I don’t know them. Maybe you’d like to describe the setting of the Hobbits as well in those terms. But I’ve never seen it so clearcut or so prevalent.

    • Mace December 22, 2012 at 2:57 am #

      In the same vein, I don’t know what’s not clichéd about grim, gritty, humorous fantasy. It seems a kind of fringe style, where you don’t have to come up with any style at all and can even pass over some basic storytelling qualities to create some impact and a sort of “credibility”. It’s like a street language. Just saying. I would expect that people at least realize this posssibility with their critical attitude, I’m not saying it’s bad or uninteresting in principle.

    • Brad December 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      I think it’s a cliche for good reason, Mace. Books that jump to mind (in addition to the few you named) are Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara series, Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, Eddings’ Belgariad series, Feist’s Riftwar Saga, Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. More recent examples are Peter Brett’s Demon Cycle, John Brown’s Servant of a Dark God, Peter Orullian’s The Unremembered, Eldon Thompson’s Legend of Asahiel. And this list ignores non-traditional fantasy like Clark Kent/Superman and Neo from the Matrix.

  2. Robert Mammone December 29, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Great interview. With regards to 80s authors, I waited and waited to hear David Gemmell’s name, especially in relation to the rise of ‘gritty’ fantasy, with characters who weren’t lilly white or darkest black. Books like Legend and Waylander, in some ways anyway, led the way for that sort of fantasy, and yet Gemmell seems to be forgotten?

    • Brad January 2, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Good note, Robert. I have not had the pleasure of reading Gemmell’s work. He’s one of those authors that slipped past me.

      • Robert Mammone January 23, 2013 at 6:34 am #

        Brad, well worth tracking down his books, particularly his earlier works. Legend of course you have to read. But since I’m posting in a thread related to Red Country, of note would be the three Jon Shannow books by Gemmell – westerns with a supernatural twist. Well worth reading.

  3. Traci Loudin January 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Hey guys, I just recently discovered Speculate… I’ve only listened to ten episodes so far, but this morning I finished downloading every single episode. The triptychs are brilliant. What I appreciated about this particular episode was that Joe Abercrombie admitted he’s not brimming with ideas like other authors always say they are. I’m nearing completion of my second novel and have become more and more anxious because I don’t know what my next project will be. I think Nancy Kress also said something similar on the Adventures in Scifi Publishing interview a while back.

    By the way, I mentioned you on the Speculative Fiction Writers Community I host on Google+, so I hope you’ll get some new listeners from our group. I think what you’re doing with this podcast is very unique and of greater professional quality than most other genre podcasts. (By which I *don’t* mean that you’re published and they aren’t, but rather the sound quality, types of questions you ask, avoiding tangents, etc.) Keep up the awesome work!

    • Greg January 18, 2013 at 2:15 am #

      Thanks for the kind words, Traci, and for spreading the word about the show–we really appreciate it. As for the new projects, I’ve found that when one begins to produce more work, it often leads to new ideas for further work…so you may be fine in the end if you can just hang in there. Best of luck with your writing, and thanks again for tuning in!

    • Brad January 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks, Traci. It’s great to hear the triptych model is appreciated. We like doing them that way, and think it adds another layer that’s sometimes difficult to find in the great blogosphere. I thought that was a great admission by Joe as well. It made *me* feel ok for not having stories coming out of my ears.


  1. Sword and Laser | Joe Abercrombie - December 21, 2012

    […] Sword and Laser’s latest author profile is on that Joe Abercrombie fella, along with an interview via skype.  Ended up with a slightly ropey connection, so apologies for that.  Should you not be utterly sick of the sound of my voice by the end of it, you could listen to a longer and solely audio interview with me on Speculate! […]

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