Stories in Rogues – “Tough Times all Over” by Joe Abercrombie

So I’m reading Rogues and want to leave a little bit of my thoughts about each story here. Then, maybe put together a “go no-go” list, if people with limited time only want to read the gems. The first story in the anthology is called “Tough Times all Over” by Joe Abercrombie.

Let’s get this out of the way first: Abercrombie’s inclusion in this anthology might be the single biggest driving factor in me picking this one up. So, needless to say, I was pretty hyped to read his story and was thrilled to find it first in the line up!

Unfortunately, this is not Joe’s best work. At all. I want to hedge a little, because I love Abercrombie’s work. He’s an amazing new fantasy author, but this short story doesn’t do it for me. If you’re not super familiar with Abercrombie, then read it. You will like it. If you are familiar, you will find it sub par compared to his other works.

He uses a rapidly-changing POV technique–which he used in his excellent book Heroes to interesting effect–but it doesn’t work that well in a short form, imho. It’s pretty cool to visit Sipani, but overall, I think this was a relatively weak start for Rogues.