John Hornor Jacobs - The Incorruptibles - Orion Publishing Group

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The Incorruptibles

By John Hornor Jacobs

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

On the edges of the Empire, life is hard - and men must be harder. Gritty fantasy perfect for fans of Abercrombie's RED COUNTRY or Mark Lawrence's PRINCE OF THORNS.

In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it - from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do.

In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire. When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together.

For Fisk and Shoe - two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other - their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky.

And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.

Biographical Notes

John Hornor Jacobs is the author of SOUTHERN GODS, shortlisted for the BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL, THIS DARK EARTH, from Simon & Schuster, and The Twelve-Fingered Boy series of young adult novels from Carolrhoda Labs. He lives with his family in the South of America, where he is also a musician and graphic artist. Visit him at

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780575123632
  • Publication date: 14 Aug 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Gollancz
5 * The Incorruptibles is a rare thing: a clever story and an action-packed one — SFX
One part ancient Rome, two parts wild west, one part Faust. A pinch of Tolkien, of Lovecraft, of Dante. This is strange alchemy, a recipe I've never seen before. I wish more books were as fresh and brave as this — Patrick Rothfuss
It's GUNSLINGER meets LORD OF THE RINGS. It is amazing." And "This book is legit amazing — CHUCK WENDIG
Fantasy needs writers who push the envelope, and Jacobs finds the edge and tears right through it. If you want original, you've picked up the right book — MYKE COLE
It's here that The Incorruptibles gets good. Great, I'd go so far as to say. Now that the stakes have been made plain, our heroes' real responsibilities revealed, and the overarching conflict at least alluded to, Jacobs' novel properly kicks off. What follows is grim and gripping, surprising and exciting, tense and tremendously well-told, too —
wildly innovative and highly readable story which, I think, should be nominated for quite a few awards next year. It is unlike anything else out there at the moment and I think many will be surprised by its unflinching ambition and often, beautifully poetic language — Upcoming 4 Me
8.5/10 Fast paced, action packed with its unusual mix of Westerns, daemons and Ancient Rome — Fantasy Book Review
This for me reminded me of the first time i read a Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie, that sense of WOW, this is fresh and new and exciting. That i need to read more from this author very soon — Pandemenion Books
This is an author with vision as we're slowly separated from our preconceptions — The Bookbag
The Incorruptibles is not the longest book in the world, but its relentless drive, its tight focus and its identifiable characters leaves you wanting more at the end, and it is more memorable as a result of its brevity. Definitely an author I'd revisit again — SFF World
The Incorruptibles is a great opener to a new series, you will learn a lot, some questions are answered but a lot more raised. I am already a big fan of this series and am looking forward to see just in which direction John Hornor Jacobs will take his story next — The Book Plank
A quick, interesting and original fantasy novel. Definitely recommended, I am eager to read more by this author, and certainly more in this world — Civilian Reader
4.5/5. An absorbing turn into secondary world fantasy that deserves a wide audience — SF Signal
In short, read 'The Incorruptibles'. Just do it. Once Hornor Jacobs lets the plot have its head, the book is a joy to behold — Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
This is definitely one of my favourite reads so far in 2014 — The Eloquent Page
The Incorruptibles blends coyboys, the Roman empire and high fantasy and not only get away with this unusual mix but pulls it off with such aplomp that you're left wondering why no one has attempted it before — The Financial Times

Infernal Machines

John Hornor Jacobs
John Hornor Jacobs

The world is burning. Rume is under attck. The Autumn Lords, rulers of the Tchinee empire, have had their true nature revealed. The Emperor descends into madness. And Fisk and Shoe - unlikely heroes, very likely mercenaries - must find their way to Fisk's wife and child, who he has never seen.There might be quite a lot in their way. A war, for one thing. But Livia is as determined as Fisk to be reunited. And Shoe may have a plan...


Foreign Devils

John Hornor Jacobs
John Hornor Jacobs

The world is on the brink of war. Fisk and Shoe - mercenaries, very much not wanting to get caught in the middle of a political whirlwind - must deliver a very important message, and find a very dangerous man. They have caught the eye of the powerful men of the world, and now the stakes are higher than they like.And the Emperor has decreed that Livia Cornelius, pregnant with Fisk's child, must travel to the far lands of the Autumn Lords on a diplomatic mission. It will mean crossing half the world, and facing new dangers. And in the end, she will uncover the shocking truth at the heart of the Autumn Lords' Empire.A truth which will make the petty politics of war and peace unimportant, and will change the world.

Allan Massie

Allan Massie is the author of seventeen highly praised novels, as well as non-fiction works on Muriel Spark, a study of twelve emperors of ancient Rome, a history of crime in 19th-century Edinburgh and the acclaimed Glasgow: Portraits of a City. Born in Singapore in 1938, he was brought up in Aberdeenshire and educated at Glenalmond School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the Booker Prize. He is also a journalist contributing to the Scottish and English press. He is married, has three children and lives in the Scottish Borders.

Anna Kendall

Anna Kendall is the YA pseudonym of SF author Nancy Kress, who has won multiple awards for her novels, novellas and short stories. She lives in Seattle.

Annie Sanders

Annie Sanders is two people. Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders are television and print journalists who have written an array of non-fiction books and novels together while managing to remain the best of friends. Both live in Stratford-Upon-Avon with their families.

Anthony Boucher

Born William Anthony Parker White in Oakland, California, Anthony Boucher (1911-1968) wrote both mystery and science fiction and was a highly regarded literary critic and editor. He also wrote scripts for radio, spoke numerous languages fluently, and was the first translator into English of Jorge Luis Borges. A founding member of the Mystery Writers of America, he was one of the first winners of an Edgar Award for his mystery reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle. He also wrote short stories for, among others, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Black Mask and Ed McBain's Mystery Book. His iconic status was cemented when, in 1970, Bouchercon (the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention) was set up in his honour.

Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn was born in California, but grew up all over the country, a bona fide Air Force Brat. She currently lives in Colorado with her miniature American Eskimo dog, Lily. She has a Masters degree in English Lit, loves to travel, and is known occasionally to pick up a rapier.

Cecelia Holland

Cecelia Holland was born in 1943 and is a well-known and acclaimed writer of historical fiction. Floating Worlds is her only SF novel.

Colin Greenland

Born in 1954 and educated at Oxford, Colin Greenland is the author of a number of acclaimed science fiction and fantasy novels, including the BSFA and ARTHUR. C. CLARKE AWARD-winning TAKE BACK PLENTY. He has contributed short stories to many anthologies and magazines as well as reviews of new fiction for the GUARDIAN, the INDEPENDENT, and many other publications. He has also had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Daniel Keyes

Daniel Keyes (1927-2014)Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Daniel Keyes worked as a merchant seaman, editor and university lecturer. He published four other novels, but Flowers for Algernon, originally a short story, for which he won the Hugo Award, later expanded into the Nebula Award-winning novel and adapted as an Oscar-winning film (Charly, 1968) remains his best-known work. Daniel Keyes had a masters degree in English and American literature and was a Professor of English and Creative writing. He died in 2014.

David I. Masson

David I. Masson (1915 - 2007) David Irvine Masson was born in Edinburgh from a distinguished family of academics and thinkers. Although his output was small and consisted entirely of short stories, he gained a reputation as a writer of vigorous experimental SF. All of his short science fiction is published in the collection 'The Caltraps of Time'. He died in Leeds in 2007.

David Moody

David Moody was born in 1970 and grew up in Birmingham on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction books and movies. He worked as a bank manager and as operations manager for a number of financial institutions before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and has spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER have been bought by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) and Mark Johnson (producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films). Moody lives in the Midlands with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon.

Frank Pope

Frank Pope is the Ocean Correspondent of The Times and presenter for the BBC. Previously he worked on underwater expeditions all over the world under the auspices of Oxford MARE (Maritime Archaeological Research and Excavation Unit), including the excavation of Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Agamemnon. He divides his time between London and Nairobi.Visit Frank Pope's website and follow him on Twitter at

Fritz Leiber

Fritz Leiber is considered one of science fiction's legends. Author of a prodigious number of stories and novels, many of which were made into films, he is best known as creator of the classic Lankhmar fantasy series. Fritz Leiber has won awards too numerous to count including the coveted Hugo and Nebula, and was honored as a lifetime Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in 1992.

Gentry Lee

Gentry Lee held a number of important posts in NASA's deep-space exploration programme, which made him an ideal writing partner for Arthur C. Clarke. He has also been a screenwriter on Carl Saga's COSMOS TV series. Lee co-wrote RAMA II, GARDEN OF RAMA and CRADLE with Arthur C. Clarke

George Turner

George Turner (1916-1997) George Reginald Turner was an Australian writer and critic, best known for the science fiction novels written in the later part of his career. His mainstream novel, The Cupboard Under the Stairs won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's highest literary honour. His best-known SF novel, The Drowning Towers, was published in the UK under the title The Sea and Summer, and won the second Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1988. George Turner was named as a Guest of Honour for the 1999 World Science Fiction Convention held in his home town of Melbourne, but died before the event.

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer and editor. He wrote the script for the hugely popular Star Trek episode, The City on the Edge of Forever, the Nebula Award-winning novella, A Boy and his Dog, and many acclaimed stories including 'Shatterday' and 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream'. His groundbreaking anthology Dangerous Visions was instrumental in defining the New Wave movement. Harlan Ellison lives in Los Angeles.

Hope Mirrlees

* #11 in the Millennium Fantasy Masterworks series, a library of the most original and influential fantasy ever written * One of the most influential and best-beloved adult faery tales of the century * Introduction by Neil Gaiman

Jack Finney

Born in 1911 the American author Jack Finney wrote numerous SF novels, thrillers and mysteries, several of which were adapted to film. He is best known as the author of The Body Snatchers, which became the hugely popular and influential film, The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. He was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987. A long time resident of Californa he died in 1995.