From Steven Erikson -- With gratitude to you all


Speaking of Erikson, I can't believe it took me close to a month to find out about this on malazanempire.com:

Hello all.

In a response I just posted on the Life As A Human site (not in the last installment, the one before that, I think, the one with 30-odd comments), I described my feeling as if I have staggered out from under an enormous burden. And it was last week, on my facebook page, when I announced the closure of an adventure that has spanned almost thirty years of my life, from those wild ambitions of youth – all that manic gaming with Cam where we forged an entire world from our imaginations and from all that inspired us from the literary genre of Fantasy – to this ageing man stumbling free, finally, not yet ready to look back, not yet capable of making sense of all this, and it may be that I never will.

I look out the window on my left now, onto the High Street of Falmouth, watching the crowds moving back and forth, and it was while seated on this leather sofa about a week ago that I wrote the last line of The Crippled God, saying goodbye to the most extensive story I will ever tell. I’ve since joked that my next project is a twenty-four volume saga set in the same world, chronicling the life of a character from birth to seven years of age, whereupon said character is jailed for being a career criminal. Called The Malazan Book of the Felon. Flippancy can be a useful defense mechanism, for a while, but eventually the silence returns.

On the speakers here in Mango Tango, Dylan asks ‘How does it feel?’ and that acerbic tone invites derision, in my case self-directed, as if a voice inside wants to say ‘big deal. Besides, mate, the best is now behind you.’ And I’m reminded of the last poem in the book, which invites something very different, as if to answer my self-doubts with a caustic regard for the willfully blind. What do I mean with all that? Wait and see. As for me, the willful blindness persists, and I see nothing ahead and nothing behind. I’m empty, and it feels all right.

I often remind myself that The Malazan Book of the Fallen will never challenge the bestsellers within the genre; will never achieve the broad appeal of, say, The Lord of the Rings, or even The Wheel of Time. But still, I feel an immense gratitude for the readers I have found – for you who participate on this site and for all the lurkers staying in the shadows. We have been in conversation for some time now, you and me, sharing an investment in time and energy; and while I have been the one in the know when you have speculated and wondered, the time is coming when the roles will reverse – when I am the one who can only look on, not knowing what is coming next, as you (hopefully) continue to explore the series, with all the authority that only fans can achieve.

So, I have already begun my wait. To see what you think. What you feel. To see all that you take from these books, and to see what you will make of them. Forgive me if I stay in the shadows. But this is now yours, not mine. And that is as it should be.

With gratitude,

Steven Erikson

You can read the entire thread here. . .

And it is only fitting to post the original cover art for Gardens of the Moon to accompany these words from the author. It was this beautiful painting by Chris Moore which prompted me to pick up the novel. Okay, so I then let both Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates sit there for a couple of years, but I did wise up in the end. . .

Better late than never, as they say! ;-)

If like many, you have yet to give The Malazan Book of the Fallen a shot, I suggest you do so ASAP, if only to find out for yourself what the buzz is all about!

- Gardens of the Moon (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Deadhouse Gates (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Memories of Ice (Canada, USA, Europe)
- House of Chains (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Midnight Tides (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Bonehunters (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Reaper's Gale (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Toll the Hounds (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Dust of Dreams (Canada, USA, Europe)

21 commentaires:

tomas said...

Nice. I like the books, but I hate that there are going to be quite a few loose ends which will hopefully be tied up in the Esslemont books.

Todd said...

Wow, I had not seen this either. I'm just reading GotM right now for the first time (following TOR's reread) and it is fantastic!

If the common opinion is that Gardens is a weaker, messy, confusing book (and I'm loving every word so far), then I suspect I'm in for a treat when I read book 2, 3, 4, etc...

James said...

I have SFBC HC's of books 1 - 9, unread and awaiting the 10th book of the series, before I start them. That way, if it's as good as I've been told, there'll be no impatient waiting in my future. Once I start, I'll be all set. :)

Shawn said...

I think he doesn't give himself enough credit in regards to his legacy--sure, nobody is going to beat Tolkien (mostly because of the weight of history), but I can't think of a single person I've ever met who's read both the Wheel of Time and Malazan who thinks that WoT is the better series.

In terms of huge, epic, doorstop fantasy, I'd put Tolkien first as the pioneer, then I'd have Erikson firmly slotted in at #2. I leave #3 blank, in the hopes that Martin finishes his series, then I'll let him and Erikson duke it out.

Zain said...

Excellent series. I just picked it up earlier this year (Currently on Memories of Ice). Probably one of the most complex and unforgiving series. It really takes some effort to get into, but is worth it in the end. I had to force myself to continue it, and now I'm loving it.

Josh said...

Well this is ironic. I was laying in bed last night wondering what I should read next, and this very series was my decision, simply based on things I've read here about it. I hadn't heard it recommended anywhere else actually.

It really is about time I fell into a new sprawling series, and this looks to fit the bill nicely.

Anonymous said...

This man, for a fan like me almost inhumanly perfect, is so far ahead of other writers when it comes to the relationship with his fans and the quality of his writing. He knows how to treat us fans with respect and this respect is returned. He never let us down.

Every single volume of his series is a treasure of adventure, world building, joy, tragedy, mystery, secrets, love, war, peace, great characters (I still don't get it why his characterizations schould be weak? In my eyes his characters - even if there are 100s of them - stick to me even years after reading). Also, what I love most, the magical system is so special and sounds real in this world. I never had this clear vision in any series. Never. What comes closest is GRRMs ASOIaF but as soon as it comes to magical stuff it sounds a little bit ridiculous, not fitting, not needed. Even more in Harry Potter. The childish imagination of magicking with a stick and a spell. "Abracadabra! Now You're a frog!". Not so in the Malazan world - what an idea, what great mental abilities those two authors must have. This is what hooked my from GotM. Even if it took me a while to process all the informations how this system works.

There are some other authors who could really take a few lessons by Mr. Erikson how to write something special and unique and in just a few years without forgetting fans. 10 years of writing, 30 years together with planning and preparation. That is why his series will never be lost. If there is a TOP10 of fantasy series, TMBotF is in the TOP3 and will stay there.

Thx, Mr. Erikson, thx. I should not forget ICE and thank him too.

Colin said...

For me its the best thing out there. Storm of Swords is the best fantasy book I've read, but Erikson has the best series. Hands down.

James, I'd start on those SFBC hardbacks now. Even if you start this minute you wont be done when book ten hits the shelves.

Aaron said...

So I've got a problem!

Based on your recommendation, I read The Dervish House and just finished it a couple days ago. I was just going to read something until The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson comes out on Tuesday.

You made your post about the best SFF characters and a lot of Malazan characters were on the list and I have Gardens of the Moon on my Kindle so I thought I'd pick it up.

Needless to say so far it is terrific and now I need to make up my mind.

Do I put it down and wait until The Way of Kings comes out, read it, then read all the Malazan books? Or, do I read all the Malazan books that are out right now and then Sanderson? What a dilemma!

I suppose there could be worse situations to be in!

Thanks!

Patrick said...

Aaron: I'm 2/3 into Sanderson's THE WAY OF KINGS, and thus far it is a slow-moving, underwhelming yarn. Not bad at all, mind you, but nowhere near what I expected the book to be. Still, I got about 300 pages to go, so maybe the plot does pick up and ends up with a bang.

Regardless, I think you should finish GotM and then move on to DG. By the end of volume two, if you are not totally hooked up, then you can read TWoK. But methinks that you'll be reading Erikson's MoI instead of Sanderson's newest. It will still be there waiting for you when you're done with the Malazan books! :P

Khaled said...

I agree with Pat. DG is a great book, and while I didn't like MoI as much (it's still a very good book, mind you) I feel the series gets even better (tBH and RG so far are 2 of my favorites).

I'm only 10% of the way into TWoK. While I find it interesting, I will say that Erikson's GotM was for me... a little richer. More subtlety,able to evoke more of a sense of wonder.

That being said, I think that TWoK is the start of something terrific and ambitious in Sanderson's career, and I look forward to great things from the Stormlight Archives.

Anonymous said...

I can't say I'm looking forward to the last book. I haven't really enjoyed the post-Midnite Tides books... the plot has just gone in a different direction to how I wanted it to.

And now it's looking more and more likely that 90% of the plot lines just won't be resolved. So many main characters from the earlier books are just going to fade away and we won't hear about them, their plot lines allegedly being "over" or being "reserved" for another writer.

Oh well..

Zafri Mollon said...

No way I can rank the Malazan books ahead of A Song of Ice and Fire in terms of epic fantasy, but then again they are totally different kinds of epic fantasy. To each his own, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

steven erikson

we salute you.

all the way.

YAY for him, BOOOOOO for wannabe sanderson and his non-talented ass.

Anonymous said...

Good luck trying to read all 10 back-to-back-to-back. I read GotM 2 years ago, read books 2-5+NoK last year, and books 6-7 with RotCG earlier this spring. I'll try to read books 8-9 before the end of the year, but they're exhausting reads. You'll need a break before you're done for sure.

C.B.

Anonymous said...

A break? You're kidding me. I spent the last 12 months reading the first 9 books. Now I've already read some other books afterwards, and most of them seem (at least a bit) stale in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I read everything Malazan related in the last 10 months. It blew everything out of the water I read before (maybe except for Ice and Fire).
This were the first books I finished reading and wanted to start all over again! Never happened before. Why? Because I know I will recognize many more small hints of future events, more background info on chars which suddenly makes sense or which I overlooked the first time.
The scope of this work is absolutely unbelievable. Hate it or love it, if you are slightly interested in "Fantasy" you have to read it.
Special tip: Kit Soden's new album with lyrics by Erikson (some derived from the poems from the books) http://kitsmusic.bandcamp.com/ Lay of the Bridgeburners is my absolute favorite.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen will be BIG in the decades to come. True genius cant hide forever! ^_^

Niki said...

The best series. Period. After the classics. WofT is gOod too. But too repetitive. And lightweight. This one is for the connoisseur. Greatest find one day randomnly in the bookstore.

Exhausting? Never. I can't even put one down till its finished. Many weekends completely lost in Erikson's work, and gladly. I only wish I didn't have to wait for the next one.

Anonymous said...

Good for you guys if you can read 12K+ pages from the same author without a break, but I can't do it. I need a little more variety in my reading regimen.

C.B.

Aaron said...

Well thanks for the input, Patrick and others! I'm about a quarter of the way through GotM and loving it! I guess I'll just have to put THE WAY OF KINGS on the back-burner until I'm done with the Erikson series.

I do have another question. Patrick, you mention that DG and MoI are great. Does the series get weaker in the later books? Is it similar to WoT where we really could have done without books 7,8, and good chunks of 9 and 10?

Thanks for all the input!

Aaron

Anonymous said...

Aaron,
you'll definitely have to read all the books or you'll miss out on massive chunks of the three main story lines.
Which books you like more than others is very subjective imo. I really cant say the later books are getting weaker.
Some don't like Toll the Hounds (8)that much because it has a more philosophical approach. I had no problem with that...
After that Dust of Dreams (9) is a killer and I cant wait to see the resolution of the story lines in The Crippled God (10).
After that you can read the Esslemont books for more of the Malazan world. They are good, though Esslemont is no Erikson.