Steven Erikson interview


Okay, so I was asked to do a Q&A with Steven Erikson, author of the bestselling The Crippled God (Canada, USA, Europe), prior to the book's release, but my flying away to South America precluded my doing just that.

Understandably, upon my return I knew I wanted to interview Erikson again. Two of my usual partners in crime joined me for this new Q&A: Adam (www.thewertzone.blogspot.com) and Ken (www.nethspace.blogspot.com). In addition, a number of questions were submitted by the animals from the nuthouse aka www.malazanempire.com.

All in all, once again I think that we came up with a good bunch of questions, making for a balanced Q&A. Many thanks again to Steven Erikson for taking the time to do this!

Enjoy
----------------------------

- How pleased are you with fans' reactions to The Crippled God thus far?

I am receiving many more emails from fans via the StevenErikson.com site and of those, only one arrived where a reader spent a page or so telling me how much he disliked The Crippled God. What always surprises me is how someone – anyone – would imagine that I would a) read through such an email; and b) respond to it. Imagine making a list of everything you don’t like and then writing to the subject of such dislikes – I can’t think of a bigger waste of time (surely, this person had better things to do with their time!). Or try it from the other side: imagine receiving hate mail from people you don’t even know, relating all the ways you disappointed them. What would you do with this? I suppose if I was a masochist I might delight in reading such attacks, but really, I’m not. I am pleased when people write to say they enjoyed the novels, even if they have specific criticisms, and of course every reader absorbs a story in a different way, which is a good thing. And that kind of exchange is a gift for which I feel very privileged.

On the fan-site one long-time participant flamed off on The Crippled God and has since quit the site. I admit to being somewhat taken aback by her vehemence: certainly Dust of Dreams signposted the direction I would be taking with The Crippled God. I can’t imagine what she was expecting, but it would be nice to think she might one day revisit the series (though, given that she felt she’d wasted years of time reading the series, that’s not very likely). To me, the narrative of this series has felt continuous and consistent, but it just goes to show that one can never be certain of someone else’s expectations.

In general, however, I am pleased with the response; and was delighted to read (on Nethspace) the first effort at reviewing the entire series – which cannot help but be a daunting prospect for anyone.
 
- It took a number of years for The Malazan Book of the Fallen to achieve both critical and commercial success. While the series will probably never be "mainstream" SFF material the way works by Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Feist, R. A. Salvatore, and Patrick Rothfuss are, how rewarding is it to see The Crippled God hit bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic?

It’s pleasing to see any fantasy genre novels among the bestseller lists: it would be even nicer if a few mainstream reviewers actually took notice.
 
- In The Crippled God we saw many small cameo appearances, some crucial, from earlier characters in the series, something that didn't seem to happen much in the first few books. Did you enjoy the fact that in the second half of Dust of Dreams and the conclusion to the series overall you could be slightly less forgiving to newcomers and perhaps indulge the fans a little more by addressing other storylines and characters?

Consider it this way: I humbly asked readers to invest in and engage with a story thousands of pages long and over a decade in the telling. Do you think I would simply pretend that they aren’t there, brimming with their own hopes and desires? Someone noted on the fan site that they felt as if I was writing directly to some of them and the truth is, I was. How could I not seek to return the loyalty I’ve been given? At the same time I couldn’t do that gratuitously: everything needed to either fit with the events or echo scenes from earlier novels. But both of those serve to tip the hat to the readers, as they (hopefully) recognize those echoes.

In my mind, it is always a dialogue, and maybe in that sense the relationship between author and audience has evolved in the last twenty or so years. There is a give and take going on that never existed before, not to this extent, anyway, and for me it would be foolish to ignore it, or denigrate it. If I throw on my anthropologist glasses, I might even suggest that we are returning to the origins of storytelling as a participatory event, and even as we all engage in that we also, perhaps mostly unawares, become a story unto ourselves. People rarely think of participating in history, for example, unless it’s at easily recognizable, pivotal moments: but the less recognizable ones are the real driving forces of history, and we’re all in it, all the time. In some respects, this is what TMBOTF was all about, not just in the story being told, but in the dialogue it presented (if that sounds highblown, it’s not meant to: I am speaking here of my own sense of things, in that I invested twelve or so years, day in day out, with this tale, and felt in a sustained conversation with thousands of people; and when it was all done, I more or less stumbled off stage, both punch-drunk [took a lot of punches along the way] and run-through. But for all that, it still seems a modest contribution on my part).

- The end of The Crippled God leaves some key characters hanging out in the shattered remains of the Kolanse empire. We know from the epilogue that some eventually get back to the Malazan Empire, but there still seems to be some loose ends there. Is that somethig you're leaving for readers to ponder or will your or Ian's future books expand on what happened to the surviving Bonehunters and members of the Host following the end of the series?

A bit of both. Cam needs room for his stories, and they need to remain relevant. And it may be that I will revisit some of the characters with the Karsa trilogy (or not). But also consider the whole notion of history, as I mentioned above – just as each and every reader now goes on, gets on with their lives, so too do these fictional characters. We all gathered for the tale (man, I wrote that scene in countless ways throughout the series, didn’t I?) and now we all go our own ways, and life goes on. Curiously, when I was in the midst of finishing TCG, my mind started wandering back to my high school days. I went so far as to try and track a few old friends down. This is not coincidental. We all have that desire to know what’s come of people we once knew. I was probably subconsciously reacting to what I was writing, to the sense of saying goodbye and leaving behind all those ‘old friends.’ The notion that a writer can just leave the work at the end of the day is nonsense: writing is all about being haunted, without respite, until the tale is told. This series has haunted me for about twenty years, all told. I’m still numb with the sudden silence.
 
- Will fans have a chance to see you and Esslemont at a number of conventions or events in the coming months?

Got a gig in Milan this June, and then there’s San Diego and of course the British Fantasy Con in Brighton this autumn. The following year I’ll be in Paris for a really cool symposium, talking about Classical influences on my series. I honestly can’t wait for that one. As for Cam, well, being up in Fairbanks makes travel a bit dear, but I do hope to see him in San Diego, at the very least.

- You and Cam have repeatedly said that the Malazan world and the story that you are telling originated in a role-playing campaign and that you role-played a large number of the characters that eventually star in the series. Since the two characters that really connect everything together in the series are Shadowthrone and Cotillion it seems a good guess that you guys spend a lot of time gaming through them. So, are you Shadowthrone or Cotillion?

I was Cotillion; Cam was Shadowthrone. We still are and have been throughout the novels. The Nethspace review of the series finally mentioned the notion that this series is postmodern fantasy. You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for someone to say that,

- You're currently writing the first book in the new trilogy and in another interview you mentioned that you consider it more "traditional" compared to the main series you completed. Are you structuring this new book as a possible starting point for new readers or do you believe that new readers will continue to follow the publication order? Do you feel the necessity of varying your tones or reach out for new readers, doing different things? In which way that "traditional" distinguishes the new book from your other ones, or even your approach to it?

I mulled over this issue for some time (I still am, in fact). This new trilogy needs to serve two audiences in my mind. The first audience is the one I already have, and they should have fun with this, as many questions are answered as to origins, etc. The second audience is one that is perhaps daunted by the idea of plunging into the MBOTF, and so for them I’m taking a more traditional route, in terms of exposition and structure. The writing feels more measured, I suppose, but then it has to as I am approaching this trilogy with a different scale in mind (not Homeric). Achieving a balance between the two is the challenge here. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to write.

- You've said that the next books, the prequel and sequel trilogies, will take longer to write. Do you envisage them being as long as the Malazan novels?

Probably not, and to ensure that’s true, I’m reducing my chapter count from 24 to 20. We’ll see if that does the trick. The simple fact is, I’m older and I still feel vaguely tired (creatively) after completing the series.

- Is the Malazan Encyclopedia still in the cards or has that been indefinitely delayed to after Ian Esslemont's books are finished and maybe the new trilogies?

It’s in the cards. We need to get on with that, don’t we?
 
- Is there any chance that you will ever unveil a copy of your own map of the Malazan universe?

See above. I’m not being deliberately evasive with that map. It’s just that my only version is on a damned big piece of paper, impossible to photocopy, and as a version it contains only continental outlines, no other detail – said details are all on smaller maps. I need a cartographer, preferably dead and uninterested in getting paid, fed, etc,
 
- Through your books you have developed a rather interesting relationship with fans and critics. You play a bit with this in the main series with characters like Kruppe, Imperial Artist Ormulogun and Gumble, his critic, but more so in the novella Crack’d Pot Trail, where artists are forced to perform in front of critical fans who then vote which artist is to be killed and eaten. Has inclusion of this in your writing become a sort of therapeutic reaction or does it go further?

Oh it’s all therapeutic, believe me. At a conference a few weeks back, there was a panel consisting of me and Steve Donaldson in conversation, moderated by Bill Senior. One of the main subjects was a kind of admonishment to our audience (made up of academics specializing in Fantasy and SF), to wit: epic fantasy literature is the spine of genre (SRD went on to say that in fact it’s the spine of Western Literature) and yet it is being ignored by many so-called experts of the genre. Instead, at this particular conference (which I adore, btw) we would see, year after year, papers expounding works on the periphery of that spine, plucking at ribs as it were, and exulting in said work’s innovation and risk-taking in stretching the bounds of the genre. The problem is, most of those works aren’t stretching anything, and that would be clear if one were to examine in depth that central core of epic fantasy. One can go on about how various writers are doing ‘new’ stuff with the genre (Abercrombie, Bakker, Gaiman, etc), but actually, none of that is as new as their proponents think. At risk of oversimplification, Glen Cook and Steve Donaldson beat us all to the punch long ago – they made fantasy adult, and we’ve all been riffing off them (whether we’ve read them or not) ever since. How does all this relate to Crack’d Pot Trail? Well, SRD had the book and held it up to encourage the audience to read this one book (rather than a ten thousand page epic series) to get a sense of the mess I’m making with the genre, in particular how that book broke the first rule of fantasy, which is about suspension of disbelief and the use of irony. I won’t get in that any further than I’ve done, but I always knew Crack’d Pot Trail was going to flame out some readers (Pat?), but what the hell, I don’t recall ever having so much fun writing a novella as that one.

- When can we expect another Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novella?

Interestingly, I’m waiting for the mood to strike. Those works definitely need me to be in the right frame of mind. I made a start, with satire firm in mind, but it started out probably too vicious, so I am reconsidering my approach. It’s finding that right balance between laughs and cruelty…
 
- It was mentioned that you recently recommended A Game of Thrones at a book signing so it was assumed you read the book end liked it well enough. The question is more general, are you in touch with the current market or do you maintain a sobering distance? Do you continue to follow for example the works of those you "endorsed" like Bakker, Cook or Morgan? On a very general level some defining aspects of the Malazan series, like the overturning of certain tropes and breaking typical structures, have become themselves a well represented trend today. In the article on your site about the RPG origins of your series you wrote how some of the creativity that fueled your creation came from the constraints and limits of the genre at the time, the desire to raise the bar on your own terms. So I'm wondering what is your stance toward the genre market today and whether or not it has a different impact on your ongoing writing?

Huh, what do you know – I addressed that a few moments ago, I think. I recommended A Game of Thrones? Really? Perhaps I was being ironic, as that first novel is the only one of the series that I read, and it was long ago and I recall very little of it, meaning it had little impact on me. I enjoyed Bakker’s first trilogy but have not followed on from it. I read all of Morgan’s stuff. As for other works in the genre, I look in on occasion, and at the conference I mentioned earlier, I get a good sense of what’s at the forefront of critical thinking with respect to the genre (though that can be a frustrating exercise – at times I felt as if the last ten years in epic fantasy have been virtually ignored, barring a few superstars. But honestly, how many papers do we need on Harry Potter and how is it, or vampire fiction, in any way innovative to the genre?).

Now, all this is at the forefront of my mind at the moment, swirling as I am in the wake of said conference; but normally I don’t think much of such matters. Let me reword that: I don’t give it much thought.

- The limited edition of Gardens of the Moon published by Subterranean Press was incredibly beautiful. Have you seen early sketches of the artwork which will grace the pages of their limited edition of Deadhouse Gates? What can you tell us about it?

Only some very early roughs. Should be lovely.
 
- Is there enough information dropped along in the series for the fans to piece together, with some degree of accuracy, who Quick Ben really is?

No.

- What was the purpose of the Eres' storyline? How did she tie into the plot of the series as a whole?

Well, that’s a storyline begun but not yet finished. There had to be a few of those, didn’t there?
 
- You've mentioned elsewhere that many of the scenes in The Crippled God are ideas you had in mind throughout the entire series, and I imagine that finally writing them after all this time was both daunting and incredibly cathartic. One thing I found myself wondering: did everything more or less execute according to your designs, or were there any surprises for you in writing? Any plans that changed at the last?

It more or less went as envisioned, and yes it was daunting. As to their efficacy for readers, at least some of them found them effective enough to write and curse me for making them cry for three hundred pages. Others, alas, found it all lukewarm. There’s just no predicting these things. I wrote for what would affect me and then just hoped for the best. It’s all anyone can do.
 
- Can you explain the source of Tavore's knowledge throughout the series? 

- Olar Ethil is an intriguing character, but her motivations and goals remain a bit of a mystery. Could you elaborate on what her plans were in The Crippled God?

I group these two questions, as the answer for both will be the same. It’s all about interpretation, and to that extent I’m no longer part of that conversation. My work is done, as frustrating as that might be. Interpret as you will. Just as you cannot know the mind of anyone else, not completely, not absolutely, so too these characters. Tavore will always be a mystery, closed in and hidden away. She is that world’s Alexander (ie, what the hell was he up to in Northern India? What was he seeking? Did he drink himself to death in some twisted esoteric worship of eastern cults? Was the whole conquest born of guilt over his father’s death – was he involved? – or just the fatal desire to out-conquer his old man? And so on). If we have all those answered for us, we’d not be satisfied anyway. So, what you ask cannot, will not, be answered. As for Olar Ethil, the same thing. She could be insane, or not. Her motives might have been moral, or not. Did she deserve her fate? For you to decide.
 
- Have you ever written a scene, only to be stunned by your own reaction after reading it?

Stunned? I don’t think so. Writing involves two tracks, the emotional and the intellectual. The latter obtains in the mechanics of using language to give shape to and create the effect of the former. That’s how I see it anyway (at least today, at this moment). The intellect is active, driving forward, seeking. The emotional stuff is what spins off, swirls out from that collection of words arranged just so. I may begin with a sense, vague, very vague, of some kind of emotional, cathartic outcome, but that cannot achieve precision without applying those mundane mechanics of language. So, it’s impossible, I think, to be stunned by one’s own written scene. Pleased, sure. Satisfied, hopefully. Awed wonder – time to get skeptical, or change my initials to TG.

For me, the most interesting aspect of this series now begins. It is done, and the question of how it fares over the years, how it bears up to whatever analysis is applied to it, and whether or not it acquires a shelf-life through new readers, all remains to be discovered. Of course my greatest fear is that it will be forgotten … unwitnessed. Of course I used that (non)word deliberately, and am reminded (with a faint sizzle of … whatever) of that portentous label … postmodern.
 
- Anything else you wish to share with your fans?

Naw, I’m all written out.

Cheers,

SE

35 commentaires:

Todd said...

As always, another fantastic interview Pat and gang! Enjoyed both the questions and answers this time around.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Cheers to SE and Pat and co. Always a pleasure when the conversation continues.

Neth said...

Excellent! I love the responses - and I knew Erkison was Cotillion, it was great to see him fess up.

I'm also pleased to see he called out my review - I thought he would appreciate it.

And some kudos - the poster known as Gormenghast on Westeros and Abalieno on Malazan gave me a few questions that I passed on and were answered in this interview.

glueboy said...

Role Playing, not roll playing.

Andrew said...

That "TG" line is too funny...haha.

Stormy70 said...

Great interview! I love the Quick Ben answer.

Ted Cross said...

He dissed A Game of THrones. Given that it is my hands-down favorite fantasy by a living writer, I think I can safely move Erikson's books a but further down my to-read list.

machinery said...

if erikson wants to dole out some criticism of martin g.r.r. , why not just say it ?
it's obvious to me that he thinks martin is playing games with his readers, and that any idiot who supports that behaviour is a moron...
well to me anyway, i'm sure he also meant to say that "wow, lookit, 3 months after tv show comes, book also come..."
he just was very nice and didn't say it out loud, but i know he thinks it.
yes i do.

now, jokes aside (sad joke martin, it is a sad joke), i liked pat's diplomacy when he asked about cameos and previous storylines.
it's obvious that you had a stake in it pat, was that your question, or the other members of this Q&A ?

Patrick said...

I don't think that SE was dissing GRRM the way you claim, machinery. I feel that you are extrapolating a whole lot here. To me, it just felt as though SE read AGoT and was taken enough by it to go on and read the rest of the series.

As to the cameos and previous storylines, that came from either Adam or Ken. Can't quite remember...

Matthew said...

I like his books. I love Quick Ben. Pity he's a literary snob.
All hail Steven Erikson. The Self proclaimed James Joyce of Fantasy

Steve said...

Holy cow, talk about thin-skinned! Hey folks, we all have different tastes in what we like to read. George and I get along just fine when we meet -- whether we're fans of each other's fiction is not even relevant. Stating preferences does not make one a 'literary snob' nor a James Joyce wannabe. So, please do back off on the flaming/sniffing, will you?
Cheers
SE

Neth said...

@Ted - I didn't read it as a criticism of Martin at all. Perhaps something of a dismissal, but I think that had more to do with the way the question was asked than anything.

@machinery - see above, and it wasn't my question. It sounds like an Adam question to me. I was the one responsibel for the 'roll' playing typo though :)


@Matthew - I don't see Erikson as coming off as a literary snob at all. Yes, a good bit of his writing is literary and it informs the way he discusses his books, but he isn't being snobby or elitist about it, just matter-of-fact.

Anonymous said...

LOL at "literary snob". Blurbing Richard Morgan, David Keck, James Barclay etc. (if I remember correctly) hardly makes anyone a snob.

Unique taste in books, that's all.

machinery said...

actually david keck's books (so far 2) are very good.
hard core fantasy with realistically mature POV.
i can't understand how pat ignores him, if he keeps with his writing he is going to be the best, and people who love malazan defintly would enjoy his style.

Matthew said...

@ Steve
Firstly
Apologies if I appeared flaming/sniffling. I was merely annoyed at your "Perhaps I was being Ironic" comment. I thought it was slightly barbed.
However as we all know. The written word often fails to carry our intentions. So sorry.
Oh.
And in general. Can everyone please tune in and make this HBO show a success(assuming its decent). I feel fantasy is about to get the critical attention it deserves.

Anonymous said...

machinery,

yes, I like Keck's books also (would love to know any info regarding "King in Cobwebs, btw"), just pointing out that that kind of fantasy literature along with the other examples is, in my opinion, pretty far from "snobby literature".

Grack21 said...

OMG, other people like Keck? I thought I was alone! Those books are certainly different. Someone somewhere else compared them to Boorman's Excalibur movie from the early 80s. Very surreal.

What is old Keck up to anyway?

Anonymous said...

So Lord of the Rings winning Best Film did nothing? Or, it just didn't do anything for "your" fantasy?

AGoT success or failure won't change anything.

Isaac said...

This was a great interview, one of the best I've read with Erikson. He seemed slightly more... relaxed, maybe, than in other interviews I've read. I guess that comes from just completing one of the best works of (post?)modern fiction around.

I haven't actually read The Crippled God yet (I decided to reread the entire series again first in preparation, and grad school is slowing down my progress), and I was only the very teeniest bit annoyed that there were a couple minor spoilers in here. I guess I should know better...

And to the people choosing fantasy "sides" with this imagined Erikson vs Martin royal rumble: what? Come on! Just read the fantasy you want to read. This is just my opinion, and you can do whatever you want, but maybe a tiny little comment by an author in an interview shouldn't be what moves a book up or down on your to-read list. Maybe you should like, give the book a try, and read it if you like it, and don't read it if you don't.

Anyway. The only lingering question for me after reading this is what Erikson's personal definition of postmodern is in this instance. I feel like it's an incredibly broad term, and fairly hard to define or pin down. Now I'm probably going to be looking for postmodernism all over the place on my reread!

Great interview of greatest author.

Cicero said...

@ Matthew - Just to contextualize (read: utterly invalidate) your really and truly below the belt "James Joyce" jab for onlookers who might be confused as to why you chose to use the term "self-proclaimed," I believe you're referring to an incident on the Malazan forums where one reader began a thread drawing parallels between Steve's handling of Darujhistan in Toll the Hounds to James Joyce's treatment of Dublin. Several other fans reacted to this in a less than civil manner and - in a letter to the forum - Steve defended the original poster's right to draw what literary parallels - even across genres - they wanted and urged other fans to be more respectful. That, good sir, was it. At no point did he proclaim himself James Joyce.

Further, why exactly are you posting about the HBO premier of Game of Thrones here? I'm as excited as you, but surely that would have been a more appropriate comment for, say, one of Pat's dozens of updates on the premier, hm?

martingriffy said...

Good interview Pat, got some decent questions in there.
Cheers

Matthew said...

@ Cicero
Apologies for posting in the wrong section.

Also apologies for the James joyve jibe. I was just annoyed at the "was I being ironic?" comment. Hopefully this ends the matter.

I was tempted to put in an irrelevent comment not related to this section just to annoy you and for comic value. However I'll refrain.

Steve Diamond said...

Freaking great interview, Pat & Co. You asked some questions I wish I had over at Elitist Book Reviews.

I really do love how open and honest his answers are. It may seem like arrogance to some, but to me it just seems direct. SE isn't the type sugar-coat it. I love it.

Anonymous said...

"Can you explain the source of Tavore's knowledge throughout the series?"

Any particular reason why this question doesn't have an answer?

Anonymous said...

"I believe you're referring to an incident on the Malazan forums where one reader began a thread drawing parallels between Steve's handling of Darujhistan in Toll the Hounds to James Joyce's treatment of Dublin. Several other fans reacted to this in a less than civil manner and - in a letter to the forum - Steve defended the original poster's right to draw what literary parallels - even across genres - they wanted and urged other fans to be more respectful."

I'm sorry, but thats not what happened. I'm speaking as a fan of TTH and Steve as well here. The poster in question directly compared the events/circumstances/prose of Toll the Hounds to the setting of the REAL Dublin at the time of James Joyce. As well as the Dublin of Ulysses. Several of us pointed out that the comparison between the real Dublin and TTH was very forced and eventually the discussion settled down to a debate of the merits of TTH itself. Steve unfortunatedly misunderstood and thought we were disagreeing with the original poster's comparison of TTH to Ulysses. We had no problem with that, just the comparison of TTH to the posters black and white version of the real Dublin at the time.

By the way, good interveiw.

machinery said...

and once again we see another courageous soul from the malazan forums, posting - anonymously.
wow, what a shocker.

Anonymous said...

Hi Machinery, I left the last Anonymous comment. Not sure why you think its wrong for anyone from Malazan Empire to post as "Anonymous"

I am the user Blackzoid on Westros and Malazan Empire if you wish to have some glance at my internet history. As you seem to want to.

machinery said...

blackzoid, no, i just ran into some mods and total douches in the malazan forums, so i'm not going to check your history.
westeros forums ?
never been there.
after reading g.r.r.martin's blog about every piece of bs news and seeing the sycophants rush to respond ... i'm kind of out of the fan sites forums.
general sites only.
although from what i read on sffnews, i guess sffworld is as much bs as the next.

Ruth said...

For me a satisfying interview. Thanks for this interesting and further clarifying dialogue. I appreciate that SE always comes across authentically and not posed. I am a committed fan of SE’s stories and in particular the Malazan Book of the Fallen. This fantasy world absorbed me as strongly as Lord of the Rings by which I mean to say that it is a tremendous fantasy world epic.

I think when SE talks about looking up old HS buddies he is giving a good analogy of what it is like when we leave a certain time behind as we move to the next. Like life itself, a good story always ends and no life ends with everything tied up neatly with a bow. For me and I think many other Malazan fans, the Malazan story was transformational in various ways so it was not just a good read. The world of the Malazan greatly expanded my sensitivity to the history and pathos of the natural world. I am eager to see what new story worlds SE may create.

I think there is some unnecessary nitpicking in some of the responses here, but wth, this is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Martin was...I got to say his books are slightly demented. He's a great author but some of the ideas of his are so exotic and demented it actually made the series a lot worse than it is...

Erikson now, he's one of the best. If not the best.

Moses Siregar III said...

Great interview. Thanks guys.

Can I also second the request for a little more explanation of what 'postmodern' might mean in this context? I wish I could say I had a clue, but I don't. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Why can't people just read books and enjoy them (or not)? I've never written anything on one of these forums before but in all honesty, if SE said "No, it's all bollocks, I just want people to buy my stuff.". Would it mean you had enjoyed the books any less at the time?

Wanderer said...

Great interview.

SE - For what you have achieved, please have my sincerest gratitude.

You works will have a nice space on my shelf of all things awesome for years to come ( Along with The Wire, Some Gemmell and my Coheed & Cambria CD's)

Unwitnessed? Never fear.

Kaminsod said...

Why does there seem to be this reocurring theme lately with great works of fiction, that it is somehow incredible story telling to leave so many things unanswered? I listened and read as Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelhoff explained away thier failure in 'LOST' to satisfy loyal audiences around the world by claiming that a great story would lose value somehow by being fully understood. And as much as I truly did enjoy TMBOTF, leaving so many important questions unanswered is just irrisponsible. Thank you for your work SE, but I'm still waiting for a masterful idea for a series, be it literal or visual, to be completed with some real vigilance in continuity. Calling incomplete or incongruent story lines mysterious is just an excuse and a lazy one at that. One that I hope anyone producing popular fiction will avoid as we move forward.

As an aside, Richard Morgan plugs are awesome. But honestly, he really should stick to science fiction in my opinion. His last book was bad. Truly bad. I tried to love it...tried and failed.