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Steven Erikson

Fiction and Excerpts [13]
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Fiction and Excerpts [13]

Fall of Light, Chapter Four

|| Book 2 of the Malazan Kharkanas Trilogy. As rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...

Fall of Light, Chapter Three

|| Book 2 of the Malazan Kharkanas Trilogy. As rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...

Stranger Than Fiction: First Contact Conspiracy Theories

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

I have long had a fascination for First Contact novels, films and stories. I have probably read every English-language First Contact novel published. I am an inveterate Trekker (one of the kindest takes on First Contact there is), and I’ve seen angles on the theme ranging from the hard-science approach (Sagan’s Contact, Clarke’s Ramas series, Pournelle and Niven’s Moties series) to the sociological (McDevitt’s Thunderbird, Patrick Tilley’s seminal Fade Out) to the way-out-there (Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand).

A few years back I started doing the research for my Willful Child series (no, really, there was research!). The first thing I needed to sort out was how to subvert the Star Trek take on First Contact (you see, it occurred to me that, unlike the enlightened humanists who found themselves face to face with Vulcans, a more realistic approach would be to assume that the inmates in charge of the asylum that is present day civilization would be the same inmates in charge of the asylum on the day the aliens arrive, and all we’d see is a fractal expansion of our collective idiocy. Granted, I was aiming at a satirical take on this, but even so….)

[Anyway, this led me into my new hobby here at Wingnut Central.]

How Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice Pulls the Rug Out from Under You

It’s always a great feeling when a writer blindsides you in the telling of a story. There you are, you’ve been taken in hand and gently guided into another world, and things are moving along and it all feels perfectly normal … basically, you’ve been quietly seduced, and you’re not even aware of it, until a scene arrives and in a flash, everything changes.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: Some invisible imp twisted my arm at the bookstore. I didn’t think much of the title, didn’t much like the cover illustration and jacket design. I’d not read Hobb before and knew nothing of her. I don’t know why I bought it, in fact. The impulse to buy is pernicious.

Started reading, admired the controlled point of view, the leisurely pace. Liked the boy-and-his-dog riff that was going on. Never even occurred to me that something was odd about that relationship, until the Scene. I won’t spoil it here, but that relationship ends with a brutal event, shocking in its seeming cruelty. Yet, it was in that moment that I realised the fullest extent of that quiet seduction. I’d bought so completely into the boy’s point of view that I sensed nothing awry about it.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

Fall of Light, Chapter Four

It is a bitter winter, and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered and weakened—bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time…

Steven Erikson returns to the Malazan world with Fall of Light, the second book in a dark and revelatory new epic fantasy trilogy, one that takes place a millennium before the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Available April 26th from Tor Books, Fall of Light continues to tell the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient realm, a story begun in the critically acclaimed Forge of Darkness. Read chapter four below, or head back to the beginning with chapter one!

[Read more]

Fall of Light, Chapter Three

It is a bitter winter, and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered and weakened—bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time…

Steven Erikson returns to the Malazan world with Fall of Light, the second book in a dark and revelatory new epic fantasy trilogy, one that takes place a millennium before the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Available April 26th from Tor Books, Fall of Light continues to tell the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient realm, a story begun in the critically acclaimed Forge of Darkness. Read chapter three below, or head back to the beginning with chapter one!

[Read more]

Fall of Light, Chapter Two

It is a bitter winter, and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered and weakened—bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time…

Steven Erikson returns to the Malazan world with Fall of Light, the second book in a dark and revelatory new epic fantasy trilogy, one that takes place a millennium before the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Available April 26th from Tor Books, Fall of Light continues to tell the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient realm, a story begun in the critically acclaimed Forge of Darkness. Read chapter two below, or head back to the beginning with chapter one!

[Read more]

Fall of Light, Chapter One

It is a bitter winter, and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered and weakened—bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time…

Steven Erikson returns to the Malazan world with Fall of Light, the second book in a dark and revelatory new epic fantasy trilogy, one that takes place a millennium before the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Available April 26th from Tor Books, Fall of Light continues to tell the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient realm, a story begun in the critically acclaimed Forge of Darkness. Read chapter one below, and stay tuned for additional excerpts throughout the month!

[Read more]

Willful Child (Excerpt)

These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the…

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space.’

Willful Child is available November 11th from Tor Books. Steven Erikson—New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen sequence—has taken his lifelong passion for Star Trek and transformed it into a smart, inventive, and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-high-tech-gadgets-along-the-way, overblown adventure.

[Read an Excerpt]

The Wurms of Blearmouth (Excerpt)

Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants thrive in palaces and one-room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct and propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery.

But leave all that behind and plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter’s End, those most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village at the foot of a majestic castle. There they make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep…

Coming July 8th from Tor Books, The Wurms of Blearmouth is a new novella from author Steven Erikson, set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an Excerpt]

Steven Erikson Answers Your Dust of Dreams Questions!

The answers have come in from Steven Erikson regarding your Dust of Dreams questions. Usually these answers appear in-thread, but when they get fairly lengthy we parse them out into a separate post for a nice bit of lunchtime reading.

All answers include their originating questions. A big thank you to Steven Erikson for taking time out to answer!

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Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

Steven Erikson Answers Your Reaper’s Gale Questions!

Hello everyone. I’m just back from a week in Iowa (convention and reading). Settled into a café-bookstore in the James Bay neighbourhood of Victoria, B.C., Canada, and ready to tackle your questions. I am contemplating offering up a treat (I hope) for you most-loyal readers, still on-board with this re-read, but that will have to await the end of this session.

By way of introductory comments, regarding Reaper’s Gale, looking back on it now, years later, my sense of this novel is that it was about, mostly, how things never turn out the way you think they will: that reality imposes, with utter indifference, its own rules, yielding nothing to one’s expectations, hopes or desires. Multiple story-lines work out that way in this novel (as Bill Capossere has noted in Tor.com’s Malazan reread). If I try to recall the actual writing process, my memory tells me it was loose, relaxed, but thematically heavy, as I sought to juxtapose rather extreme emotional contexts; but more than anything else, I view this novel as the set-up for Dust of Dreams and then The Crippled God. (Toll the Hounds had another purpose, another function, but maybe we’ll get to that once the re-read addresses that novel.)

In any case, it feels far behind me now (as does the series itself, dwindling into my wake step by inexorable step), and I wonder how I will feel about the Malazan Book of the Fallen in the years to come. Needless to say, I do appreciate how these re-reads bring me back, and reading the commentary, chapter by chapter, is always rewarding. So, many thanks to you all.

[Read on]

Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

Forge of Darkness, Chapter Five (Excerpt)

The latest book in Steven Erikson’s Malazan series—out on September 18—begins the Kharkanas Trilogy, a new story set millennia before the main Malazan sequence and a new jumping on point for fantasy fans interested in taking on a new epic.

To whet your appetite, Tor.com will be releasing the first five chapters of Forge of Darkness in the coming weeks! We finish with Chapter Five:

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told…

It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. And even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold…

[Read more]

Series: Forge of Darkness on Tor.com

Forge of Darkness, Chapter Four (Excerpt)

The latest book in Steven Erikson’s Malazan series—out on September 18—begins the Kharkanas Trilogy, a new story set millennia before the main Malazan sequence and a new jumping on point for fantasy fans interested in taking on a new epic.

To whet your appetite, Tor.com will be releasing the first five chapters of Forge of Darkness in the coming weeks! We continue with Chapter Four:

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told…

It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. And even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold…

[Read more]

Series: Forge of Darkness on Tor.com

Forge of Darkness, Chapter Three (Excerpt)

The latest book in Steven Erikson’s Malazan series—out on September 18—begins the Kharkanas Trilogy, a new story set millennia before the main Malazan sequence and a new jumping on point for fantasy fans interested in taking on a new epic.

To whet your appetite, Tor.com will be releasing the first five chapters of Forge of Darkness in the coming weeks! We continue with Chapter Three:

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told…

It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. And even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold…

[Read more]

Series: Forge of Darkness on Tor.com

Forge of Darkness, Chapter Two (Excerpt)

The latest book in Steven Erikson’s Malazan series—out on September 18—begins the Kharkanas Trilogy, a new story set millennia before the main Malazan sequence and a new jumping on point for fantasy fans interested in taking on a new epic.

To whet your appetite, Tor.com will be releasing the first five chapters of Forge of Darkness in the coming weeks! We continue with Chapter Two:

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told…

It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. And even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold…

[Read more]

Series: Forge of Darkness on Tor.com