Fantasy Book Club Series discussion

Malazan Book of the Fallen > Q&A with Steven Erikson

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message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Mr. Erikson (aka Mr. Lundin) graciously agreed to drop in occasionally to answer question posed in this Q&A discussion thread.

Please join me in making him feel welcome and expressing our gratitude for his time, thoughts and comments.

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) That's terrific, Jon! Thank you for making this opportunity possible for all of us.

message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Fabulous! I'm sure I'll have lots of questions.

message 4: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelley69) | 597 comments OMG!! Are you guys serious, SE here answering questions!!! I better start writing down the multitude of questions I have, so I don't get keyboard shy!!

I would like to thank Steven Erikson for writing the MOST AMAZING story I have EVER read!! And thank you kind sir for that amazing mind of yours too!!


message 5: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 22, 2011 08:12PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Steven, first of all, let me take a moment and congratulate both you and Ian for creating such an amazing world in these novels. This is a heady brew that just gets better and better with each reading. I have been reading epic fantasy for much of my life and the Malazan world is pretty much the very best I've encountered. So, 'hat's off' to both of you! And please do convey our appreciation to Ian for his stellar work on this series as well.

I have to say that the anthropological elements and military fiction have really hit home with me. I have always had a real interest in archaeology and anthropology, and having spent four years in the military (U.S. Coast Guard), I appreciate the notion of comrades and looking out for one another in dodgy situations. Okay, enough of the platitudes.

My questions are--

(1) Do you and Ian have a recommended reading order for the Malazan books? All of us love to banter back-and-forth with what order the novels written by the two of you should be read.

(2) I have heard that a reader's companion for the Malazan world is in the works. Can you corroborate this?

Thank you, Steven, for taking the time to stop by and visit with us. I'm sure that I'll probably think of another question or two (or three) as we carry on with the series read and discussion.

Cheers! Chris

message 6: by Jon (last edited Feb 23, 2011 10:27AM) (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments I received a brief note from Steven this morning. He's traveling on the book tour for The Crippled God and won't be able to stop in until next week sometime.

Here's a link to his tour dates and if your a resident of the UK, you're a lucky dog!

message 7: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelley69) | 597 comments Christopher wrote: "Steven, first of all, let me take a moment and congratulate both you and Ian for creating such an amazing world in these novels. This is a heady brew that just gets better and better with each rea..."

I agree with everything Chris said up above!! :)

My first question would be, between you and Mr. ICE, who came up with the major characters?

And second, you write the best female characters of anyone I've ever read (truly!), where does this deep understanding of women come from?

Thank you for your time!

message 8: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments In anticipation of spring weather and long walks with my Rotts, I had hoped to checkout an audio version of Deathhouse Gates from my local library. However, I had trouble finding any audio book versions of the Malazan series.

Do you plan to (re)release the series as audio books?

Thanks for answering this and other questions posted here,

Jon Moss

message 9: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
I have one:
In reading this book again, I am reminded of all the 'missing' and 'drowned' old guard. Is there any plan to write any of the stories of their 'deaths'?

message 10: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) My question:

Dear Mr. Erikson (or should that be Mr. Lundin?),

In one of our discussion threads, the question arose of how realistic your depiction of the Malazan armies were in terms of operating philosophy as well as the day-to-day, face-to-face relationships.

A lot of veterans chimed in to say that they were impressed with its veracity, and we wondered upon what you based your characterizations. Personal experience? Your anthropology background? Other factors?

And thanks for taking the time to participate in this discussion.

message 11: by Steven (new)

Steven Erikson | 1 comments Hello everyone. I have just returned from two weeks spent in the US and Canada. Read carefully between the lines and you'll find that I am jetlagged. That said, on to your questions...
Christopher:order of reading ... well, we usually answer that by saying 'read the series in the order that the books have been published.' It's safer that way. As to your other question: we do intend to put together a Malazan encyclopedia, but we have no completion date as yet.
Shelley: we're pretty evenly split on characters, especially in the earlier volumes: later works, however, tend to feature characters created specifically for the novels (with the ongoing ones continuing on as well). Between us, we take on board any pre-established characters we require for the story we want to tell; in that sense, there's no ownership. Female characters ... hmmm. I've had that said to me by a good number of female readers, and needless to say, it's always encouraging to hear. I don't think I have any secret path to the inner workings of womanhood. It's more a case of my respecting each and every character I write (even those whose actions I detest), and by extension making no conscious effort to slant them or 'interpret' them based on my own notions (said notions which I instinctively distrust anyway, and endeavour to keep out of my fiction writing).
Jon: I know we have signed extensions for audio, but I have no control over the creation of said works, in terms of publishers deciding to do them.
Maggie: the whole drowned thing was a joke between me and Cam, going right back to our gaming. We had characters who 'disappeared' through mysterious tragedies of dubious authenticity, and it always made us laugh -- with the novels, we simply continued the joke. Some characters do 'get better' but others remain, uh, drowned.
Terence: I do get a lot of responses from readers in the military or with experience in the armed services; and it does seem that we've managed a feel of authenticity to our recounting such individuals in their martial environs. As for how we managed that, well, as archaeologists we have at time worked near to military training grounds and subsequently hung out with soldiers at local bars; but more likely, our experience working on archaeology digs in rough living conditions did much to influence our sense of group dynamics. Isolation, boredom, deprivations, miserable weather, blisters, hangovers, moments of serious adrenaline face to face with black bears, etc, near-drownings in fast water; oh, and the zip-zip of comings and goings between tents late at night (yeah, young men and young women on digs will do that...) ... all no doubt served us well when describing the Malazan armies. On a more serious level, there's some hard, rattling memories of time spent in Guatemala in the early eighties, when the civil war was brewing up in the Peten.
Signing off for now, awaiting more questions.

message 12: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) Stevenerikson wrote: "Signing off for now, awaiting more questions..."

Well, you asked:

I have two further questions. The first is a general one about the series. Ten+ years ago, when you and ICE were developing your world did you know how it would end? I.e., did you know more or less how TCG would turn out or did the ending become clear as the series progressed?

My second question relates to my two favorite characters: Trull and Tavore. Were they present from the beginning? And, if not, when did they emerge?

Which, I suppose, raises the more general question of where your characters emerge from. I'm reminded of Robert Howard's comment about Conan - that he emerged fully formed and it was as if he were sitting at REH's shoulder dictating his adventures.

message 13: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelley69) | 597 comments Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions...made my day! :)

Since I have now finished reading The Crippled God I have two more questions for you...

(1) Do you have any plans for a future series?

(2) You did a most wonderful job at tying up most of the loose ends, with the exception of a few, Dassem Ultor, Karsa and Silver Fox, any plans on continuing their stories?

Thank you!

message 14: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
I want to ask about Felisin...I honestly cant even imagine being in her head and trying to write her. Not that she doesn't have a few redeeming qualities, but she is just so DOOMED and bitter. Was this difficult?

I take it there was a purposeful correlation between the swarm of flies in the prologue, the bloodflies at OTatoral and the butterflies at Vathar. It was just a beautiful bit og imagery. Thank you for that.

Exactly how old is Icarium?

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