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Steven Erikson (born October 7, 1959) is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist.

His best-known work is the ongoing fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen, which by 2006 had sold over 250,000 copies.[1][2] SF Site has called the series "the most significant work of epic fantasy since Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant,"[3] and Fantasy Book Review described it as "the best fantasy series of recent times."[4] Fellow fantasy author Stephen Donaldson, refers to Erikson as "an extraordinary writer".[2] In an interview with sffworld.com, Erikson acknowledged that he originally doubted the series would become "mainstream", and was subsequently surprised at how successful the series has been.[5] He also noted how people "either hate the series or love it".[5]

BiographyEdit

Steven Erikson was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Winnipeg.[6] He subsequently lived in the UK with his wife and son[6] before returning to Canada to live in Victoria, B.C. in 2012.[7][8] When Erikson moved to the UK with his English wife in 1995, due to a lack of opportunities in the field of archeology, he worked for a time in the communications department of the Toyota UK head office in Redhill.[9] According to an older interview his role was that of a kind of temp in the communications department and he lived in Dorking at the time.[10]

He is an anthropologist and archaeologist by training and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.[11] For his thesis at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Erikson wrote a "story cycle" of short stories titled A Ruin of Feathers about an archaeologist in Central America. Subsequently, Erikson received a grant to finish the work which was published by TSAR, a small Canadian publishing house. For his next work Erikson co-won the Anvil Press International 3-Day Novel Contest for which he signed away the rights, a mistake he attributes to inexperience. Erikson's third book was also published by TSAR, and consisted of a novella and short stories titled Revolvo and other Canadian Tales. Later, upon moving to England, Erikson sold what he refers to as his "first real novel" to Hodder and Stoughton — This River Awakens — written when he still lived in Winnipeg. The first four books were published under Erikson's real name, and are currently out of print.[12] In addition to writing, Erikson paints using oil paints.[12]

Malazan Book of the Fallen seriesEdit

ConceptionEdit

ICE and SE

Ian C. Esslemont (left) and Steven Erikson (right), Mud Portage, NW Ontario in about 1983. This was the archeological dig they first met on

Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont first met at an archeological dig at the site of Mud Portage, Ontario, Canada. According to Steven Erikson, they didn't role-play until their second season there, when Cam introduced AD&D. Erikson remembered that they failed at it in "spectacular, drug-induced fashion".[13]

The Malazan world was devised by Erikson and Esslemont initially as a setting for a role-playing game.[14][15] Gardens of the Moon began as a movie script but evolved into a novel, which Erikson completed in 1991-92 but failed to sell.[16]

In the late 1990s, Transworld - a division of Random House - bought Gardens of the Moon and requested Erikson write additional books in the series.[10] Using the history of the Malazan world he created with Esslemont, Erikson plotted nine additional novels. After the publication of Gardens of the Moon, reviews spread via the internet, and Orion publications attempted to lure Erikson away from Transworld. However, Transworld retained an option on additional novels in the series and offered £675,000 for the remaining nine books of the series.[10]

StyleEdit

Gods are always messing with mortals in Erikson's work, but the mortals also, by their patterns of belief, create their own gods, their own greater powers. Everything is in flux. Men and women ascend to godhood; gods die or lose their powers.... It's a messy, complicated business, and there are no easy answers, or clear heroes.

—Andrew Leonard writing for Salon.com[17]

Erikson has stated explicitly that he enjoys playing with and overturning the conventions of fantasy, presenting characters that violate the stereotypes associated with their roles.[5] Erikson deliberately began the Malazan Book of the Fallen series mid-plot rather than beginning with a more conventional narrative.[5][14] Erikson's style of writing includes complex plots with masses of characters. In addition, Erikson has been praised for his willingness to kill central characters when it enhances the plot.[6]

Erikson explained that he changed the terminology he used over the course of writing the series, including for example, that of some units of length. For his full response read his answer to question 37 of the Tor Q&A session[18]

ReceptionEdit

Word of mouth is very powerful in fantasy, and the net carries its own energy. It made a huge difference – people were picking [Gardens of the Moon] up from Amsterdam to the US.

—Steven Erikson [10]

Erikson's first novel of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Gardens of the Moon (1999), was critically acclaimed. It was short-listed for a World Fantasy Award[1] It has also earned him the reputation as one of the best authors in the fantasy genre.[1], and was described as "An astounding début".[2]The novel was acclaimed for its "combination of originality and intelligent, strong and exciting storytelling".[1] The second book in the series, Deadhouse Gates (2000), was voted one of the ten best fantasy novels of 2000 by SF Site.[19]

During a 2008 question and answer session in Seattle, Washington, Erikson stated he had signed a deal to write two more trilogies and six novellas;[20] Erikson planned to use the novellas to continue the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach storyline[21] while one of the trilogies would be a prequel to the main series, detailing the history of Anomander Rake and Mother Dark.[20] During the same interview, Erikson stated that the upcoming book in the main series, Dust of Dreams (which was released in the United Kingdom August 18th, 2009) would be the first novel to end on a cliffhanger.[22]

AdaptationsEdit

Some of Steven Erikson's poems from the Malazan books have been set to music by Canadian acoustic alt-folk duo October Gold on their album "Bridge of the Sun".[23] It has also inspired a Salt Lake City based Epic Black Metal band called Caladan Brood, formed by a duo dubbing themselves Mortal Sword and Shield Anvil.[24][25]

BibliographyEdit

As Steven Erikson

Malazan Book of the Fallen series: Novels Edit

A few colorful characters by slaine69

Interpretation of some characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Slaine69

Kharkanas Trilogy Edit

Witness TrilogyEdit

Malazan Book of the Fallen series: Novellas Edit

Malazan Book of the Fallen series: Short StoriesEdit

Non-Malazan Edit

Novels

Novellas

Non-fiction

  • Writing Fantasy Heroes: Powerful Advice from the Pros (2013) - contributor
    ISBN 9780982053683

As Steve Lundin Edit

Novels

Short stories and novellas

TriviaEdit

  • The Erikson pen name comes from his mother's maiden name.[26]
  • Erikson cites Stephen Donaldson and Glen Cook as his major influences within fantasy fiction.[27]
  • Erikson prefers writing in public places surrounded by people, and frequently acknowledges the pubs, bars, and cafes where he worked at the front of each book.[28] He wrote the entirety of his science fiction novel, Willful Child: The Search for Spark, in under four weeks while on a writing retreat in Opatija, Croatia. He spent 4 to 5 hours every day writing at an outdoor bar without breaks.[29]
  • Erikson and Esslemont usually meet once a year at the International Conference on the Fantastic Arts in Orlando, Florida to coordinate details in their books. According to Erikson, the two authors "hang out by the pool, and get drunk, and talk about what we're working on. So we work through some stories there...Often I don't see [Esslemont's] manuscript until the book's been published."[30]
  • Although never a soldier himself, Erikson attributes some of his experiences as an archaeologist to his ability to faithfully capture the feel of soldiers at war. Field work often involved being isolated with small groups of people in otherwise difficult and unpopulated environments. "Bush fever" once caused one of his coworkers to attack him with a hatchet "because I said the wrong thing at the wrong time." After a dig in Belize in 1983, Erikson visited Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Guatemala was in the midst of a civil war and Erikson was witness to its brutality before he could find his way back to Belize.[31]
  • Erikson is a long time fencer and finds the acrobatic sword fighting styles common in fantasy television and movies to be unrealistic and ineffective. Using a fencing epee, he once handily defeated a champion from the Society for Creative Anachronism who was armed with a rapier and parrying blade.[32]
  • Erikson once wrote a script for the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it was ultimately rejected. He summarised the plot as:
    "A giant last surviving alien in a sleeper ship over a dead planet. Enterprise inadvertently awakens him. In so doing, the alien informs them that he represents a flytrap for an old enemy, who's now on the way. On the planet below, cities rise from beneath earth, revealing a vast thriving civilization. The old enemy appears -- the Doomsday machine. Picard and co beg the alien to save the planet below, but the planet is the honey in the trap, and the planet-killer must be in the act of destroying it for the alien to strike at its heart, which he does. Picard rails against the terrible loss: only to discover that the civilization is a chimera -- not real. The alien sacrifices himself destroying the planet-killer."[33]
  • Game developer Bungie approached Erikson to write novels or short stories based on the world of the Destiny video game while it was still early in production. The demands of the property's constantly changing backstory and shifting management teams led Erikson to turn down a $100,000 contract. He did complete a single short story for the project, but it was never published.[34]
  • In November 2017, Erikson announced plans on his Facebook page to auction off the names of two characters for his upcoming novel, Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart as part of the Worldbuilders charity.

Image GalleryEdit

External linksEdit

EssaysEdit

ArtEdit

Erikson has painted a number of holiday cards featuring his characters (malazanempire.com membership may be required to view some images).

InterviewsEdit

PrintEdit

VideoEdit

Audio/PodcastEdit

Comments attributed to Steven Erikson from book signings and other sourcesEdit

The Tor rereadEdit

(Note to editors: Do NOT copy from TOR reread to the Wiki)

Other Authors On Steven Erikson and the Malazan seriesEdit

Public appearancesEdit

WikisEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Steven Erikson. booksattransworld. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steven Erikson. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  3. Thompson, William (2004). The SF Site Featured Review: Midnight Tides. The SF Site. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
  4. House of Chains by Steven Erikson. Fantasy Book Review. Fantasybookreview.com (2008). Retrieved on 10 August 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Interview with Steven Erikson. SFFWorld.com (Jan 21 2006). Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Steven Erikson biography. Fantasy Book Review. Fantasybookreview.com. Retrieved on 10 August 2009.
  7. Penguin Books Author Biography
  8. Steven-Erikson.org About the Author
  9. Facebook post 3 January 2018
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Moss, Stephen (1999-10-14). Malazans and megabucks. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
  11. Steven Erikson. Macmillan (2008). Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Vandermeer, Jeff (2008). Steven Erikson: No Lies, No Holding Back. Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved on 31 August 2009.
  13. Facebook post 29 December 2017
  14. 14.0 14.1 On the spot at Bookspotcentral: Interview with Steven Erikson. bookspotcentral.com. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  15. Erikson Q & A - Part 6
  16. Gardens of the Moon review at Science Fiction Book Club
  17. Leonard, Andrew (2004-06-21). Archaeologist of lost worlds. Salon.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
  18. Steven Erikson (2014) Ask Steven Erikson Your Crippled God Questions!, Tor Blogs, Macmillan, Accessed: 16-12-2014, Available: <http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/11/steven-erikson-the-crippled-god-q-and-a>, see Steven Erikson's answer to question 37
  19. Top ten books of 2000. SF Site.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Erikson Q & A - Part 7. YouTube.
  21. Steven Erikson interview. Fantasy Book Critic.
  22. Steven Erikson Q & A - Part 5. YouTube.
  23. October Gold - Bridge of the Sun"
  24. Caladan Brood Bandcamp page
  25. Caladan Brood Facebook page
  26. Q and A with malazanempire No 2 (2003)
  27. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds See 10:45
  28. Facebook post 12 January 2018
  29. Facebook post 28 March 2018
  30. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 36:30
  31. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 45:25
  32. Black Gate Magazine video interview (see 25:20)
  33. Reddit AMA 2015
  34. Black Gate Magazine video interview (see 31:35)
  35. Facebook post 24 November 2017
  36. Locus Online-2019 ICFA Report
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