The Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach are a series of darkly comic novellas written by Steven Erikson that follow the adventures of the titular necromancers and their long-suffering manservant, Emancipor Reese. They take place in the same universe as the Malazan Book of the Fallen and the Novels of the Malazan Empire, with Bauchelain, Broach, and Reese briefly appearing in Memories of Ice and Orb Sceptre Throne, but they are side stories to the rest of the Malazan narrative.
- "Where the Malazan series runs counter to Fantasy tropes, the necromancer novellas strive to counter the ethics of modern, presumed sensibilities – which is just a fancy way of saying that they are satires."
- ―Steven Erikson
Erikson writes these novellas whenever he "need[s] a real break" and finds them "a lot of fun to write". He calls them a kind of homage to the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories of Fritz Leiber.
In 2010, Erikson began work on a Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novella called Excesses of Youth. But by 2011, he mentioned that work on the novella "was not grabbing me", and so instead he began writing The Wurms of Blearmouth.
In a 2016 interview, Erikson stated that he had a contract to write three more Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas bringing the total to nine.
Each of the novellas is self contained, but builds on a larger story. The order that the novellas were published does not match the order in which overall story events take place.
- Blood Follows (2002)
- The Healthy Dead (2004)
- The Lees of Laughter's End (2007)
- Crack'd Pot Trail (2009)
- The Wurms of Blearmouth (2012)
- The Fiends of Nightmaria (2016)
- Upon a Dark of Evil Overlords (2021)
- Blood Follows
- The Lees of Laughter's End
- The Wurms of Blearmouth
- The Healthy Dead
- Crack'd Pot Trail
- The Fiends of Nightmaria
- Upon a Dark of Evil Overlords
- Blood Follows introduces the necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach as Emancipor Reese makes the fateful decision to apply for a job as a manservant. Meanwhile a vicious killer stalks the streets of Lamentable Moll.
- The Lees of Laughter's End sees the trio leaving Moll on a doomed ship and encountering unexpected foes in the eldritch waters of Laughter's End.
- The Wurms of Blearmouth finds the necromancers and their servant shipwrecked and pursued by enemies at a small isolated coastal town run by a sorcerer-tyrant.
- The Healthy Dead involves the necromancers in the affairs of Quaint and the town's cult of wellness, where citizens are encouraged to be happy and healthy upon pain of death.
- Crack'd Pot Trail follows all of the necromancers' old enemies as they gather together to bring final justice to the terrible duo.
- The Fiends of Nightmaria involves Bauchelain, newly crowned King of Farrog, Korbal Broach, newly invested as Farrog's Grand Bishop, and the slowly unraveling Emancipor Reese in their dealings with both new as well as old foes as they do their best (worst?) to rule the kingdom.
- Upon a Dark of Evil Overlords sees a legion of undead commanded by The Tearful Three poised to eliminate the town of Earbeford. The fearful town leaders are only too happy to employ the newly arrived necromancers to eliminate the threat.
The first through third published novellas (Blood Follows, The Healthy Dead, and The Lees of Laughter's End) have been reprinted together in The First Collected Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach by PS Publishing (UK HC - 2007) and also by TOR (US TPB - 2009).
The fourth through sixth published novellas (Crack'd Pot Trail, The Wurms of Blearmouth, and The Fiends of Nightmaria) have been reprinted together in The Second Collected Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach by Bantam (UK HC - 2018).