Thursday, 22 July 2010

Steven Erikson completes THE MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN

"Going on holiday now. Thinking of Assail. The brochure looked nice."

From the author himself via Facebook (as spotted by Pat):

"GASP! That would be me, coming up for air. How long was I down there? About twenty years, from conception to completion. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is done. Sure, editing and all that crap to follow. But ... done. I don't know who I am. Who am I again? What planet is this? Three months of butterflies ... maybe this double whiskey will fix that. Hmm. No. Delayed reaction going on here."

Congratulations to Steven Erikson. I'm on record as being sceptical over how much closure The Crippled God can bring to the series (what with no less than ten additional Malazan novels on their way from both Erikson and Ian Esslemont, plus myriad novellas and a companion volume), but I am more than happy to be proven wrong. At the very least, it sounds like the story of the Crippled God, the Bonehunters and the Master of the Deck will conclude in February 2011.

13 comments:

Andy said...

Meanwhile, GRRM is posting youtube videos on his blog.

Aizaz said...

GRRM, Lynch, and Rothfuss need to take notice. Not only did Erikson finish his series, he did so by completing a book every 9 to 10 months.

Erikson's strong turn out rate and a guaranteed finish to the series were two of the reasons as to why I picked up the Malazan Series. Right now, I'm reading Midnight Tides, and the only regret I have is why I didn't pick these books up sooner.

Is Erikson's Facebook page public? I couldn't find it, if anyone has the link, can you post it....

Thanks

Adam Whitehead said...

A very strong counter-argument to that (very frequently-made) point is that it was only possible to complete the MALAZAN series so quickly by foregoing any kind of rewriting/redrafting process, and the amount of editing on each novel is small to nonexistent by the author's own admission (in his 2002 interview with SFX Magazine: "I couldn't turn in a 350,000-word novel every year if I did multiple drafts,"). This is why the books are riddled with increasingly difficult-to-ignore continuity errors and many other problems as they go along.

That said, I have come to conclude that Erikson is indeed a genius. As rough as the books are, I have come across no other author who can create such good work so reliably on a first draft basis, especially considering this is easily the most complex epic fantasy series ever written. It's also my primary complaint with the MALAZAN series: if this is what we got with a first draft, how much better would it have been with multiple drafts taking longer, eliminating all of the (sometimes considerable) flaws?

We will see what he does next with the KHARKANAS TRILOGY, which will apparently be written over a longer span of time. I am eager to see what Erikson can do with that much more time to perfect his writing.

Anonymous said...

Do you not think he'd ever consider revising the series in a few years time then perhaps.
After he's finished all the Malazan novels and has some time, just "standardising" the works. Sorting out continuity. Sorta like Raymond E. Feists newer edition of Magician?

Kenn

Adam Whitehead said...

In a word, no.

For MAGICIAN and THE STAND Feist and King just went pack and put back in several tens of thousands of words they'd been asked to cut out. It was a pretty straightforward process.

To repair the holes in MALAZAN would be a massive, massive undertaking, and I'm think it's likely that both SE and his publisher would say the books have been successful enough as they are and don't really warrant such a huge amount of work.

Anonymous said...

I wish all authors could produce this level of consistently good material without 5 year waits in between the volumes of an ongoing series. If a couple of time line issues is the biggest flaw for being able to actually finish a series within 2 decades then I'm more than happy. Perfectionism can also be viewed as a lack of confidence.

Siderite said...

Ooooh, I can't wait to read it. I got really spooked the other day when I found myself cursing to Hood. That and the Evolutionary Void are my reason to live this year.

BTW, great work with this blog! It seems you work full time on it! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

This is great news, just fantastic.

IMHO there isn’t any other now living fantasy author that can produce books on the same level as The Malazan series. No matter how many years they spend editing them. Esslemont and Erikson deliver quality every single time.

ASOIAF is still good though, just not as good.

Adam Whitehead said...

MALAZAN and ASoIaF are such different beasts I think it's difficult for someone with the same mindset to enjoy both at the same level. ASoIaF is detail-oriented and character-focused with serious restrictions on how much crazy is allowed in the books (multi-billion-ton slabs of solid ice obviously excepted).

MALAZAN runs roughshod over the details and just cuts loose with the mentalism (giant jade statues stuffed full of dead souls acting as an anti-orbital laser battery?). Which is awesome, but on a different level. I simply can't take it as seriously as ASoIaF or PRINCE OF NOTHING or other series in that vein. Anything can happen in the Malazan universe and there doesn't have to be rhyme or reason for it. That's cool, but not as compelling for me as a reader.

Siderite said...

I see the Malazan universe like a single gigantic character. Everything else is slightly relevant and the fact that we as readers focus on some characters akin to focusing on some attractive body part in a beautiful woman. And since the world is both hero and villain, it would be boring to not have it expand and change dynamically with each book.

Personally, that's what I love about the Malazan stories.

Admitedly, haven't even touched A Song of Fire and Earth or Prince of Nothing. Working on rectifying this, though...

Siderite said...

Ugh! I meant A Song of Ice and Fire :)

Sebulr said...

Great news. I eagerly await The Crippled God. I love the Malazan series, and agee with everything you say about it Adam, It is headache inducing in in complexity, but his use of language is wonderful.

The weirdness of the books, I totally agree with, its one of the reasons why I read them.

chemmyone said...

When I was younger I read 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever' in record time with the mad enthusiasm of a 11-13 (memory fails) yr old.. Until I read 'Gardens of the Moon' 7-8yrs ago (some years later) I had never clicked like I did with above.. Then to see SRD giving props to SE on one of the books blew my mind.. I'm about to try out the write a novel in the month of november challenge (i .. .. i think) .. I came by this site looking for SE's email or contact info but had to blather about how I utterly adore SRD and SE for not only satiating my need for hard complex dark escapist fantasy but for writing in such a way that tweaks my mental bits in such an effective manner..;)

Aizaz: Any luck with FB page or contact info? (scanned thread, will scan more..;))