He is best known for his ten-volume spanning epic fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen, which began with the publication of Gardens of the Moon (1999) and was completed with the publication of The Crippled God (2011). By 2012 over 1 million copies of the series had been sold worldwide, and over 3 million copies by 2018. SF Site has called the series "the most significant work of epic fantasy since Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant," and Fantasy Book Review described it as "the best fantasy series of recent times." Fellow author Glen Cook has called the series a masterwork, while Stephen R. Donaldson has praised him for his approach to the fantasy genre and has compared him to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Set in the Malazan world, Erikson has written a prequel trilogy, The Kharkanas Trilogy, six novellas, and is currently working on a sequel trilogy, The Witness Trilogy, the first book of which, titled The God is Not Willing, is expected to be published in 2019.
His foray into Science Fiction has produced a comedic trilogy, the Willful Child Trilogy, a spoof on Star Trek and other tropes common in the genre, and a First Contact novel titled Rejoice, a Knife To the Heart, published in 2018.
|Born||Steve Rune Lundin|
October 7, 1959
|Genres||Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Coming of Age|
|Literary movement||Iowa Writers’ Workshop|
Erikson was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Winnipeg. He subsequently lived in the UK with his wife and son, but has since returned to Winnipeg. He is an anthropologist and archaeologist by training and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 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, he received a grant to finish the work which was published by TSAR, a small Canadian publishing house. For his next work he 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, he sold what he refers to as his "first real novel" to Hodder and Stoughton — This River Awakens — written when he still lived in Winnipeg. Before assuming his pseudonym, Erikson published his first four books, currently out of print, under his real name. In addition to writing, he paints using oil paints.
Erikson and Esslemont initially devised the Malazan world as a backdrop for a table-top role-playing game. Unhappy with the lack of quality adult oriented fantasy movies at the time, the duo decided to write their own movie script using their gaming experience and the world they had created. The script, titled Gardens of the Moon, was deemed too risky and failed to sell. With interest in the script seeming nonexistent, Erikson, with Esslemont's go ahead, reworked it into a fantasy novel, which he completed around 1991–92. 
After meeting almost a decade of rejection, the novel was finally sold to Transworld, a division of Random House. The publisher was pleased with the work and requested Erikson write additional books in the series. Using the history of the Malazan world 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.
While there are many plotlines woven through the whole series, the main storyline focuses on a period in time where the Malazan Empire is facing resistance to their conquest of the world. The series was completed with the publication of The Crippled God, the tenth novel in the series, in 2011.
Erikson's background as an archeologist and anthropologist also shaped how he crafted the story. His approach was to use as many perspectives and point of views as possible in terms of interpreting history. He also drew inspiration from Homer's Illiad, where gods constantly meddled into mortal affairs, adding the twist that it doesn't always workout as planned for the god.
As of 2018, 3 million copies have been sold.
After the publication of the seventh novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Reapers Gale, Erikson and his publisher reached an agreement for him to write two trilogies and novellas set in the Malazan world. This consequently led Erikson to choose to write a prequel trilogy, titled the Kharkanas Trilogy, set almost three hundred thousand years before the events of the main series, elements of which he began introducing in Toll the Hounds and in The Crippled God.
The series deals with numerous founding or elder races from the Malazan World, with the narrative anchored around the circumstances that would ultimately lead to the split of the Tiste race. It sheds light and demystifies the events that are often hinted at in the background of Malazan Book of the Fallen. Primarily focusing on characters such as Anomander Rake, Draconus, Gothos, Krull and Hood, mainly through the eyes of secondary characters.
As of 2018, two novels have been published, Forge of Darkness (2012) and Fall of Light (2016), with the third taking a backseat to the first novel in the Witness trilogy. In a post on his official Facebook account, the author explained that the dismal sale figures for the previous novels and the creative toll employing the writing style used throughout the previous books was what had led to his decision to take a break from it in order to do it justice.
The second trilogy Erikson planned on writing centres around the popular Karsa Orlong character. This trilogy will be a sequel to the main series, set, according to the author, a decade after the main narrative.
The first novel is titled The God is Not Willing, which is set to be released in November, 2019.
Erikson wrote side stories centering on two necromancers and their butler, characters he introduced in Memories of Ice, the third novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. These side stories take place in the Malazan world, but have no connection to the series' overall plot.
As of 2018, six novellas have been published, the first in 2002, titled Blood Follows, and the latest in 2016, tilted The Fiends of Nightmaria. In 2009, the first three novellas were collected and published together as The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. And in 2018, books four to six were collected and published together as The Second Collected Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach.
Erikson, as per his agreement with his publisher, is expected to write three more novellas featuring these characters.
Erikson is a huge fan of the Star Trek series, especially the first iteration which he credits as being his gateway to Science Fiction in general. But he finds himself feeling disenfranchised by some of the later iterations, especially from The Next Generation onward. In an interview he goes into detail regarding this issue, concluding that among other things creative compromises were to blame for the dip in quality. But while criticizing the series' current state, he affirms that he nonetheless still is a fan. Willful Child, published in September, 2014, is Erikson's "response" to the overused tropes and caricature of Captain Kirk esque characters in science fiction, with the main character, Captain Hardrian, being the most recognizable reflection. While the novel is a spoof of science fiction in general, it is rife with oftentimes poignant social commentary.
The Wrath of Betty, the follow-up, was published in 2016.
|Instead ... I wanted an ET arriving that then set about doing what it does, while utterly and completely ignoring the usual list of suspects (presidents, men-in-black, scientists, the military); and to then not only ignore them, but bring them down. An end to secrecy. An end to hidden power-blocks and all the vicious games they play to stay in power. Wake up, world, to a brand-new day.|
Having written a three million words spanning fantasy series and having dealt with all the tropes that came with it, Erikson feels desensitized by most works found in the genre, which is why he prefers reading Science Fiction. For more than a decade, he has also had aspirations to write a First Contact science fiction novel. In 2017, UK based publisher Gollancz revealed in a press release that they had acquired the right to this project, titled Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart. In Canada, the publishing rights are owned by Promontory Press Inc.
Similar to his fantasy work, Erikson revealed that he would be playing with and overturning the conventions and dismantling a few tropes. It was his opinion that far too often the invading aliens would seek contact with an authority figure, someone in power. His goal was to flip that by asking what would happen if the aliens made contact with someone completely opposite.
Erikson has stated that apart from examining the "human condition", all his literary work share "compassion" as a theme, or main driving force. Furthermore, when envisioning the Malazan world, both Esslemont and he agreed to create societies and cultures that never knew sexism and gender based hierarchies of power.
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. They embody the multidimensional characteristics found in human beings, making them more realistic and giving the story more depth, which is why his books are anything but predictable. He deliberately began Gardens of the Moon mid-plot rather than beginning with a more conventional narrative. 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.
|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.|
Erikson's first novel of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Gardens of the Moon (1999), was well received. It was short-listed for a World Fantasy Award It has also earned him the reputation as one of the best authors in the fantasy genre, and was described as "An astounding début". The novel was acclaimed for its "combination of originality and intelligent, strong and exciting storytelling". The second book in the series, Deadhouse Gates (2000), was voted one of the ten best fantasy novels of 2000 by SF Site.
Fellow author Glen Cook has called the series a masterwork of the imagination that may be the high water mark of the epic fantasy genre. In his treatise written for The New York Review of Science Fiction, fellow author Stephen R. Donaldson has also praised Erikson for his approach to the fantasy genre, the subversion of classical tropes, the complex characterizations, the social commentary — pointing explicitly to parallels between the fictional Letheras Economy and the US Economy — and has referred to him as "an extraordinary writer", comparing him to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Erikson attributes paper and pen Role-Playing games, specifically AD&D and GURP, as being the biggest influence in his writing career, and even calls it the fundament the Malazan Empire, from his Malazan Book of the Fallen series, is based on. Stephen R. Donaldson's, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and Glenn Cook's The Black Company, both ushering post-Tolkien style of writing, are among some of the works that have influenced his storytelling. He also credits the works of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Homer, Arthur C. Clarke, Roger Zelazny, John Gardner, Gustav Hasford, Mark Helprin and Robin Hobb as some of the influences he used in the Malazan works.
|A Ruin of Feathers||1991||Novella||as Steve Lundin|
|Revolvo & Other Canadian Tales||1998|
|This River Awakens||1998||Novel|
|Gardens of the Moon||1999||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Deadhouse Gates||2000||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Memories of Ice||2001||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Blood Follows||2002||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|House of Chains||2002||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Midnight Tides||2004||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|The Healthy Dead||2004||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|The Devil Delivered||2004||Novella||Standalone|
|Fishin' with Grandma Matchie||2004|
|When She's Gone||2004|
|The Bonehunters||2006||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Reaper's Gale||2007||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|The Lees of Laughter's End||2007||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|Toll the Hounds||2008||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|Crack’d Pot Trail||2009||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|Dust of Dreams||2009||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|The Crippled God||2011||Novel||Malazan Book of the Fallen|
|The Wurms of Blearmouth||2012||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|The Devil Delivered and Other Tales||2012||Novella||Standalone|
|Forge of Darkness||2012||Novel||The Kharkanas Trilogy|
|Willful Child||2014||Novel||Willful Child Trilogy|
|Willful Child: Wrath of Betty||2016||Novel||Willful Child Trilogy|
|Fall of Light||2016||Novel||The Kharkanas Trilogy|
|The Fiends of Nightmaria||2016||Novella||The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach|
|Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart||2018||Novel||Standalone|
|Willful Child: The Search for Spark||2018||Novel||Willful Child Trilogy|
|The God is Not Willing||2019||Novel||The Witness Trilogy|
|Walk in Shadow||TBA||Novel||The Kharkanas Trilogy|
Blood Follows is a novella by Steven Erikson set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The events of this book take place prior to those in the main series, and do not necessarily concern the main story plot line.
Originally published only in Europe by PS Publishing in 2002, the hard cover version had a run of only 300 copies, while the first and second edition paperback versions each had 500 copies printed.
All of the first editions were signed by the author. The introduction to the original printing is by Stephen R. Donaldson, an acknowledged fan of Steven Erikson's work.
In 2005, Blood Follows was re-published in the United States by Night Shade Books. Again, there was a limited run of signed copies.Blood and Bone (novel)
Blood and Bone is the fifth fantasy novel by Canadian author Ian Cameron Esslemont set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, co-created with Esslemont's friend and colleague Steven Erikson. Blood and Bone is the fifth of six novels by Esslemont to take place in the Malazan world.Crack'd Pot Trail
Crack'd Pot Trail is the fourth novella by Canadian author Steven Erikson in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It is preceded by The Lees of Laughter's End, and will be followed by another two novellas. The novella was released in December 2009 with 300 traycased, signed and jacketed hardcovers with color plates and 700 unjacketed and unsigned hardcovers copies available for pre-order.Fall of Light
Fall of Light is the second novel in the Kharkanas Trilogy written by Canadian author Steven Erikson. The story is divided into three main plot threads told from major and minor character POVs. The first tells the story of the Tiste race as they struggle to find their place in a society now divided into three factions — Andii, Liosan and Deniers — and which is on the brink of civil war. The second tells the story of the Jaghut who have now declared war against Death itself, and of various groups and races who have answered this call to arms. And the last tells the story of the Azathanai K'rul who has gifted the world sorcery, yet now finds himself vulnerable against his own kin.
The novel was published on 21 April 2016 in the United Kingdom by Bantam Books, and on 26 April 2016 in the United States by Tom Doherty Associates, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. Although Erikson found it harder to finish the novel compared to his previous works, Fall of Light won high praise from critics and fellow authors, some even hailing it as one of Erikson's best works to date.
Several critics have praised the themes of love, empathy and compassion, and the Shakespearean tone and style of the novel. Others have praised it for its timely social commentary, with one critic noting how on a deeper level it conveys the terror and awfulness of war, and how it can affect every individual, young or old.Forge of Darkness
Forge of Darkness is the first novel of The Kharkanas Trilogy by Canadian author Steven Erikson, set before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.The novel is set 300,000 years before the events in the Book of the Fallen and explores the background of the Tiste race and their impending civil war. The novel is framed as being told by one poet to another.Gardens of the Moon
Gardens of the Moon is the first of ten novels in Canadian author Steven Erikson's high fantasy series the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published in 1999 and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.The novel details the various struggles for power on an intercontinental region dominated by the Malazan Empire. It is notable for the use of high magic, and unusual plot structure. Gardens of the Moon centres around the Imperial campaign to conquer the city of Darujhistan on the continent of Genabackis.House of Chains
House of Chains is the fourth volume of Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen, and a direct sequel to the second volume in the series, Deadhouse Gates.
The novel was the first in the series to be published in hardback, first appearing in the United Kingdom on 2 December 2002. A mass-market paperback edition followed on 3 October 2003. The first United States edition was a hardcover published on 22 August 2006.Malazan Book of the Fallen
Malazan Book of the Fallen is a high fantasy book series by the Canadian author Steven Erikson. The series, published by Bantam Books in the U.K. and Tor Books in the U.S., consists of ten volumes, beginning with Gardens of the Moon (1999) and concluding with The Crippled God (2011). Erikson's series is extremely complex with a wide scope, and presents the narratives of a large cast of characters spanning thousands of years across multiple continents. His plotting presents a complicated series of events in the world upon which the Malazan Empire is located. Each of the first five novels is relatively self-contained, in that each resolves its respective primary conflict; but many underlying characters and events are interwoven throughout the works of the series, binding it together.
The Malazan world was co-created by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont in the early 1980s as a backdrop to their GURPS roleplaying campaign. In 2005, Esslemont began publishing his own series of six novels set in the same world, beginning with Night of Knives. Although Esslemont's books are published under a different series title – Novels of the Malazan Empire – Esslemont and Erikson collaborated on the storyline for the entire sixteen-book project and Esslemont's novels are considered to be as canonical and integral to the series' mythos as Erikson's own.
The series has received widespread critical acclaim, with reviewers praising the epic scope, plot complexity and characterizations, and fellow authors such as Glen Cook (The Black Company) and Stephen R. Donaldson (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant) hailing it as a masterwork of the imagination, and comparing Erikson to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.Midnight Tides
Midnight Tides is the fifth volume of Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Although it is part of the larger series, it has only limited references to the previous books. However, it is not a stand-alone volume as the events of the books Reaper's Gale and Dust of Dreams follow on from it.
The novel was first published in the United Kingdom as a hardcover on 1 March 2004, with a mass-market paperback following on 1 March 2005. The first American edition came out on 17 April 2007.Orb Sceptre Throne
Orb Sceptre Throne is the fourth fantasy novel by Canadian author Ian Cameron Esslemont set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, co-created with Esslemont's friend and colleague Steven Erikson. Orb Sceptre Throne is the fourth of six novels by Esslemont to take place in the Malazan world.Reaper's Gale
Reaper's Gale is the seventh volume of Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Reaper's Gale is a direct sequel to both the fifth and sixth volumes, Midnight Tides and The Bonehunters.
The novel was first published in hardcover and trade paperback in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2007, and in Canada on 5 June 2007. It was published in the United States on March 4, 2008.Stonewielder
Stonewielder is the third fantasy novel by Canadian author Ian Cameron Esslemont set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, co-created with Esslemont's friend and colleague Steven Erikson. Stonewielder is the third of six novels by Esslemont to take place in the Malazan world.The Bonehunters
The Bonehunters is the sixth volume in Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The Bonehunters is a direct sequel to the fourth volume, House of Chains, and alludes to events in the fifth, Midnight Tides.The novel was first published in the United Kingdom as a hardcover on 1 March 2006. The first mass-market paperback edition appeared in April 2007. The first United States edition was published in September 2007.The Healthy Dead
The Healthy Dead is a novella by Canadian author Steven Erikson, set in the world of his Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series. It continues the story line of Bauchelain, Korbal Broach and Emancipor Reese, three characters who had a cameo appearance in the novel Memories of Ice and were the focus for the previous novella, Blood Follows.In 2014 it had a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon.The novella was published in the United Kingdom by PS Publishing in 2004, and in the United States by Night Shade Books in December 2005.
The follow-up to The Healthy Dead is The Lees Of Laughter's End, also published by PS Publishing in 2007. The follow-up novella actually takes place in a gap of time between the end of Blood Follows and the beginning of The Healthy Dead, although it was written later.The Kharkanas Trilogy
The Kharkanas Trilogy is an epic fantasy series by the Canadian writer Steven Erikson. The series consists of three novels, two of which—Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light—have been published as of 2017. The series serves as a prequel to Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and tells the story of the Tiste, Jaghut and Azathanai, three hundred thousand years before the Malazan Empire began its conquest on Genabackis, with a focus on characters such as Anomander Rake, Draconus, Hood, Gothos and K'rul.
The series draws inspiration from the Shakespearean declamation style, and is framed as being told by one poet to another.
It was received positively by critics as well as readers.The Lees of Laughter's End
The Lees Of Laughter's End is a novella by Canadian author Steven Erikson, set in the world of his Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series. It continues the storyline of Bauchelain, Korbal Broach and Emancipor Reese, three characters who had a cameo appearance in the novel Memories of Ice and were the focus for the previous two novellas, Blood Follows and The Healthy Dead. Although this novella was written after The Healthy Dead, its place in the storyline is immediately following Blood Follows and prior to The Healthy Dead.
The novella was published in the United Kingdom by PS Publishing in March 2007.The Wurms of Blearmouth
The Wurms of Blearmouth is the fifth novella written by Canadian author Steven Erikson, set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It follows the adventures of the duo, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese.This River Awakens
This River Awakens is the first novel by Canadian author Steve Lundin, best known by his pseudonym Steven Erikson. The book was first published in 1998, with funding by the Manitoba Arts Council.Toll the Hounds
Toll the Hounds is the eighth novel in Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published on June 30, 2008 in the UK and Canada, and on September 16, 2008 in the USA.
Toll the Hounds centers around the legacy of Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, and the convergence of various powers in the city of Darujhistan.
Works by Steven Erikson
Works by Ian Cameron Esslemont