Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Hello world!

So yesterday I was chatting away to a few people about Steven Erikson - that writerly chap who had the grand ambition of conceiving and writing The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Those people I was chatting to included Niall Alexander - he of The Speculative Scotsman site - and Mihai, who runs Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews.

Now, Niall had already planned to do a series of features on Erikson over the course of the next few months - you can find all the lovely details here but for the lazy clickers amongst you I shall pull out the pertinent information:

So much so, in fact, that in a few weeks you'll be seeing the first in what I hope will be a regular feature series here on The Speculative Scotsman. For the moment, I'm calling it The Malazan Diaries, and whatever particular shape or form it might take, it's going to be a chronicle of my experiences with The Malazan Book of the Fallen from the very first page of the first book in the sequence to the last page of The Crippled God, which still doesn't have a release date yet, though given Erikson's track record should be along sometime in 2011. If I've time enough, I may even take in the novella-length side-stories, not to mention co-creator Ian Cameron Esslemont's novels of The Malazan Empire.

It's going to be quite the trip, and God knows, it could take years for me to make, but I mean to be good and ready for the last novel in The Malazan Book of the Fallen when it arrives. For now, I'll say no more - only advise that you keep your browsers and RSS readers tuned to The Speculative Scotsman for more details on The Malazan Diaries shortly. And if you're feeling particularly kind, you can even help spread the word. This promises to be a long and involved discussion of one of the great fantasy sagas of all time, and if you know a Malazan fan, please do point him or her on over here; I'd love to have everyone with even a passing interest on the series along for the ride, and the participation of an experienced Erikson reader could make for a perfect counterweight to what I'm sure will be a wealth of uninformed observations and assumptions.
Well, this all sounded very interesting - especially being as both Mihai and I had tentatively planned to do full reads of Erikson's work as well. And therefore led to the Gate Crashing of the title. We decided to jump on Niall's band wagon and join him in reviews/discussions etc

I am particularly intrigued by this because (although I'm not sure yet!) I have a sneaking suspicion I might be one of those who falls off the Erikson train at an early stage. I read Gardens of the Moon a long while ago, and never bothered picking up the second - whether this is down to a clash with Erikson's writing or merely my mood at the time, I am not certain. We'll see how it goes down this time around!

So - as Niall says too - I hope you'll join all three of us on this bumpy journey with plentiful comments and participation!


  1. I've read the first 3 books and I loved them. Especially Deadhouse Gates (2nd book) and Memories of Ice (3rd book) were very very strong. I reviewed the first 2 books a while back but I still have to write a review for the 3rd one. I have my notes, it's just a matter of finding time to put them together... And of course, as soon as I find some time I'm going to read House of Chains. Erikson rocks!

  2. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of getting into this huge series of books! It is one of those series that so many rave about but passed me by while I read other things. So it's about time I gave it another try :-)

  3. We had talked about doing something like this over at Fantasyliterature. I've not read any of the Malazan when do we start? We should start a gooreads group for the occasion of getting through this series.

  4. Ooooh, come gate crash as well! Mihai and Niall are both ahead of me, in that they've actually read some of the first book. I've not even cracked the spine on it! And all three of us have review copies that need more urgent love - so we're sort of committing to getting the first book read sometime this month :-)

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  6. ops... something went wrong..
    This is perhaps an intrepid statement, but sometimes you come across a book or an author that has the skill and the imagination to create something original. Refreshing a genre that has been on hold and needs new “blood”.

    When Steven Erikson wrote Gardens of the Moon he added something totally new to a genre that really required some new input. The fantasy genre was in my opinion losing its appeal and the storyline was often very “undemanding”.

    Steven brought a complexity to the story and the characters. The magic and the people flowed together as authentic as it possible to achieve in fantasy story.

    But for Steven, the story around magic is not casual invented and he uses his great imaginative intellect to weave a plausible reason how magic works and who can cast and rule it.

    As we all are at some point in life.And for me that was one of those “magically” moments that fantastic books have given me.
    Steven Erikson has great gift for bringing life to fictional beings. His characters are often not flawless, but still have some “code” they live by. And I think to live by a code is something that holds attention to the user. They can be bad but still will do the right thing. Of course Steven also has the really wicked and virtuous character.

    But it is the complexity in the storyline that shows what fantastic writer Steven is. When you think he has lost the treads in the story he weaves them in again. And he can definitively produce words and perhaps this is the only flaw
    I can find in Steven.
    He really enjoys the play with the language and sometimes he could in my opinion reduce the individual stories. But I guess he has fell in the Scifi trap, as many others have done before him and are doing today; do not publish a book under 700 pages.
    The vinter is still long and cold. So ff you are going to buy one series to bring to the cabin or at home I recommend Malazan Book of the Fallen.

  7. I'm slowly working my way through the 7th right now, Reaper's Gale. Love this series and although each book takes lots of work, the endings will blow your mind and are completely worth it.

    Warning, you may finally find that you're 'getting it' after the first book, but each book tends to start you off with a whole new set of characters in a totally different place. Erikson really likes to make his readers work through each book.

  8. This is an old post, but imagine my surprise to come across my photo of my Malazan book collection!