Steven Erikson

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Steven Erikson
October 2016
October 2016
Born Steve Rune Lundin
(1959-10-07) October 7, 1959 (age 59)
Toronto, Ontario
Pen name
  • Steven Erikson
  • Steve Lundin
Occupation Author
Language English
Nationality Canadian
Citizenship Canadian
Period Since 1991[1]
Genres Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Coming of Age
Literary movement Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Notable works
Years active 1991-present
Children 1


Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal

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.[1]

His best-known work is the ten-volume fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen, which by 2012 had sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.[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 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.[5][6][7][8] In an interview with, Erikson acknowledged that he originally doubted the series would become "mainstream", and was subsequently surprised at how successful the series has been.[9] He also noted how people "either hate the series or love it".[9]


Erikson was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Winnipeg.[1] He subsequently lived in the UK with his wife and son, but has since returned to Winnipeg.[1] He is an anthropologist and archaeologist by training and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.[10] 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.[11] In addition to writing, he paints using oil paints.[11]


Malazan Book of the Fallen series[edit]


# Title 1st Publication Approximate Word Count[12] Pages (Bantam Paperback) Audio
1 Gardens of the Moon 1 April 1999 209,000 768 26h 8m
2 Deadhouse Gates 1 September 2000 272,000 960 34h 5m
3 Memories of Ice 6 December 2001 358,000 1187 43h 59m
4 House of Chains 2 December 2002 306,000 1040 35h 6m
5 Midnight Tides 1 March 2004 270,000 960 31h 3m
6 The Bonehunters 1 March 2006 365,000 1232 42h 6m
7 Reaper's Gale 7 May 2007 386,000 1280 43h 58m
8 Toll the Hounds 30 June 2008 392,000 1296 44h 9m
9 Dust of Dreams 18 August 2009 382,000 1280 43h 13m
10 The Crippled God 15 February 2011 385,000 1200 45h 21m
Approximate Total: 3,325,000 11,216 16d 5h 8m

The Malazan world was devised by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont, initially as a setting for a role-playing game.[13][14] Gardens of the Moon began as a movie script but evolved into a novel, which Erikson completed in 1991–92 but failed to sell.[15]

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[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.[17] 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.[17]

The Kharkanas Trilogy[edit]

The Kharkanas Trilogy is a prequel series written by Erikson after the completion of the main series. The series deals with numerous founding of 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, with the third taking a backseat to the first novel in the Karsa Orlong 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.[18]

Title Published Approximate Word Count Pages
Forge of Darkness August 2, 2012 292,000 688
Fall of Light April 26, 2016[19] 363,000 864
Walk in Shadow Forthcoming n/a n/a

The Karsa Orlong Trilogy[edit]

Planned trilogy centering around the popular Karsa Orlong character, similar to Conan the Barbarian. It will be a sequel to the Book of the fallen set almost a decade after the main narrative. Erikson has kept his readers updated regarding his writing progress via his official Facebook account.

Title Published Approximate Word Count Pages
The God is Not Willing Forthcoming n/a n/a

The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach (novellas)[edit]

The first three novellas were published together as The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, Volume 1.


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.[9] Erikson deliberately began the Malazan Book of the Fallen series mid-plot rather than beginning with a more conventional narrative.[9][13] 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.[1]


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[17]

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[20] It has also earned him the reputation as one of the best authors in the fantasy genre,[20] and was described as "An astounding début".[5] The novel was acclaimed for its "combination of originality and intelligent, strong and exciting storytelling".[20] The second book in the series, Deadhouse Gates (2000), was voted one of the ten best fantasy novels of 2000 by SF Site.[21]

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;[22] Erikson planned to use the novellas to continue the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach storyline[23] while one of the trilogies would be a prequel to the main series, detailing the history of Anomander Rake and Mother Dark.[22] He also said that he would write a trilogy on the Toblakai.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Steven Erikson biography". Fantasy Book Review. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  2. ^ Per the cover copy of the paperback edition of The Crippled God.
  3. ^ Thompson, William (2004). "The SF Site Featured Review: Midnight Tides". The SF Site. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  4. ^ "House of Chains by Steven Erikson". Fantasy Book Review. 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Steven Erikson". Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "Stephen R. Donaldson: Epic Fantasy: Necessary Literature". The New York Review of Science Fiction. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Episode 264: Glen Cook and Steven Erikson". The Coode Podcast, Discussion and digression on science fiction and fantasy with Gary Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson". Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d "Interview with Steven Erikson". January 21, 2006. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  10. ^ "Steven Erikson". Macmillan. 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Vandermeer, Jeff (2008). "Steven Erikson: No Lies, No Holding Back". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  12. ^ "Wordcount of popular (and hefty) epics". 27 October 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  13. ^ a b "On the spot at Bookspotcentral: Interview with Steven Erikson". Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  14. ^ Unbound Worlds (23 September 2008). "Suvudu - Steven Erikson Reading and Q&A (Part 6)" – via YouTube.
  15. ^ Gardens of the Moon review at Science Fiction Book Club Archived 2013-02-02 at
  16. ^ Leonard, Andrew (June 21, 2004). "Archaeologist of lost worlds". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  17. ^ a b c Moss, Stephen (October 14, 1999). "Malazans and megabucks". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  18. ^ "and occasionally an exchange goes like this". Steven Erikson Social Media. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "New Malazan Novel Fall of Light Coming April 26". Retrieved Mar 21, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c "Steven Erikson". booksattransworld. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  21. ^ "Top ten books of 2000". SF Site.
  22. ^ a b "Erikson Q & A – Part 7". YouTube.
  23. ^ "Steven Erikson interview". Fantasy Book Critic.
  24. ^ "All 3 Kharkanas Titles Revealed". Malazan Empire.
  25. ^ "Steven Erikson on Facebook". Steven Erikson. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  26. ^ Publishing news on Crack'd Pot Trail novella
  27. ^ "Review: The Lees of Laughter's End by Steven Erikson". 14 July 2009.
  28. ^ Official When She's Gone download page


External links[edit]