More Agents

Mar. 5th, 2016 10:30 pm
ellestra: (skye daisy johnson)
ABC had some renewal announcements and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting another season (and some other shows too). This is nice to know before the 3B starts. There are also some rumours about Agent Carter getting renewed too which would be awesome. I hope it will turn out to be true - I want to see where that cliffhanger leads. But right now I just can't wait for the second part of season 3 of AoS. Especially after they started dropping sneak peaks for the Tuesday episode:

Who will Coulson put in the machine (my bet - young Stryker as he was in a coma last we saw him so alive)

We meet Slingshot andsee who on the team tried the Inhuman pills.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
This is the New Year so let's look ahead at what is coming. All the things I'm most excited so far. It will change - some things will disappoint and others I don't know about yet. But this is what I'm waiting for:

Movies - Deadpool, Ghostbusters, Civil War and Story of Your Life (I’m big fan of Ted Chiang so I’m very excited about this).

TV - X-Files, obviously, and The Magicians (loved the first episode), Luke Cage, You, Me and the Apocalypse (I know it's already has been shown in UK but only Doctor Who crosses Atlantic fast - he can travel in Time and Space) and BrainDead - for new ones. I also, of course, eagerly await the return of Galavant (tomorrow!!!), Limitless (Tuesday!!!), Agent Carter, Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, Daredevil, Orphan Black, Sense8, Humans, Mr. Robot, The Man in the High Castle and, most of all, Person of Interest. Here's a list of what is coming and when in next few months so you can make your own schedule.

Books - Steven Erikson’s Fall of Light - the 2nd book in Kharkanas Trilogy and Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Dancer Lament because I’m a big Malazan fan.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Sometime next year (probably end of Febuary in UK and end of May in US) a new Malazan book is coming out. Ian Cameron Esslemont's Dancer's Lament will take us back to the very beginnings of Malazan Empire - the meeting of Dancer and Kellanved.

It was once a land ravaged by war, minor city states, baronies and principates fight for supremacy, and then the rival cities of Tali and Quon formed an alliance and so Quon Tali came into being.

However that was generations ago, that dynasty has collapsed and the regional powers are now clawing at each others throats once more. But at the heart of Quon Tali lies the powerful city state of Li Heng which has for centuries enjoyed relative stability under the guidance of the powerful sorceress known as the “Protectress”. She is not someone likely to tolerate the arrival of two particular young men into her domain: one is determined to prove he is the most skilled assassin of his age; the other is his quarry - a Dal Hon mage who is proving annoyingly difficult to kill. The sorceress and her cabal of five mage servants were enough to repel the Quon Tali Iron Legions, so how could two such trouble-makers upset her iron-fisted rule?

And now, under a new and ambitious king, the forces of Itko Kan are marching on Li Heng from the south. His own assassins, the Nightblades, have been sent ahead into the city, and rumours abound that he has inhuman, nightmarish forces at his command. So as shadows and mistrust swirl and monstrous beasts that people say appear from nowhere, run rampage through Li Heng's streets, it seems chaos is come - but in chaos, as a certain young Dal Hon mage would say, there is opportunity . . .
ellestra: (anomander rake)
The second book in Steven Erikson's Kharkanas trilogy - Fall of Light coming out in April. Here's the cover and the blurb:

It is a bitter winter and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered and weakened - bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the Highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time.

The officers and leaders of Urusander’s Legion, led by the ruthless Hunn Raal, want the Consort, Draconus, cast aside and their commander to marry Mother Dark and take his place at the side of the Living Goddess. But this union will be far more than simply political. A sorcerous power has claimed those opposing Mother Dark: given form by the exiled High Priestess Syntara, the Cult of Light rises in answer to Mother Dark and her Children.

Far to the west, an unlikely army has gathered, seeking an enemy without form, in a place none can find, and commanded by a Jaghut driven mad with grief. It seems Hood’s call has been heard, and the long-abandoned city of Omtose Phellack is now home to a rabble of new arrivals: Dog-Runners from the south, and Jheck warriors. From the Western Sea strange ships have grounded upon the harsh shore bearing blue-skinned strangers to offer Hood their swords. And from mountain fastnesses and isolated valleys of the North, Toblakai arrive to pledge themselves to Hood’s seemingly impossible war. Soon, they will set forth – or not at all – under the banners of the living. Soon, weapons will be drawn, with Death itself the enemy.

Beneath the chaos of such events, and spanning the realm and those countless other realms hidden behind its veil, magic now bleeds into the world. Unconstrained, mysterious and savage, the power that is the lifeblood of the Azathanai, K’rul, runs loose and wild - and following its scent, seeking the places of wounding and hurt where the sorcery rushes forth, entities both new and ancient are gathering . . . and they are eager to feed. Understanding at last what his gift of blood has unleashed, a weakened K’rul sets out, in the company of a lone guardian, to bring order to this newborn sorcery and in the name of order seeks its greatest avowed enemy…
ellestra: (cosima)
Here's a new interview with Steven Erikson in which he talks about why the "gimdark" and "grit" shouldn't be the point of fantasy and the books that influenced him in creation of Malazan Books. And about the deliberate choice to include the diversity of cultures, races and the magic system the removes gender-based hierarchies of power. He also talks about Wilful Child and gaming.

And one with Ursula K. Le Guin that talks about her views about PR publishing, awards and her bad experiences with adaptations of her work and many more things. It also reminded me she is 85 and I hope she'll be a centenarian.

And one with Tatiana Maslany. Remember Orphan Black is back in 10 days. You should be done with Daredevil by then anyway.
ellestra: (cosima)
The biggest story right now of course is Spiderman joining MCU. This makes everyone excited at the thought of having all Marvel properties back together but it's very unlikely for X-Men. X_men have bottomless supply of characters and are basically universe on their own. Spiderman despite being popular is just one character. All the plans to make him into a shared universe were always ridiculous. And universe is where it's at right now. The strength of MCU is that the movies create positive feedback for one another. Because even though each movie is separate it enhances the experience to see them all and getting all the story. Like Thor fed into Captain America:TFA and both of them set up Avengers and then avengers set up the Thor 2 and Cap 2. It's all connected and that enhances the experience. And now Spiderman gets to have some of that and Sony gets to cash in on it. But I wish they didn't just reboot Spiderman again. It's getting tiresome.

Ian Cameron Esslemont is going to write a trilogy about the rise of Malazan Empire. The first book is to be called Dancer's Lament and is to be set before Malazan Empire. So maybe this will be about how Dancer met Kellanved and about their time at that tavern on Malaz where it all started. And how the family was formed.

Here's a short clip from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

And here's a new teaser for season 3 of Orphan Black
ellestra: (tiger)
The Subterranean Press' special edition for of Steven Erikson's House of Chains comes, as always, with some beautiful art. New artist, new style but but still some extremely beautiful art - just look at this cover:

All the other paintings are beautiful too and they make me wonder what is in the book but it's all sold out so internet is all I have.

February variant covers for a lot of Marvel titles are being done by Phil Noto in a retro photo style and they are gorgeous. They are all great but I think my favourite is Angela (that gold haze) and Rocket (funny).

Also new Avengers trailer with Black Widow flashbacks (is this the confirmation that she isolder everyone thinks in MCU too?)
ellestra: (anomander rake)
The Malazan Reread of the Fallen on came to an end with The Cripple God. They went through all the 10 books of main sequence and Ian Cameron Esslemont's Malazan Empire books that took part before The Crippled God with Bill going through actual reread while Amanda was reading the books for the first time. The wrap post that sums up the hosts reactions mirror a lot of my own thoughts. When io9 asked recently about books that people fell in love with my answer was Gardens of the Moon as it made me want to read fantasy (especially epic fantasy) again and the Malazan Books of the Fallen series is what I judge the whole genre by (nothing had the same impact and/or scope but there were some fun books there).

To celebrate the end Steven Erikson did Q&A (with a pretty great preamble) and as always his answers make it all even better.

It sad to see it end but there are still ICE's Malazan Empire books that take part after the end of The Crippled God and the Kharkhanas Trilogy and eventually Karsa's books. So hopefully they will continue with that.
ellestra: (tiger)
The new, non-Malazan, sf book by Steven Erikson has publishing date. The Willful Child is coming out on 25th of September in UK and about two weeks later in US and it tells the whole truth about

These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the...

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback - a kind of James T Kirk crossed with American Dad - and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through 'the infinite vastness of interstellar space'...

Other books I'm waiting for this year, beside this and of course Assail, are:

The final book in Richard Morgan's fantasy trilogy - The Dark Defiles.

The first book in the new Commonwealth series The Abyss Beyond Dreams: Chronicle of the Fallers by Peter F. Hamilton.

The Fifth Season - the first book in N.K. Jemisin's new series about a world that persists throughout numerous extinction-level events and life and magic that adapt to the frequent upheaval.

Charles Stross’s new Laundry series book - The Rhesus Chart - this time Bob Howard takes on vampires.

The new Garth Nix book set in Abhorsen universe - Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen - the story of the young woman who eventually became Chlorr of the Mask happening 300 years before the events of Sabriel.

And, of course, new Pratchett - Raising Steam - that just come out yesterday here.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Like every year io9 has posted the list of coming SF&F films and TV shows - 65 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies to Watch out for in 2014 and The Ultimate Guide to 2014's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV.

Right now I'm thinking about seeing I, Frankenstein - it seems like the right level of ridiculousness to make it fun (I've seen comparisons to Hansel and Gretel and I liked that). I'm also planing to see quite a lot of PG stuff - The Lego Movie, The Muppet Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2. I'm going to see new Marvel stuff - I'm more excited about Captain America 2 than Guardian of the Galaxy but I will most likely see both. I'm also looking forward to new Christopher Nolan's movie Interstellar, new Wachowskis' venture Jupiter Ascending and new Luc Besson's SF film Lucy and, surprisingly (Tom Cruise) film Edge of Tomorrow (I love the trailer). I'm also excited about Only Lovers Left Alive and I hope that, unlike Byzantium, it will show up somewhere close. And then of course the next instalments of Hunger Games and Hobbit.

As for TV - it's nice to know when the series return and I can't wait for Orphan Black and In The Flesh to start again but the most interesting part are the new series. I already shared my excitement about Believe and now I'm also interested in also find the Extant and The Leftovers as their synopses look interesting (a space show - be still my heart).

Since I once again forgot to make this public here is bonus - All the Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming in 2014. As always the list is missing Malazan books - Ian Cameron Esslemont's Assail is coming to US in August and second book of Steven Erikson's Kharkans trilogy - Fall of Light - in September.
ellestra: (tiger)
The winners of the World Fantasy Award were announced yesterday in Brighton during World Fantasy convention:

World Fantasy Special Award: William F. Nolan and Brian Aldiss

Winner: Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove; Corvus)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (Gollancz; Doubleday)
The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
Crandolin, Anna Tambour (Chômu)

Winner: Let Maps to Others, K.J. Parker (Subterranean Summer ’12)
Hand of Glory, Laird Barron (The Book of Cthulhu II)
The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon)
The Skull, Lucius Shepard (The Dragon Griaule)
Sky, Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls)

Short Story
Winner: The Telling, Gregory Norman Bossert (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 11/29/12)
A Natural History of Autumn, Jeffrey Ford (F&SF 7-8/12)
The Castle That Jack Built, Emily Gilman (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 1/26/12)
Breaking the Frame, Kat Howard (Lightspeed 8/12)
Swift, Brutal Retaliation, Meghan McCarron ( 1/4/12)

Winner: Postscripts #28/#29: Exotic Gothic 4, Danel Olson, ed. (PS Publishing)
Epic: Legends of Fantasy, John Joseph Adams, ed. (Tachyon)
Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic, Eduardo Jiménez Mayo & Chris N. Brown, eds. (Small Beer)
Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane, Jonathan Oliver, ed. (Solaris)
Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Random House)

Winner: Where Furnaces Burn, Joel Lane (PS Publishing)
At the Mouth of the River of Bees, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth and Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands, Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
Remember Why You Fear Me, Robert Shearman (ChiZine)
Jagannath, Karin Tidbeck (Cheeky Frawg)

Winner: Vincent Chong
Didier Graffet and Dave Senior
Kathleen Jennings
J.K. Potter
Chris Roberts

Special Award—Professional
Winner: Lucia Graves for the translation of The Prisoner of Heaven (Weidenfeld & Nicholson; Harper) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Peter Crowther & Nicky Crowther for PS Publishing
Adam Mills, Ann VanderMeer, & Jeff VanderMeer for the Weird Fiction Review website
Brett Alexander Savory & Sandra Kasturi for ChiZine Publications
William K. Schafer for Subterranean Press

Special Award—Non-professional
Winner: S.T. Joshi for Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volumes 1 & 2 (PS Publishing)
Scott H. Andrews for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Charles A. Tan for Bibliophile Stalker blog
Jerad Walters for Centipede Press
Joseph Wrzos for Hannes Bok: A Life in Illustration (Centipede Press)

The Life Time Achievement Award: Susan Cooper and Tanith Lee

Since I haven't read any of this (but I heard good things about Alif so maybe one day) here is fantasy I am for sure going to read. There is a new blurb for the new Ian Cameron Esslemont's malazan novel Assail and it is even more interesting - Crimson Guard, Fisher and Sliverfox with the Imass.
Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region’s north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor’s tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait - hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history’s very beginnings.

Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers that Shimmer, second in command, feels should not be sought. Also heading north, as part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. With him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and cannot remember his past and yet commands far more power than he really should. It is also rumoured that a warrior, bearer of a sword that slays gods and who once fought for the Malazans, is also journeying that way. But far to the south, a woman patiently guards the shore. She awaits both allies and enemies. She is Silverfox, newly incarnate Summoner of the undying army of the T’lan Imass, and she will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail brings the epic story of the Empire of Malaz to a thrilling close.
ellestra: (tiger)
There were another awards awarded this weekend on a con. The 2012 Zajdel awards were handed out on this year Polcon:
Robert M. Wegner, Niebo ze stali (Sky of Steel)
Jakub Ćwiek, Kłamca 4. Kill’em all
Jarosław Grzędowicz, Pan Lodowego Ogrodu, tom 4
Anna Kańtoch, Czarne
Andrzej Ziemiański, Pomnik Cesarzowej Achai, tom 1

Short Story:
Robert M. Wegner, Jeszcze jeden bohater (One More Hero)
Jakub Ćwiek, Będziesz to prać!
Jakub Ćwiek, Co było, a nie jest...
Jakub Ćwiek, Kukuryku!
Jacek Dukaj, Portret nietoty
Tomasz Kołodziejczak, Czerwona mgła

I haven't written about nominees before because I didn't read any of them, except for Czerwona Mgła - Red Fog story. I also haven't written about them because I never read them but I read other stories from most of those authors and there wasn't a lot of results I could be happy with. I finally decided that one good thing about that this is a nice reminder that there are much worse things then Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They fell into similar category of being widely beloved and nominated for awards but full of questionable content. Between Ziemianski's beloved trope of turning his "kickass strong woman" protagonist into object in her own story (I haven't read that one but I'm sure he manage to stick rape/sexual abuse/prostitution in there too) and Kołodziejczak's stories about how only normal families with men and women in their traditional roles of husbands and wives in idealised version of 1920s will save the world from being taken over by evil (literally, it stops it from corrupting souls - also singing patriotic and religious songs). The worst part about it that they are often have cool worldbuilding and they read really well. But only until your tolerance for the underlying message runs out and you turn away in disgust. Or, judging from those nominations, not.

The guy who got most nominations isn't as bad so I won't bother you with rant about him but I can't get over how he got all those short stories nominations. And I can't get over that only one woman got nominated. But I don't know the guy who won both categories. Maybe he is better.

I didn't want go so depressing and grumpy old woman on another post so now time for something nicer. And in English.

Steven Erikson wrote about his inspirations for his current trilogy and epic fantasy in general in On the Origins of Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson. He also proved once again that he is a writing machine because he had two week writer's exhaustion and then published another book year after the last.

Here's Neil Gaiman intervied by BBC at the age of 7. And Below is his talk with with Philip Pullman. I'm not going to say anything about first one because I already ranted today except that it so awesome they found it for him. The second one mentions Neil in badger costume:
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Assail - the last book of Ian Cameron Esslemont's Malazan Empire series is to be released in UK on 27th March 2014. The blurb is as follows:

The final chapter in the awesome, epic story of the Malazan empire.

Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings. Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers to mysteries that Shimmer, second in command, wonders should even be sought. Arriving also, part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. And with him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and who cannot remember his past life, yet who commands far more power than he really should. Also venturing north is said to be a mighty champion, a man who once fought for the Malazans, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade.

And lastly, far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T'lan Imass, will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail is the final chapter in the epic story of the Empire of Malaz.

Finally, after a decade we will learn more about Assail and see Silverfox again. I always loved Tattersail so I can't wait to see her again. I just wonder how much extra I will have to wait before it shows up here.

There is also publication date - 5th June 2014 - for Steven Erikson's Fall of Light, the second volume of The Kharkanas Trilogy. Unlike ICE's book this one should be out in US pretty soon after.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Subterranean Press is getting ready for the special edition of the next The Tales from the Malazan Book of the Fallen book. Memories of Ice - my favourite in the series - is getting the special treatment this time.

I'm not so fond of putting Panion Domin on the cover

but the inside illustrations are pretty awesome

Undead T'lan Imass against the undead K'Chain Che'Malle

Korlat and Whiskeyjack - after I read book 10 this is even sadder. This one is also a little little weird looking - at least Korlat looks like there's something wrong with her. I thought J. K. Drummond did better with anatomy last time.
ellestra: (cosima)
The persistent rumour Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who inevitably became true. This means, of course, speculation craze about who will be the next Doctor. The rumour mill is fed by constant stream of sure picks. The Telegraph announced Rory Kinnear was picked. Other sources insisted it's down to Domhnall Gleeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Dominic Cooper. It even forced BBC to go through the standard string of denials. And then there is of course betting. I don't really care (not even about woman/black/ginger divide). I generally agree with Neil Gaiman about preferring someone unknown but that's it. I will like whoever they pick. I just want this circus to end.

There is a compilation of different essential epic fantasy works on io9. I agree with many and disagree with many but that's OK. After all each such list is highly subjective. I'm just pleasantly surprised that not only Steven Erikson's Malazan series made it to some of them but one even mentions Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher Saga. I didn't expect to see it on English language list (maybe Spanish or German, Russian for sure but not English). The one thing I really feel the need to add is Letendre and Loisel's Roxanna and the Quest for the Time Bird - a comic book series that every fan of dark, ambiguous, epic fantasy (and Erikson) should read.

Tatian Maslany won the Critics Choice Awards. The media reaction to her nomination seeded between "who?" and "hell, yeah!" which clearly shown who watched the show. And it didn't go away after she won. It was funny to watch the ceremony and see most of those people had no idea who she was and the shock on some faces and whispering was precious. It at least shows the critics actually watch TV (gasp!). She certainly deserves every award ever so I'm glad she also got nominated (and so did the show) for Television Critics Association Awards.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
One thing that annoys me about switching to ebooks is that I'm at the mercy of US publishers. Back when I was buying actual books I could get it from whatever place had it first in a language I could read. Now, I had to wait for Ian Cameron Esslemont's Blood and Bone for half a year while out there in UK people read it and discussed it. Of course this means that my Malazan fixes are more evenly spread and I had other books to read but still it hurts that part of me that remembered that it was out there just out of my reach. Good that, at least, I don't really care about spoilers.

But now it's mine. Downloaded to every version of Kindle I own. And here's an interview with the author just to celebrate it.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
I think I'm going to be sick - my throat starting to hurt, my nose is almost running and I'm tired, sleepy and my muscles are sore. So instead of finishing writing my thoughts about The Crippled God I just mindlessly spent time searching the internets for other fans (you know outside the malazanempire forums which are practically official). I learned that reddit has a Malazan subreddit. There are Malazan fans on tumblr and they even do shipping (these are not good books for shippers).

I also realised that Subterrean Press is taking preorders for collectors edition of Memories of Ice (especially since even normal hardback is impossible to get). Their illustrated and signed editions are so beautiful (my icon and the poster SE signed was their cover for Gardens of the Moon) I still feel bad about not buying them from the start. The cover and illustrations inside will be made by the J. K. Drummond who also did Deadhouse Gates. And her Coltaine cover was awesome too.

And has a new page for their Malazan Re-read of the Fallen. It collects all the posts and even has it's own spoiler thread.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Steven Erikson mentioned (when he said he no longer remembers some things he wrote) someone who writes music to his poems (the ones that are at the beginnings of books and chapters). It seemed vaguely familiar and when I looked I found I listen to some of those songs before. Kit Soden has also composed a tribute to Coltaine

Chain of Dogs stays one of the most popular and enduring images from the saga. I even found a band that's named after it that sings malazan based songs - including one about Coltaine

It also reminds me that someone asked Erikson which book is his favourite. He said 3 of them. Toll of Hounds is the most personal. Midnight Tides because he jumped into something completely different after four books. And Deadhouse Gates are the most self-contained, complete story.

As much as I love Deadhouse Gates too I always preferred Genabackis as a setting. As Erikson said yesterday he went big with DG but then went even bigger with Memories of Ice (it was so big that he had to go lower with the next one or it would all get overboard and crash under the weight of expectations). So that's my favourite book in the series. However, I picked Gardens of the Moon for him to sign because this was the book that gave me everything I wanted from fantasy when I was ready to give up on it completely. I hated all the cliches and his book dealt with them in a way I felt like he read my mind. The depth of history, the lack of clear evil, no teenagers trained to rule kingdoms by living on a farm. I loved everything even the thing that many find hard to get through - getting thrown into deep water - as story starts in at the end of campaign to conquer Genabackis Free Cities. Here you can listen to how it all began - Gardens of the Moon - Prologue.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
I was too excited yesterday (this was the closest thing to the Twilight or teenage idol craze I ever got in my life - only more inside and with less screaming) and too busy today but it's high time to write about what I remember from last evening.

Steven Erikson read from the Forge of Darkness - Kadespala in last forest. It was nice to hear him pronounce some of the names - Kruppe is pronounced like crap (maybe because I'm Polish - and we pronounce all the letters that are written - or maybe because Darujhistan always reminded me of Italian City States but the way I always said is similar to Giuseppe - Krooppeh). After that he answered questions.

He talked about his writing method - how each point of view, each chapter, each book (there's always four), each tome and the cycle itself have elliptical form - they start and end the same (or rather with the mirroring image or phrase). I noticed some of it (the scenes framing the series are obvious ones) but I didn't realise it was true for all of them. He said that that's something that helps him keep pace and steady progress in the writing because instead of thinking how much is let till the end of the book (or series) he can concentrate on reaching that next point. It drags him to the end of the next fragment and then the one after that till he finishes the whole thing. It also let him slow down and not hurry too much to that final scenes he had in his head all this time (the whole 10 books).

Since the whole series was carefully planned out taking it into parts and only writing what is necessary was necessary to keep the schedule and the story in rains (too many authors have problem with that). Especially, since he was a different person when he finished it then when he started. It's been a little over a decade between publication of the first and the last book (and Gardens of the Moon were written 8 years before it was published) and he says he sometimes no longer recognises his own writing - the word, phrases, rhythm is not something he would use anymore.

Something I truly love about the series is that events are told from point of vies of unreliable narrators. People with their own preconceptions whose interpretation of the events isn't showing us all that happened or even can mislead us. We often get multiple views of how something happened or even what has happened and have to decide with which version to go. I asked Erikson if he knew the "One True Version of events and he said that it doesn't exists. He considers every narration reliable - within books and real life - so even his version isn't the real one. He compared it by judging the shape of a rock by throwing mud at it a seeing where it sticks and describing that side. He said that this is what makes his worldbuilding seem so realistic - it's described by people and you get the version of description and events and history that you use to make the sense of the world - just like in real life.

He said he always feels how each character thinks and their personal stories stay in his head so it's really easy to keep track of their personalities (although he admitted to forgetting their looks and sometimes gender ;) - but that's what his advanced readers are for). I talked with other fans before the reading and we mentioned how easy it is to keep track of characters and plots despite of their multitude and I suppose this is a large part of why. If his writing style resonates with you, you feel emotional attachment to does people and then you care and remember. This connection also made it easy to put all the foreshadowing in earlier books because he had those stories in his mind ready to use. It also meant he felt bad when he kill them because they became real to him. He said that's what makes reader feel connection to characters and it was certainly true to me. It sometimes still surprises me how real they are to me (I even hold a grudge!)

He told us how he writes for 4 hours six days of the week and just writes as much as he can each day - sometimes a paragraph, sometimes 15 pages. He also edits what he's written every few days so by the end book is basically ready for publication (his UK editors told him his books need very little work). However, no matter how big the book turns out to be in the end he finishes it in about 8 months (at least that how it was for the last 8 books). No wonder he gets a book out every year - even with 6 month break he got the next one out in 18 months. Still, 8 months for a 1000 page book - I'm sure you wish your favourite author was like that too.

He signed my books and my Anomander Rake poster (he didn't know those were available and said he is going to get himself one too :). I mentioned I'm Polish and that I was bummed I missed his convention appearance and he said that that was a fun convention an then wrote that in my Gardens of the Moon copy :)))

May 2016

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