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Creator / Steven Brust

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Steven Karl Zoltán Brust (born November 23, 1955) is an American Fantasy and Science Fiction author of Hungarian descent, best known for his Dragaera series, including the noirish Vlad Taltos cycle, and the Khaavren romances, a pastiche of Alexandre Dumas. He is a member of The Scribblies, a Minnesota-based writers group that also includes Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Pamela Dean, and Patricia C. Wrede, some of whom he has collaborated with.

In addition to his writing, he was the drummer for the fantasy-oriented funk-rock band Cats Laughing, which also included Emma Bull.

Books include:

  • Agyar
  • Cowboy Feng's Space Bar & Grille
  • Dragaera series:
    • The Vlad Taltos novels (15 so far)
    • The Khaavren Romances (three or five novels, depending on how you count)
    • Brokedown Palace (a standalone novel, loosely associated with the series)
    • The Baron of Magistar Valley (Provides backstory to a character in the Taltos series.)
  • Freedom and Necessity (with Emma Bull)
  • The Gypsy (with Megan Lindholm)
  • My Own Kind of Freedom (a novel based on the Firefly television series)
  • The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (a modern-day retelling of an old fairy tale)
  • To Reign in Hell
  • Good Guys (2018)

Tropes in works without their own page:

  • As You Know: Subverted in Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille: "Don't tell me what I already know."
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: From Agyar, "I will draw forth thy bones one by one ere I send thee to the Devil, that for all time thy shapeless body shall serve as a carpet for the minions of hell."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The hags epidemic in Cowboy Feng's started in the 1980s, has no known cure or real treatments until the future Feng comes from, and victims are often treated with contempt and disgust, or outright violence in the case of the villains. This parallels the very real AIDS epidemic (and in fact Brust has outright said that the book came partially from his disgust at how victims were treated).
  • Earth That Was: In Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille, the staff of the eponymous time- and space-travelling restaurant is trying to find out, among other things, whether or not the Earth is still around and still viable. Nope. It was nuked.
  • Future Imperfect: Invoked by the decor at Cowboy Feng's, to ensure that any genuine examples of historical incongruities will be dismissed as the restaurant's kitschy style.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: In Cowboy Feng's Space Bar And Grille, the titular eatery jumps from world to world (and time to time) whenever an atomic bomb goes off nearby. And that's been happening a lot lately...
  • Love at First Sight: Billy in Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille falls hard for his love interest in the space of a couple days. Justified, as he's been nuked multiple times before the story even starts and discovers Earth is a smoking ruin early on, and tells the reader that he knows his deep feelings must come partially from an attempt to cope with that.
  • Meaningful Name: Billy Kevely's love interest is named Souci, which is French for "worry", and also for "marigold", which in some cultures symbolizes pain and grief. Souci both causes and feels no end of worry and heartache even before we learn she's part of Sugar Bear.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The symptoms of Hags disease in Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille. It's 100% fatal for now, and people are terrified of it, but all readers know about what it does is a very dark joke one of the characters tells that implies it's horribly disfiguring.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The vampiric narrator of Agyar never once uses the word "vampire", nor does he ever explicitly describe himself feeding on blood, though he does so many times. Agyar tells the story simply to put his thoughts on paper, and therefore does not explain anything that would be second nature to himself.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Agyar is about vampires, though the novel never actually calls them that or portrays the actual blood sucking. They're pretty classic vampires, with the central point being that a master can call and command its offspring.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The Big Bad of Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille is an organization that has been systematically nuking humanity to cinders. They're called Sugar Bear.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Billy Kevely never outright lies to the reader, but he tends to make omissions. Chiefly, that he's actually the Cowboy Feng, not a hapless banjo player along for the ride. An eagle-eyed reader may note that Billy is always very, very careful with his words when it comes to who knows the truth about the restaurant, in such a way that he never reveals he does nor outright claims he doesn't. The closest he gets to a flat lie is calling Earth his homeworld, and that's more a case of Exact Words—he considers Earth his homeworld because he's a human, not because he's from there.