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Creator / Steven Erikson

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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Canadian fantasy author Steve Rune Lundin, a trained archaeologist and anthropologist, as well as a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

He often deals with themes of history, civilization and the human condition. However, his fantasy and sci-fi novels and novellas also show a humorous and satirical streak.

His best known work is the Malazan Book of the Fallen, a sprawling epic fantasy series based on a homebrewed GURPS setting he and fellow author Ian Cameron Esslemont developed after becoming frustrated with Dungeons & Dragons.

Works set in the world of the Malazan Empire:

Science Fiction:

  • Willful Child series (an Affectionate Parody of Star Trek)
    • Willful Child (2014)
    • Willful Child: Wrath of Betty (2016)
    • Willful Child: The Search for Spark (2018)
  • Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart (2018)

Other Novels and Novellas:

  • This River Awakens (1998, re-released 2012)
  • When She's Gone (2004)
  • The Devil Delivered (2005)
  • Fishin' with Grandma Matchie (2005)
  • Revolvo (2008)

Short Stories:

  • "A Ruin of Feathers" (1991)
  • "Stolen Voices" (1993)
  • "Quashie Trapp Blacklight" (2007)
  • "This Rich Evil Sound" (2007)
  • "Goats of Glory" (2010)

Tropes that can be found in his work are:

  • Author Appeal: Steve Lundin is an archaeologist and anthropologist, and the rise and fall of civilizations are part and parcel of his works.
  • Central Theme: The rise, decline and collapse of civilizations is one of the central themes in many of his books, from the Malazan Book of the Fallen to The Devil Delivered.
  • Contemporary Caveman: The novella Revolvo has a neanderthal running around in a contemporary Canadian city. His presence riffs on the (now proven) theory that early humans interbred with neanderthals leading to a certain amount of neanderthal DNA in some modern humans. In this particular individual, the buried DNA has come to the fore, causing him to think and behave like a neanderthal. Since it's a satire, what he ends up doing is hunting and killing vegetarians and vegans because they smell like prey to him.
  • Creator Provincialism: With the exception of The Devil Delivered, all of his non-fantasy fiction is set in Canada.
  • Creator's Oddball: Steven Erikson is known for his gritty, serious work, most prominently the sprawling, complex fantasy epic Malazan Book of the Fallen. He also wrote Willful Child, an affectionate, over-the-top Star Trek parody.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Many of his wacky, comedic characters are more than they seem to be at first glance, e.g. the eccentric Grandma Matchie in Fishin' with Grandma Matchie, who according to her grandson Tike Junior once armwrestled with Satan himself.
  • Foreshadowing: Sometimes, mere words or throw-away lines can foreshadow events or outcomes much later in the story.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: In The Devil Delivered, Mother Earth decides enough is enough with humans doing whatever they want.
  • In Medias Res: Usually, the events of any given story written by Steven Erikson begins at some point where a lot of things have already happened and inform the present without being introduced to the reader. This is because his writing style is that of a short story writer, but he also uses it for Doorstopper volumes.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tike's sister in Fishin' with Grandma Matchie is only known as Sis.
  • Show, Don't Tell: More often than not, the story shows what is happening and the reader is left to piece together what that actually means in regards to the plot.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Since all his stories are told from limited points of view, there is no way to tell whether the information given is true or just what the current narrator believes to be true. And some narrators, e.g. the poet Gallan from The Kharkanas Trilogy, even outright admit to be making things up as they go.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Constantly switching viewpoints, innumerable characters, deliberate use of Lost in Medias Res, oblique dialogue, philosophical digressions, strategically used Purple Prose... And that's not just for the Malazan Book of the Fallen, he also manages to cramp it all into novellas and short stories.