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Malazan: High House Shadow edition

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The first Karsa book have a name. "The God is not Willing" which hilariously sounds more like a Crusades book than a Malazan one.

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I love Erikson's Bauchlain and Korbal Broach stuff. I just got the latest one Fiends of Nightmaria on my TBR pile. Glad to hear he is starting the Toblakai trilogy. 

As far as Gardens of the Moon, I loved it right from the start. It sags a bit in the middle but the first third and last third are great.

Deadhouse Gates is fantastic and really begins the multiple books in one book feel. House of Chains has a Karsa Orlong book inside the larger narrative involving the Malazan.

 

 

Edited by sainttriple7

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Cross posting this reply from wert in the Lynch thread:

Not to mention that the business arrangement already has built-in reciprocation: Steven Erikson can't finish his Kharkanas Trilogy due to the first two books bombing, so now he has to go write something else and people are left without the third book in the series, even those who really enjoyed the first two, and those who were waiting for the trilogy to be finished (a very numerous faction from the sound of it) now don't get to read the trilogy at all. C'est la vie.

Although, of course, logically extrapolating that argument means that the GRRM/Rothfuss school of long waits are justified because people keep buying the books, but there you go.

 

This fucking blows.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Cross posting this reply from wert in the Lynch thread:

 

This fucking blows.

Well, he says he'll finish it eventually. It depends on how the first Karsa book does and how things go from there.

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I really did not like what I read of Forge of Darkness, and the excerpts I read of book 2. I also did not see much discussion about the books on the forum.

Still I did not expect the series to completely tank the way it has, and be halted.

Might be a good thing though.

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Steven Erikson has a level of fame and discussion online which is completely disproportionate to his actual sales. This has always been the case, but I think it was hidden by the continuous output of large books constantly keeping him in discussion on forums and the Internet in general.

The fact that 18 years after the publication of his first fantasy novel and with 13 books in his signature series in print, there's still people who call themselves ardent fantasy readers who've never heard of him is quite remarkable. It's clear he's taken to Facebook only recently at his publisher's urging to help address PR and marketing issues. Whether this helps or not depends on how regularly he provides content. His previous promise to set up a website and produce blog entries and updates very quickly died a death.

This isn't anything to do with quality - I think Erikson is a far finer writer than people like Sanderson or Rothfuss (and a better technical writer, though not emotionally, than the likes of Abercrombie and Lynch) - but it's a marketing and publishing reality that as a solid midlister (which Erikson is), he needs to produce work in his signature series on a very regular basis and it can't be 800 pages of philosophical circle-jerking with little discernible plot movement. He got away with that in the main series because it was a divergence from the stuff that sucked people in with the first three (near-universally acclaimed) novels, but for a whole new prequel trilogy it was really not a goer. You also have to factor in the perception (however illusory) of him dropping the series for 4 years to write a poor Star Trek pastiche. Going AWOL for that length of time having previously (and rather smugly) castigated other fantasy authors for taking a long time to produce novels is also not good form.

There is a risk that Erikson could find himself - or think he's being asked - to effectively churn out Malazan work for continued commercial reasons, which he's previously indicated would be his idea of hell.

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I can't wait for the Karsa series... if only because, if I recall correctly, the epigraphs and like MBoTF seemed to indicate MBoTF takes place near the end or collapse of the Malazan Empire. but there was one epigraph I remember distinctly saying that Grub would become First Sword of the Empire.

And.. yet, at the end of the Cripple God, the Malazan Empire seems fairly stable, I think?  Hard to tell since the books basically ignore the actual empire after like book 6.

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14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

What ever happened to that Malazan companion book that was mentioned a looong time ago?

That would require there to be far more worldbuilding for the series than I think actually really exists. Neither Erikson nor Esslemont seem that bothered with consistency or fine details: the Malazan world is incredibly broad (tons and tons and tons of names of gods, ethnic groups, kingdoms and geographic locations) but about an inch deep. After 13 Erikson books and 7 ICE ones it's remarkable that it's still almost impossible to write even a page-long history of the Malazan Empire, let alone other cultures or races.

On a more practical note, the series hasn't sold well enough to justify a companion book. They were going to outsource it to an RPG team a few years ago but nothing came of that either.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

That would require there to be far more worldbuilding for the series than I think actually really exists. Neither Erikson nor Esslemont seem that bothered with consistency or fine details: the Malazan world is incredibly broad (tons and tons and tons of names of gods, ethnic groups, kingdoms and geographic locations) but about an inch deep. After 13 Erikson books and 7 ICE ones it's remarkable that it's still almost impossible to write even a page-long history of the Malazan Empire, let alone other cultures or races.

That reminds me of this post I read recently from Sanderon's continuity editor.  I just kept thinking, "I wonder what Erikson would think about this." 

https://brandonsanderson.com/oathbringers-timeline/

Yeah I can't imagine a Malazan companion book going over well with any fan who tries to make sense of the continuity.  

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

Neither Erikson nor Esslemont seem that bothered with consistency or fine details:



To be fair ICE is a little more so- I'm doing a reread now and I haven't noticed any egregious continuity errors in his books on either read so far, and there's a bit more concern with the backstory of the Empire. But it's still very very sketched out.

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3 hours ago, End of Disc One said:

That reminds me of this post I read recently from Sanderon's continuity editor.  I just kept thinking, "I wonder what Erikson would think about this." 

https://brandonsanderson.com/oathbringers-timeline/

Yeah I can't imagine a Malazan companion book going over well with any fan who tries to make sense of the continuity.  

Well, anyone who is still a fan has given up on making sense of the continuity at this point. :P

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15 hours ago, Ajûrbkli said:

And.. yet, at the end of the Cripple God, the Malazan Empire seems fairly stable, I think?  Hard to tell since the books basically ignore the actual empire after like book 6.

What we see of the Empire in Esslemont's books seems to suggest that it still seem fairly securely in control of Quon Tali and the immediate surroundings and they might arguably be more secure than they were at the start of the series (especially since they've seen off a number of their potential challengers), although I'd be a bit doubtful about the long-term stability of some of their more far-flung colonies.

Edited by williamjm

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We know, from chapter headers about Grub in House of Chains, that the era will be called the Late Empire period in his lifetime (although it's not clear how long that actually is). So it might not be as stable as it seems to be looking in ICE's books.

I always did feel that Empire history was one thing, in a series of many timelines too vast to be meaningful, that the Malazan empire's whole existence was one thing on which the timeline was too short. Even with the extended lives of Kelanved and the old guard, 100 years or so from founding to the start of the series just doesn't seem like long enough for the Empire to be as entrenched, culturally, as it seems to be even in its original Quon Talian territories, and the way those territories seem seen as such in the eyes of the world (for example ICE makes a specific point of the fact that even Crimson Guardians are seen as Malazan in some places).
 

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Yeah, as of the end of the series the Malazan Empire has secure control of Quon Tali, northern Genabackis (through the peace deal at the end fo MoI) and eastern Seven Cities (more by dint of the plague wiping out half the continent in TBH than the crushing of the Whirlwind in HoC, though). They've ceded Korelri after the end of SW and have basically decided to not bother expanding anywhere else for now. The idea seems to be consolidation.

Also, isn't the TCG epilogue set quite a few years after the rest of the series and the Empire is still intact?

Quote

 

just doesn't seem like long enough for the Empire to be as entrenched, culturally, as it seems to be even in its original Quon Talian territories

 

The rebellion in RotCG I think shows that it isn't as entrenched as it likes to think it is.

 

Edited by Werthead

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3 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The rebellion in RotCG I think shows that it isn't as entrenched as it likes to think it is.



To be sure, but the rebellion was mostly the Western side- the Eastern half, apart from the Wickans for obvious reasons, is pretty much loyal even though they haven't been imperial for that much longer. It's only when they get as far along as Cawn that they don't seem to be just Imperial now.

And even if they're not as dug in as they think they are, there's still that perception, that Malazan is seen almost as an ethnic group of everyone from that part of the world.

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