Steven Erikson (2007)
This very short interview, published in Death Ray 3, was the second time I’d done a piece on Erikson; incidentally he was one of the last authors I interviewed for SFX before I left to work on White Dwarf. This one was written in response to Erikson’s old gaming partner, who co-created the Malazan world, releasing a Malazan novel of his own.
Steven Erikson has been writing books set in the Malazan world for many years, Night of Knives is Ian Esslemont’s first. We asked Erikson how this sharing of creative property occurred, and what will happen with it next…
Guy Haley: Malazan is primarily regarded as being your world, yet it is stated in Night of Knives by Ian C Esslemont that you and he collaborate. How did Malazan come about?
Steven Erikson: The collaboration occurred in the creation of the world, which was a years-long process back when we were roleplaying gamers. In terms of tackling any particular piece of ‘history’ in fiction, we work separately. Fortunately, our writing styles are complimentary, and without question we are proving able to both capture the atmosphere of the Malazan world as we gamed it.
GH: Do you feel quite proprietorial towards it, or are you excited by Ian’s book?
SE: It had been my dream from the very first that, one day, Cam [Ian C Esslemont] would be publishing his novels set in the same world (see the dedication in Gardens of the Moon). The most exciting thing of all is that we are both with Bantam UK, which ensures the right kind of continuity in the look and feel of the novels.
GH: Do you see other writers expanding upon the world in future?
SE: No. Just Cam and myself.
GH: You say that your cycle is 10 books long. Reaper’s Gale is book seven. Do you see more stories in thie world in future, or would you like to explore a different milieu, or even genre?
SE: It’s quite possible that I will write more novels set in the same world, but not part of the same series arc that exists in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I believe Cam has at least four more in mind. I am also looking at other projects, including an SF novel. For me, it still feels a little too early to be thinking too much about that — I have two and a half more novels to write first!