Me and Steven Erikson, author of The Malazan Book of the FallenWell, I once again had the chance to sit down with Steven Erikson for a little while (at a signing and then at a pub) and this time I have a bit of actual news for all of you Malazan fans out there!

Steve held a reading/signing at a local bookstore at which he read from not Reaper’s Gale (his latest release), but instead from his work in progress, Toll the Hounds. I’ll save the really juicy stuff for after the jump (stuff that some people might consider spoilers) but right now I can tell you that Toll the Hounds is almost finished, the ending is still supposed to knock your socks off, and that the final two novels in the series, Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God, will essentially read as one gigantic novel, as opposed to being stand-aloneish like his other books.

He also mentioned that he’s already rolling around ideas of where he might go once he’s done the current cycle of books and that one of the ideas he’s throwing around is to explore the pasts of some of the Ascendents (such as Anomander Rake) before they became the powerful figures we see them as in The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me!

Cam’s novel, The Return of the Crimson Guard is finished and in the hands of his publisher. Steven said it clocks in at around 280k words, so expect a much heftier novel than Night of Knives.

Also, don’t forget that I’m accepting questions for my interview with not only Steven Erikson, but also with Ian Cameron Esselmont! You can send questions to questions(no-spam) [Just remember to remove the (no-spam) tag!]. And I also have a giveaway for signed copies of The Bonehunters!

Now for the Toll the Hounds spoilers!

Steve read thread separate excerpt from the novel:

  • Kallor – Kallor was wandering, as grumpy as always, through a wasteland. Not much action, but a whole lot of internal dialogue and gritty imagery.
  • Kruppe – A funny little scene with Kruppe, Baruk, a demon and some fried eel. As with all of Kruppe’s scenes, this was another entertainingly aggravating excerpt! Got some good chuckles out of the crowd.
  • Iskaral Pust – A hilarious excerpt, taking place at a temple in Darujhistan. Everyone’s favourite High Priest of Shadow is salivating at an exceptionally attractive priestess there and his wife, as excepted, ruins all his fun in all sorts of, erm… hairy ways. The crowd loved this excerpt and it was a great way to end off the reading.

Steve also fielded quite a number of questions from fans, many of which I can’t remember. The most interesting tidbit I learned, tough, was that he basically included Crokus in Gardens of the Moon to give readers a familiar archetype to cling on to and that he wasn’t too fond of Crokus back then. It wasn’t until quite a bit later in the series that he was finally able to bring Crokus to a place where he was finally able to enjoying writing about him. I found this particularly interesting because Crokus (and his friends) were a big help for me while I was reading Gardens of the Moon, like a familiar life preserver in a raging sea of confusion otherwise!

Also, he said to expect a bit of a showdown between Iskaral Pust and Kruppe sometime in Toll the Hounds!

Well, everyone, I hope this helped to sate your appetite just a little bit for Toll the Hounds! Feel free to comment if you have any further questions!

P.S. Sorry I look a little possessed/drunk the photo, I promise I wasn’t!

EDIT: Shawn, your wish is my command!

Steve Erikson and I
  • neth October 2, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    *is jealous*

    I sure wish SE would come to Phoenix for a signing. But few seem to (excepting a couple authors who live in the area).

  • Patrick October 2, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    And you didn’t steal those excerpts when Steven had his back turned!?! Aidan, we thought you were trustworthy. We send you on a gig, and you botch the job completely.

    This is a sad state of affairs, I tell you!;-)

    Glad you enjoyed the time spent with Erikson!:-)

  • SteeJans84 October 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Man you are just so damned lucky. Next time you see that man tell him to come to Florida!!! You lucky sob:)

  • The Wolf Maid October 2, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    More Anomander Rake is always good. :D I partcularly want to know about his advnetures with Brood and Envy and the rest. :)

    I liked Crokus in GotM, mostly because yes, he was as what you described to me. In a sense, he’s like the Jon Snow of AGoT when I first read that series.

  • Shawn Speakman October 2, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Post the other picture!! haha

  • aidan October 2, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    RE: Neth
    I know how you feel, trust me. Living in Canada makes it even harder to meet authors! A lot of the time I have to drive all the way down to Seattle to even get close to them! Lucky for me Steven Erikson lives very close by!

    RE: Pat
    I will admit, they were sitting there, plain as day on the table as we had the photo taken. I figured someone would pay good money for them! Alas, though, I was too much of a pansy to make the mad dash!

    RE: Stee
    Stee, I’ll mention it to him. He already knows you’re down there, though, so maybe that’ll motivate him! In all honesty, the people you should talk to about getting him down there would be Tor, his US publisher.

    RE: The WolfMaid
    I agree. More Anomander Rake is always a good thing. I’d love to see him in humbler days as a younger man.

    RE: Shawn
    Fine. Fine. It’s up!

    For those wondering what the photo is all about: al’Kael is a handle I use at many message boards on the ‘net and Stee_Jans84 is the very same one who posted a comment earlier, who also happens to be the biggest Steven Erikson fan I know of!

  • Max October 2, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Did he happen to mention any ideas he had for non-Malazanverse books?

  • Lawrence October 2, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    ” I’d love to see him in humbler days as a younger man”
    No way, you do not want to see a humble Rake. And I would reckon that Anomander Rake was probably even more badass in his younger days when he did not yet had to carry the weight of responsibilty for Moon’s Spawn and such.
    That being said, I think I will emigrate to Canada immediately just to be able to talk to Erikson like you are allowed to. Damn. Great stuff by the way, keep ’em coming.

  • The Wolf Maid October 3, 2007 at 1:15 am

    I agree. More Anomander Rake is always a good thing. I’d love to see him in humbler days as a younger man.

    Humbler days? Anomander? I didn’t think that was even in his vocabulary. ;) But that would be a sight to see.

  • Patrick October 3, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Well, the humbler and younger Anomander Rake betrayed Kilmandaros and put her in an Azath… So I believe that junior Rake is probably even more kick-ass than his older self!

  • Graeme October 3, 2007 at 7:37 am

    I would love to see Anomander Jnr and a tale that would need to be told is how he came to own the sword Dragnipur… Would Erikson tell this tale though? I reckon that’s too much of an obvious choice for him…
    As for you guys going on about never getting to see Erikson, at least you’re on the same continent as him! I don’t think he’s ever been across to the UK…

  • The Book Swede October 3, 2007 at 7:45 am

    You lucky bl*rgo! ;)

    That mad dash was crying out to be made! Damn! :P Your posts on SE and all the juicy tidbits are forcing me to re-read the entire series… * =O *

    Really looking forward to seeing an Anomander Rake prequel.

    Wow, you’ve really done it here, Aidan.

    The Book Swede

  • Jebus October 3, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Er Graeme, he used to live in the UK right? For quite some time?

    He’d better come to Ozland! But only when the series is finished so I can get all my books signed (bloody hell that would be a long signing session), he can even bring ICE if he wants to, you know, for shits and giggles.

  • aidan October 3, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    RE: Max
    No word about novels set outside the Malazan Universe, unfortunately.

    RE: Lawrence, Wolf Maid, Patrick
    Perhaps humble is the wrong word. How about seeing his asskicking days as a younger man?

    RE: Graeme
    He lived in your city, for christ’s sake! What more do you want?! :)

    RE: The Book Swede
    Can we expect to see anything on your blog as a result of your reread? I’d love to see some of your thoughts as you experience the novels again!

    RE: Jebus
    I’m sure he and Cam would love to tour in Oz. Get on the phone with his publishers!

    Also, to everyone. Don’t take that Anomander Rake story as being set in stone, it was just an idea he was throwing around! I don’t want you all to come back and tear off my head if he doesn’t produce one 3-4 years from now! :)

  • The Wolf Maid October 3, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Perhaps humble is the wrong word. How about seeing his asskicking days as a younger man?

    Better. I don’t think Anomander ever had a ‘humble’ thought in his life. ;)

    I partcularly want to see how he got together with the others like Brood and so. And when he went to that place with all the ‘kickass’ warriors.

  • Dave October 4, 2007 at 7:16 am

    Any anomander novel will have to have his journey to the seguleh lands. Make sure he knows this, it is not a question :)

  • aidan October 4, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Wolf Maid, Dave,

    It seems there are so many stories filling Anomander’s that Steve could write a whole series just about him, eh? What would you guys think of perhaps a short story collection revolving around Rake?

    (This isn’t any insider information, I know nothing about a short story collection. It’s just conjecture!)

  • Graeme October 4, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    He lived in the UK? He lived in my city??? Dammit…. (!!!)
    Well… errr… I’m sure he forgot something when he packed. He should come back and get… the object in question. Maybe sign a few books while he’s here… :o)

  • James October 4, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Aidan, I was one of the guys who was at the reading/pub with you. I had such a blast; spending time with Steven and his charming wife was amazing. I enjoyed their passion for archaeology almost as much as hearing him talk about writing.

    Thought I’d add some stuff you may not have heard or forgotten to add; Steven mentioned how there were going to be lots more Korbal Broach/Bauchelain novellas released, non-sequentially.

    I also asked him if we were going to be seeing Lady Envy again any time soon because she was one of my favourite characters from Memories of Ice, and he said he had just written a large section about/featuring her in Toll the Hounds! That brought a huge smile to my face.

    Anyway I really enjoy the blog and will be checking it frequently. It was nice meeting you and I enjoyed spending the time with everyone in the pub!


  • Jebus October 4, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Don’t kill me but I really don’t understand the massive love-fest that people have for Rake. He’s cool enough I suppose but there are plenty of other characters I’d prefer to know more about than him – Kruppe, Dancer, Surly, Fiddler, Ben, Kalam to name just a few.

  • The Wolf Maid October 5, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    What would you guys think of perhaps a short story collection revolving around Rake?

    That would very awesome. Rake is one the most interesting characters around there (Having Dragnipur odesn’t hurt him one bit). If Steve does get to write a collection of stories on him, I think a lot of fans would enjoy it.

  • aidan October 10, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    James, it’s nice to hear from you! Thanks for the updates about what I missed out on, I’m sure Malazan fans are eager to hear about it!

    That sure was a fun night, eh? It sounds like you were all there for a good while after my brother and I left? I hope everyone behaved themselves!

    Glad to know you’re enjoying the blog, I hope to see you around from time to time! Don’t be afraid to leave a comment.

  • Rohan "ST" Chavan October 11, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Great work Aidan. I have been scouring the net for some more information about TtH for a while now. It’s good to know that the book is almost done.I just hope that they decide to pre-pone the printing of the book(Supposed to be October 08 for now). Thanks again..!

  • aidan October 11, 2007 at 8:08 pm


    I’m glad I could please! I agree, it’ll only be a good thing if the release date is pushed forward now that the novel is close to being done!

  • Rohan "ST" Chavan October 12, 2007 at 7:03 am

    I have linked this article in a discussion on TtH @ the MalazanEmpire forum .Expect more traffic :-)

  • Emporer November 5, 2007 at 7:45 am

    Wish Steve and ICE could come to Southern Africa(Namibia and South Africa). Huge fanbase down here and I would definitely be first in line.

  • SteeJans 84 January 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Tor sucks monkey nuts. They will not listen to anyone intelligent. Look how they market him. I have gone to every book store in the Jacksonville area to find the Tor hardcovers of Midnight Tides and BoneHunters and NONE had them!! Its a freakin crime the way he has been marketed to the american fantasy reader. He is the best there is and not really many people realize his series exists.

    Everytime I see that pic I laugh man. Thanks for including me (even jokingly) in your day with him.

    When will you be interviewing ICE?


  • SteeJans 84 January 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    A series of tales about the assendents would be great!!!


  • […] this link on malazan… An Aside | Toll the Hounds tidbits – A Dribble of Ink Nice little clues as to what’s going on and what comes after Malazan finishes up. SE looks funny […]

  • Infenimoilm May 12, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long.
    — Howard Kandel


  • […] two trilogies? Could one of those be an exploration of the Ascendants’ pasts that I hinted about a few months ago? digg_skin = […]

  • Sandhya August 30, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Does anyone know what happened to Malazan Books Forum Website? Anomader Rake and Ascendants…something to look forward to….I was already dreading the end of Malazan Books

  • sandra742 September 9, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.