Bouyed by seeing the Internet’s recent enthusiasm about John Scalzi’s Redshirts winning the Hugo Award for ‘Best Novel,’ Steven Erikson has announced that his next novel will not be a Malazan novel (though, Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone reveals that Fall of Light, the second novel in the Kharkanas Trilogy, is still in the works, merely delayed), but Willfull Child, a satirical riff on Star Trek.

Willfull Child is described as a ‘smart, inventive and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-hi-tech-kit-along-the-way type over-blown adventure.’

An excerpt of Willfull Child last year on on

More details are available via the page for the novel:

These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the…

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback – a kind of James T Kirk crossed with ‘American Dad’ – and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space’…

Erikson is a delightful and sharply funny person, and I’ve always felt that this sense of humour was one of the highlights of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, so I’m glad to see him momentarily shifting away from the dark, sprawling world of the Malazan/Kharkanas novels into something entirely different. Mind you, it sounds alarmingly like Scalzi’s Redshirts, but Erikson and Scalzi are such stylistically different writers that I think the outward similarities only make me more curious to read Willfull Child.

  • John Scalzi September 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I doubt Erikson was inspired by my work in any meaningful sense. But like you I am looking forward to the story!

  • Aidan Moher September 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for dropping by, John. Just a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour in the title of the post, but I imagine there will be a lot of crossover between the (now even larger) audience for Redshirts and Erikson’s new novel.


  • Joris M September 9, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I believe Erikson was involved in an attempt to launch an (online?) SF series some years ago. The one segment they had online was quite dark. So it seems his interest in SF goes back a long while.

    I’ll be interested to see what he ends up doing.

  • E. Hobbs September 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Sounds like it is theVucans worse fears. (watch the Enterprise on Nexflex)