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Steven Erikson


Steven Erikson


Martin Šust

The Canadian writer, real name Steve Rune Lundin, was born on October 7, 1959 in Toronto and spent his childhood in Winnipeg. He became fantastic thanks to the popularity of Frank Frazetta's paintings, which soon led him to the books of Robert E. Howard and ER Burroughs. Perhaps it was they who aroused his interest in uncovering the secrets of ancient civilizations and becoming an archaeologist. He wrote for student newspapers and also attended a school of creative writing, during which he wrote his first, seven-page fantasy novel, which was later lost. He left his master's degree in archeology for further study of creative writing, as if the creation of unknown civilizations still attracted him more than uncovering those long lost. In fact, Erikson was attracted to archeology mainly by fieldwork, but he was bored by the ensuing protracted research in the laboratory. Nevertheless, he devoted himself to this field professionally in the 1980s and 1990s.

At their turn, he attended a two-year author's workshop at the University of Iowa. He published his final work - a series of stories about an archaeologist who travels Central America during the 1980s - in his debut short story collection A Ruin of Feathers (1991) at the small Toronto publishing house Tsar, where he also published a small collection Revolvo a few years later. and Other Canadian Tales (1997), with which he completed the early stages of his writing career. In the meantime, however, he had an unpleasant experience publishing a short novel, Stolen Voices (1994). Although he won the Anvil Press competition with the story of an artistically suffering painter, he was then forced to give up as opposed to publishing copyrights as an inexperienced author.

In 1995, he and his wife Clare and son Bowen moved to England, where he failed to find an archeological job and instead worked for Toyota in the public relations department. After a few years, he managed to publish his first truly full-fledged novel, This River Awakens (1998), by the acclaimed Hodder & Stoughton. The disturbing story of boys' adolescence in the Canadian countryside, compared to previous works, has received a number of other editions. Although the novel can be considered a turning point in the context of the author's work, the first volume of the incredibly extensive, complex and in many ways unique fantasy series Malazská kniha Fallů, thanks to which he became a professional writer, has become much more important. The introductory volume of the series, Gardens of the Moon (1999) is the author's first book, originally published under the pseudonym Steven Erikson at the London publishing house Transworld. The author chose a pseudonym using the author's mother's surname, which supported him in his literary career, at the request of Hodder & Stoughton, which at the time did not want their author to publish contemporary prose under the same name in the fantasy genre. In the end, it turned out the other way around, and the author's novel from the present is now published under his pseudonym.

The Malay book of the fallen is difficult to describe in a few words. It is a huge ten-part epic fantasy, in which the author follows the fates of a large number of characters in the world of magic and a constellation of powerful beings at different times and on different continents. The elaborate world was created while playing role-playing games together with the author's friend, Ian Cameron Esslemont, who set out on a literary wanderings through the common world a few years later. Glen Cook's dark fantasy, the Black Legion, was one of their main sources of inspiration. Erikson worked on the initial version of the introductory volume for less than half a year, but for the next eight years he tried unsuccessfully to offer it in various versions of the editions to various American publishers. In the end, he only succeeded in England with the help of a literary agent.

Other volumes of the series consist of the novels Deadhouse Gates (2000, Czech Dům mrtvých, 2003), Memories of Ice (2001, Czech Vzpomínky ledu, 2004), House of Chains (2002, Czech Dóm řetězů, 2005), Midnight Tides (2004, Czech Půlnoční Waves, 2007), The Bonehunters (2006, Czech Bone Hunters, 2008), Reaper's Gale (2007, Czech Storm Death, 2009), Toll the Hounds (2008, Czech Tax for Whippets, 2010), Dust of Dreams (2009, Czech Dust of Dreams, 2011) and The Crippled God (2010, Czech Chrome God, 2012). The first part of the series was nominated for a World Fantasy Award, however, other successes in this direction perhaps surprisingly avoid the author's work.

Numerous characters of the Malay Book of the Fallen include necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Špičák, the main characters in a series of self-published short stories Blood Follows (2002, Czech Potoky krve, Pevnost 6/2006), The Healthy Dead (2004, ), The Lees of Laughter's End (2007) ), which, according to the author, should see three more sequels in the future. The short stories are a tribute to Erikson's classic stories with Fafhrd and Fritz Leiber's Gray Myself. Their joint editions after three short stories are Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: The Collected Stories, Volume One (2007, Czech Potoky krve: Tři příběhy z Malazského světa, 2013) and The Second Collected Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach (2018). Shorter work from the world of Malaz is complemented by the short story Goats of Glory (2010, Czech Goats and Glory, Swords & Dark Magic, 2011).

In 2012 he returned to Canada with his family and in the same year he published the introductory part of the Kharkanas trilogy, which should eventually include the novels Forge of Darkness (2012, Czech Creation of Darkness, 2015), Fall of Light (2016, Czech Pád světla) , 2017) and Walk in Shadow (unpublished). Although the introductory volumes are again elaborate, the author's often engaging philosophy brimming with dark fantasy from long before the events of the main series, their commercial success was so small that the publication of the final volume was postponed indefinitely. Instead, Erikson published The God Is Not Willing (2021), a much better received introductory volume of the Witness trilogy, in which he returns to the popular Malaz just a few years after the events of the final volume of the main series.

Although Erikson is known almost exclusively as the author of epic fantasy, he sometimes goes beyond the boundaries of this popular subgenre. The collection The Devil Delivered and Other Tales (2012) summarizes the three originally published short stories. The novel trilogy Spratek: Willful Child (2014, Czech Spratek, 2015), Willful Child: Wrath of Betty (2016) and Willful Child: The Search for Spark (2018) is a revered written parody of the famous stellar adventures of the Enterprise spacecraft. here, humanity is not doing diplomatically in an effort to explore the universe. In the hitherto independent novel Rejoice (2018, in Czech Radujme se, 2020), our alien system will be visited by superior aliens who want to educate humanity and prevent it from further destruction of the planet Earth.

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