Monday, September 14, 2009

One of the benefits to being late to the party...

Anna bought me Gardens of the Moon by Steve Erikson for my birthday*, and I've been devouring the Malazan Book of the Fallen ever since. It's cool and all to get into a new author and, like a band, feel like you knew them before they were cool... the problem with that though, is that you have to wait forever for their next book. Not a problem here... 9 of the 10 books are already written! And they're long! Pretty much my ideal right there... takes all of the guesswork out of "What should I read next?"

It's a pretty complicated world with all sorts of things going on that you're sort of just dumped in the middle of... so it is probably not for everybody. I would say the comparisons with George R.R. Martin are pretty apt, though Erikson is not quite as "plot twisty" as Martin, they both tend to deal with events on a grand scale and there are lots of schemes and intrigues going on in the background that you tend not to be fully aware of. As I was finishing the 3rd book I thought "this would be a good setting for a role-playing game"... it seems to me that 4E D&D completely ripped Erikson off regarding how to deal with high-level characters... and as it turns out, it started off as a setting he and a buddy made for GURPS in the 80's. The fact that it reminded me of a RPG campaign setting might sound like a dig, but I don't mean it that way... it really is quite unique... no elves and dwarves, but a tribe that turned themselves into undead warriors to wage a three hundred thousand year campaign of genocide. Good stuff.

* She picked the book by looking at the "Recommended For You" thing on Amazon on my computer... not a bad tactic if you and your significant other do your surfing on different computers/accounts.