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Lundin, Steve (Rune) 1959-

LUNDIN, Steve (Rune) 1959-

(Steven Erikson)

PERSONAL: Born 1959, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; married; children: one son. Education: Earned degree in anthropology; University of Victoria, B.F.A., 1988; graduate of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Hobbies and other interests: Hockey, canoeing, cross-country skiing, computer games.

ADDRESSES: Home—Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bantam Books, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER: Writer, archaeologist, and anthropologist. Performed archaeological and anthropological fieldwork for eighteen years in North and Central America. Also worked in public relations, as a speechwriter, and as a video script writer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Co-winner, Three-day Novel Contest, Anvil Press, 1993, for Stolen Voices; World Fantasy Award nomination for best novel, 1999, for Gardens of the Moon: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

WRITINGS:

"malazan book of the fallen" series; as steven erikson

Gardens of the Moon, Bantam (London, England), 1999, Tor Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Deadhouse Gates, Bantam (London, England), 2000, Tor Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Memories of Ice, Bantam (London, England), 2001.

House of Chains, Bantam (London, England), 2002.

Midnight Tides, Bantam (London, England), 2004.

other

A Ruin of Feathers (collection), Tsar Publications (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

Stolen Voices (novel; bound with Vacant Rooms by Mitch Parry), Anvil Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1993.

This River Awakens (novel), Sceptre (London, England), 1998.

Revolvo and Other Canadian Tales (collection), Tsar Publications (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

(As Steven Erikson) Blood Follows (novella), PS Publishing (East Yorkshire, England), 2002.

(As Steven Erikson) The Healthy Dead (novella), PS Publishing (East Yorkshire, England), 2004.

When She's Gone (novel), Great Plains Publications (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Midnight Tides and other novels in the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series.

SIDELIGHTS: Steve Lundin is best known as the author of the ambitious "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, written under the pseudonym Steven Erikson. Projected to be ten volumes, the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series has been compared to George R. R. Martin's celebrated "Song of Ice and Fire" series and Glen Cook's "Black Company" series. According to Salon.com reviewer Andrew Leonard, "Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics on a scale that would approach absurdity if it wasn't so much fun. His time span ranges over hundreds of thousands of years. Races (both human and nonhuman), cultures, empires and even gods rise and fall. Vast struggles range across multiple continents and dimensions of time and space."

Born in Canada, Lundin is an anthropologist and archaeologist by training, and he spent eighteen years doing archaeological fieldwork in North America and Central America. He began writing fiction in his early twenties and eventually earned degrees in creative writing from the University of Victoria and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His first published work, the story cycle A Ruin of Feathers, appeared in 1991. Shortly after that, he began writing Gardens of the Moon, the first book in the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series; the work was not published until 1999, however.

In Gardens of the Moon, the sprawling Malazan Empire finds itself at war with rebellious enemies, while it also struggles with internal dissension. "Erikson's saga of war and empire delivers first-rate military fantasy," remarked Library Journal critic Jackie Cassada, and a reviewer in Publishers Weekly stated that Gardens of the Moon "features a plethora of princes and paupers, powers and principalities, with much inventive detail to dazzle and impart a patina of mystery and ages past." Deadhouse Gates, the second work in the series, is a "convoluted tale, with complex characters and a depth of scope that some readers will no doubt find overwhelming," noted SF Site contributor Neil Walsh, who added, "The writing is of a quality to provoke a whole spectrum of emotions in the reader, and although you may find yourself at times wondering what's really going on, there isn't a dull moment."

Memories of Ice, the third work in the saga, "owes a good deal to Tolkien," observed Booklist reviewer Roland Green. "Themes of loss and redemption, religion and the sacrifice of love, identity, heroism and what it means to be human, are woven through mirroring imagery of beasts, men and gods blinded by a single eye, or a mother's love which can both nurture and destroy," wrote SF site critic William Thompson. In House of Chains "Erikson crafts a multilayered tale of magic and war, loyalty and betrayal," Jackie Cassada noted in Library Journal. The fifth novel in the series, Midnight Tides, "marks a slight departure from [Erikson's] earlier work," Thompson stated. "The vivid and imaginative world-building and myth creation remains, as does the indelible cast of characters informed by forgotten history and racial memory. But unlike past books, where one could expect a carryover of characters as well as some temporal link between multiple and diverse storylines, Midnight Tides appears superficially to be a clean break with what has preceded." Salon.com contributor Leonard noted that each book in the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, "though many involve continuing characters and plots, can stand alone, and explores its own internal dynamic of history and myth." Leonard continued, "Each novel, then, is a chance to watch myth-creation in action, to see how choices made at the dawn of time play out across the ebb and flow of civilization and empire."

On the Tor Books Web site, the author stated that his background in anthropology and archaeology influenced the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series in several ways: "One can take the notion of stratigraphy—so essential in archaeology—and apply it as a mechanism for world-building, not just geologically or in an evolutionary sense, but culturally as well. Layers upon layers—the landscape itself tells its story, and some, a lot, or very little of that story can involve human (sentient) hands." Asked why he chooses to write works of fantasy, the author remarked, "The genre is unique in many ways, especially the freedom it gives the writer to take a metaphor and make it as real as you want; also, the founding premise of genre fiction is communication—something often forgotten or outright disregarded in so-called literary fiction (hence the smaller audiences)—and I loved (and still do) using language to communicate, to tell a good story, and (hopefully) find loyal readers."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, April 15, 2002, Roland Green, review of Memories of Ice, pp. 1387-1388; May 1, 2003, Roland Green, review of House of Chains, pp. 1585-1586; May 15, 2004, review of Gardens of the Moon, p. 1604.

Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), May 16, 1998, "Small-town St. George Subdues His Dragon."

Guardian (London, England), October 14, 1999, Stephen Moss, "Malazans and Megabucks," p. 7.

Library Journal, May 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of House of Chains, p. 132; April 15, 2004, review of Gardens of the Moon, p. 129.

Locus, November, 2000, Charles N. Brown, review of Deadhouse Gates; May, 2001, Charles N. Brown, "Steven Erikson: The Prairie School"; April, 2002, Charles N. Brown, review of Blood Follows.

Publishers Weekly, May 24, 2004, review of Gardens of the Moon, p. 49.

Quill & Quire, June, 1998, review of This River Awakens, p. 52.

Wall Street Journal, October 15, 1999, Charles Goldsmith, "Web Buzz Makes a Fantasy Deal for New Writer," p. B1.

online

Malazan Empire Web site, http://www.malazanempire.com/ (October 22, 2004).

Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/ (June 19, 2004), Andrew Leonard, "Archaeologist of Lost Worlds."

SF Site, http://www.sfsite.com/ (May, 2000), Neil Walsh, "A Conversation with Steven Erikson"; (November 11, 2004), Neil Walsh, review of Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, and House of Chains; and William Thompson, review of Memories of Ice, Blood Follows, Midnight Tides, and The Healthy Dead.

Tor Books Web site, http://www.tor.com/ (November 11, 2004), "Q & A with Steve Erikson."*

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