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Transworld Interview (2001)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago

 

 

 

Steven Erikson

 

Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book Of Fallen)

 

 

Bantam Press Fantasy

 

 

 

1. When did you first start to write and why?

 

 

 

I wrote my first short story when I was 21, then followed the next year with a seven hundred page fantasy novel that was pure garbage but taught me a lot (specifically, that I was capable of actually finishing something). As to why, that's a bit harder to answer. I was doing oil paintings and illustration and had, a couple years earlier, been put forward by my school for a whole variety of government funded art courses, the result of which destroyed my desire to paint and draw. I needed an alternative creative endeavour, and since a sense of narrative was always present in my painting and drawing....

 

 

 

2. Who or what has influenced you the most?

 

 

 

I think I can pinpoint one novel in particular that has had the profoundest influence on me, from the first time I read it when I was about fifteen to this day, and that is Lord of the Flies. I don't think I knew at first that it was science fiction -- which it is -- nor was I cognisant of the full breadth of its themes, but it has always stayed with me. It is a fearless novel.

 

 

 

3. What are the top five books in your genre/Who are your top 5 authors?

 

 

 

Top five Fantasy novels:

 

  • 'Last Call' by Tim Powers

 

  • 'Grendel' by John Gardner

 

  • 'Ash' by Mary Gentle

 

  • 'The Black Company' by Glen Cook

 

  • 'Lord Foul's Bane' by S. R. Donaldson

 

 

 

Top five Fantasy authors:

 

  • Paul Kearney

 

  • Tim Powers

 

  • Glen Cook

 

  • Mary Gentle

 

  • Fritz Leiber

 

 

 

4. Where did you grow up, how did this place influence you?

 

 

 

I grew up in the Canadian prairie city of Winnipeg, more an oversized town, actually. It is a place with few distinguishing characteristics. Not beautiful. The weather's fierce. There's not a hill to be found for a hundred miles in any direction. Two silt-laden rivers run through it, flooding the entire city every now and then. And yet, despite or perhaps because of all those things, the people are friendly, genuine and open. If that has been an influence on my writing it's been in my focussing on characters over settings. Can one really make a connection like that? Well, I just did.

 

 

 

5. Name your top 5 web sites.

 

 

 

I don't think I've even visited five websites!

 

 

 

6. What would you like as your epitaph?

 

 

 

I think I'll leave my last words to someone else.

 

 

 

7. What is your favourite TV moment of this century so far?

 

 

 

The TV moments that stay with me are those surrounding the collapse of the Berlin Wall, for its affirmation of humanity; and the events in Tianamen Square, for the brutality of power.

 

 

 

8. What is the most interesting job you've ever had and why?

 

 

 

My most interesting job ... depends what you mean by interesting. I wrote PR for a major chemical company (think inventors of napalm). I wrote a few speeches for a Minister of Immigration for the Canadian government (same speech for every ethnic community -- I simply changed the names as required -- I could be stretching the truth or even fabricating it here, but I'm sworn to secrecy, or at least obfuscation). I wrote corporate video scripts for a while, including one on a biotech company involving the cloning of pigs -- which led me to the horrific realisation that one day soon, we'll all begin eating the same pig, for the rest of our lives! I've had a few 'good' projects as an archaeologist, ranging from standing knee deep in the bottom of a perfectly preserved Officer's Latrine from the 1820's (wherein I caught a seventy year old flu, but luckily was given an all-clear on smallpox), to keeping an eye out for alligators whilst core-drilling in the middle of a lagoon in Belize (only to have a sixty pound bar drop on my head). Thankfully, all that's behind me now. I hope.

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