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Blood Follows
Steven Erikson
PS Publishing, 90 pages

Edward Miller
Blood Follows
Steven Erikson
Steven Erikson was born in Toronto, grew up in Winnipeg, and worked in the UK for several years until returning to Winnipeg a few years ago where he now lives with his wife and son. He is an anthropologist and archaeologist by training, as well as being a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Gardens of the Moon (1999) was his first fantasy novel.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Memories of Ice
SF Site Review: Deadhouse Gates
SF Site Interview: Steven Erikson
SF Site Review: Gardens of the Moon

Past Feature Reviews
A review by William Thompson

Anyone who has been following Steven Erikson's exceptional Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen will most definitely want to locate this book. I say locate, as this novella is already sold out at the publisher: not a surprise when you consider that only 300 copies were printed in hardcover, with barely more -- 500 -- available in trade paperback. Erikson has rapidly and deservedly captured the attention of both critics and an ever-growing number of readers, and both versions of this signed edition were predictably quickly snapped up. However, not to entirely despair, as copies of this entertaining work are still available online through, though not many, so I would advise you to immediately place your order for those few that remain.

Taking place in an extended realm of Malazan, Blood Follows moves backward a bit in time from events in last year's remarkable Memories of Ice, to the origins of Emancipor Reese; as readers may recall, a character in what is arguably the author's best and certainly most complex and literary-intentioned novel so far (at some point some critic will begin to divine the author's use of metaphor and symbolism, even if disguised within the framework of epic military fantasy -- then again, considering the failure to recognize the same in Matthew Stover's outstanding Blade of Tyshalle, maybe not). Set within his native home of Lamentable Moll, one of several city-states on the island of Theft, Moll is a port town built upon ancient barrows, whose mounded remains litter the city, and whose liches are reputed to haunt the streets. Emancipor Reese is dogged by a sequence of events that has inadvertently led to the death of every employer he has had, as well as harried by a wife who has born him children he suspects are not his. His most recent employer, Master Baltro, has joined the nightly victims of a monstrous killer who is stalking the city, and once again the ill-fated Reese finds himself out of a job, tagged with the sobriquet Mancy the Luckless and neighbors who avert their gaze. However, as "luck" would have it, he is about to find new employers, visitors who are singularly unconcerned by his previous employers' past misfortunes.

With Erikson's typical cast of memorable and eccentric characters and localities, the author spins a tale of horror and mystery that should delight both fans and initiates alike. While considerably more direct and lighthearted, even within the context of horror and mayhem, than his larger novels, readers of the series will nonetheless immediately recognize the author's brand of humor and satire, here given a bit more reign to counterbalance the darker motifs which are also a signature of the author's work. Replete with various subplots and secondary characters, such as the preposterous Turgold Vise or the marvelous if macabre dolls of the Blackpug sisters ("Every child should know terror..."), the usual shifting perspectives, and a complement of inept wizards, dockside idlers, mysterious figures and a Soletaken whose choice of alter egos is perhaps ill-chosen, this story becomes as much a humorous romp as a darker, more serious account of a serial killer.

One can only pray that perhaps PS Publishing, noted for their limited, signed editions by some of the more notable authors of fantasy, science and speculative fiction, might consider a second printing, at least of the trade paperback edition. If not, most readers will have to depend upon borrowing, and no, I am sorry, but I'm not lending mine!

(Note: for those of you interested in the author's mainstream fiction, under his given name, Steve Lundin, a bibliography of this work is provided for on the back infold of the dustcover.)

Copyright © 2002 William Thompson

William Thompson is a writer of speculative fiction. In addition to his writing, he is pursuing masters degrees in information science as well as history at Indiana University.

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