Ian C Esslemont

Ian Cameron Esslemont was born in 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada. He is best-known for his contributions to the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series popularised by his friend and collaborator, Steven Erikson (a fellow archaeologist). Esslemont is the co-creator of the Malazan world.

Esslemont and Erikson co-created the Malazan world in 1982 as a backdrop for role-playing games. In 1991 they collaborated on a feature film script set in the same world, entitled Gardens of the Moon. When the script did not sell, Erikson greatly expanded the story and turned it into a novel. The two writers agreed to both write books set in the same world. However, it took a further eight years before Gardens of the Moon was published by Bantam UK and Erikson agreed to write a further nine novels set in the same world. Life and work commitments delayed Esslemont's own entries to the series until 2005, when his first novel, Night of Knives, was published as a limited edition by PS Publishing (a mass-market release by Bantam UK followed in 2007). This book was a prequel to the main Malazan sequence. His second novel, Return of the Crimson Guard, takes place within the main Malazan sequence, shortly after the events of the sixth book, The Bonehunters. It was published by PS Publishing in May 2008 and by Bantam UK later that year. Both Night of Knives and Return of the Crimson Guard have now been bought by Tor for publication in the United States.

"We used a single pad of yellow legal notepaper that we passed back and forth across the table in coffeeshops, taking turns writing dialogue and scenes, etc. It was very rewarding creatively, reacting to what he came up with then passing the pad back for his reaction - like a great game of chess, only we were both winners. We found we could co-write screenplays in that manner but we both knew it wouldn’t work for novel writing so we didn’t even attempt it. Now, we both do have our "own stories to tell" but they are still woven together in that - if the plan can be kept to - they still cross and merge in various ways and at various moments."

Ian C Esslemont books reviewed