Steven Erikson biography

Steven Erikson was born on the 7th October 1959 in Toronto, Canada. Erikson is his writing name, his real name being Steve Rune Lundin. Educated in Canada, he trained in both archaeology and anthropology before graduating from the acclaimed Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has a wife and son and they currently live in Cornwall, UK.

Erikson is best known and he is in particular famous for the fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. As an author he always attempts to go against the grain of fantasy convention when writing his novels and does not favour the good versus evil approach that many authors of the genre use. His characters are multi-dimensional and posses both the positive and negative traits that are prevalent in all human beings. It would be fair to say that no one can easily predict what will happen next in an Erikson novel. He also uses his his training as an archeologist and anthropologist to give his books a realistic feel and depth.

"One of the things both Cam and I were agreed on regarding this series, was to write in a style that conveyed a sense of vastness, with a strong flavour of realism where not all answers are forthcoming, not all truths survive their utterance, and sometimes mystery abides no matter how desperate we all are for an end to the questions. That said, there will be plenty of resolutions, but the world will not be wrapped up with a pretty bow. As for the events that have been recounted in the books, well, things are always open to interpretation, and I am also rather pleased to learn from readers that the books fair well in re-reads. I am a writer obsessed with layering my narrative, so there’s plenty to find for the reader even after the raw events of the story are well-known."
An excerpt taken from an interview we conducted with Steven Erikson in 2009. Read the full interview here.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen series started in 1999 with Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates followed this in the year 2000. Memories of Ice (2001), House of Chains (2002), Midnight Tides (2004), The Bonehunters (2006), Reaper's Gale (2007), Toll the Hounds (2008), Dust of Dreams (2010) and The Crippled God (2011) complete the series.

Erikson began writing fiction when he was in his early twenties and this was when he wrote what was, in is own words "a bad fantasy novel". Then followed a few years of archaeology and travelling plus two writing courses. Then, unemployed and with a pregnant wife, he started and completed the first draft of Gardens of the Moon. It was another 9 years until the book was published.

Erikson's enjoyment in turning the fantasy genre on its head shows in the vitality of his books. An example of his unique style can be found in the way he opened the series in the midst of an ongoing story rather than at the beginning, as convention usually deems necessary.

Erikson has taken the fantasy to another level and the genre is all the more fresh and worthy for it. The author has been short listed for the World Fantasy Award.

The official Steven Erikson website -

Steven Erikson influences

  • Stephen Donaldson
  • Glen Cook
  • Robert E. Howard
  • E. R. Burroughs
  • Homer
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Roger Zelazny
  • John Gardner
  • Gustav Hasford
  • Mark Helprin
  • Robin Hobb

Steven Erikson also mentioned, in an interview, a book called The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton which he says "proved very influential in my writing, although in a most subversive way".

"Steven Erikson afflicts me with awe... vast in scope, almost frighteningly fecund in imagination, and rich in sympathy, his work does something that only the rarest of books can manage: it alters the reader's perceptions of reality" Stephen R. Donaldson

"Complex and powerful ... the best fantasy novel I've read since George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, bar none ... Superb stuff" Waterstones

September 3rd 2009 interview with Steven Erikson

Steven Erikson's ongoing fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen has brought new life and originality into the fantasy genre. Steven Erikson kindly spoke to Fantasy Book Review in September 2009, shortly after the publication of the ninth novel in the series, Dust of Dream [...]

Read interview