(urth) Round 2 of NPR top 100 sci-fi books of all time
danldo at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 08:32:51 PDT 2011
The thing about the Malazan books is, they're both huge-scale and
minutely-detailed. This seems paradoxical, but it isn't; Erikson is
dealing with huge cosmic concepts, but dealing with their effects on
the ground. They're war novels where the grunts and the generals get
equal time, not something you see every day.
They're also brutal, _brutal_ books. Major characters die
unexpectedly, even meaninglessly. There's a certain kind of
meaninglessness to the whole cosmology, actually: it's "as below, so
above" applied to existentialism.
The real achievement is the worldbuilding. Tolkien used facets of
linguistics to create a sense of ancientness; Erikson uses facets of
archaeology. It seems like you can't go anywhere in his world without
stumbling over the ruins of an ancient civilization.
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