My first novel, and, I think, not bad for a first novel. Written in late 1980 and early 1981, as I recall. I’d just gotten laid off from a programming job, and my wife said, “Why don’t you take six months off and write a book?” so I did. I really like the cover.
[go to the Jhereg Discussion Page]
To Reign In Hell
My second novel, this is a novelization of the revolt of the angels. It was rather ambitious for me, and I could probably do a much better job of it now, but a lot of people seem to like it, which pleases me. I didn’t have an outline as I was writing it, and I remember getting about 4/5 of the way through it and saying, “Geez, Satan is going to win. That’s interesting.” I shrugged and kept writing to see how it came out. The introduction by Roger Zelazny amazed and delighted me. I still haul it out and read it when I’m in a funk.
[go to the To Reign In Hell Discussion Page]
My least favorite book. It was such a relief to get back to Vlad after struggling with To Reign In Hell that I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing—I just wrote a straight-ahead story with nothing much else to it. That’s fine, in my opinion, if it’s a Really Good Story. But Yendi is only an okay story. I’d love to be able write this one over.
[go to the Yendi Discussion Page]
Your basic combination of Hungarian Folktales and Grateful Dead song lyrics. It took eighteen very difficult months to write, and is the only time (so far) that I’ve used a full plot outline. I’m pretty happy with it, though. The names on the map are Hungarian translations of Grateful Dead song titles.
[go to the Brokedown Palace Discussion Page]
This, my fifth novel, was where I finally realized (or admitted to myself) that I was writing a series, and I had to ask myself some hard questions about what I was doing. This is reflected in the book. I also had to keep Vlad interesting enough that I wouldn’t get tired reading (and writing) about him. I know there are many people who don’t like it. Tough.
[go to the Teckla Discussion Page]
The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
I think at a certain point, every writer has to ask himself why he writes, and what he’s hoping to do. I wrote this one to answer that question and to explore other questions about art that had been troubling me. I have mixed feelings about it—I think I did all right with it, but it is too personal to have a very wide appeal. Still, I’m glad I wrote it, and I’m always pleased to run into people who like it.
[go to the The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars Discussion Page]
Another novel about Vlad Taltos, the assassin-hero of Jhereg and some others. This one was fun and scary to write, because I was working with three different time lines, and I wanted them to all make oblique comments on each other, and to all come together at the end, and I had no idea if they were going to. I was very relieved when it worked out. I’m pretty happy with it.
[go to the Taltos Discussion Page]
Not one of my better efforts, I think, but there are bits of it I like. It started out to be funny, developed a serious side, and I was never able to get the elements to blend the way I wanted them to. Grumble grumble. It’s always pleasant to run into someone who liked this book; it means that I can still do all right when I’m not on my game.
This one came out more or less the way I wanted it to. It was going to be the last Vlad novel, at least for a while, but then Athyra came up and bit me. The drummer is based on Robin Anders, my drum teacher, and he really is like that. Honest. You can always tell a drummer, but, uh…what was the question?
[go to the Phoenix Discussion Page]
My homage to Alexandre Dumas, one of my favorite writers. It is a blatant ripoff of The Three Musketeers. It all started when we were sitting around assigning people we knew to Dragaeran Great Houses, and I mentioned that a the archetypal Lyorn was Athos in Dumas’ work. Then I said, “Aramis is a Yendi, and Porthos is a Dzur, and…hmm. That’s interesting.” I really never expected this one to be published. I wrote it for the sheer joy of writing it—I giggled all the way through. No one was more surprised than me that, not only was it published, but a lot of other people seem to like it. Cool. Great cover, isn’t it?
[go to the Phoenix Guards Discussion Page]
Megan and I first worked together on the Liavek anthology, though I’ve been a fan of her work since her first novel. This actually started as a bunch of songs I wrote with Adam Stemple (guitarist for Cats Laughing and Boiled in Lead), and then turned into the chapter of a book. I had no idea where the thing went after the first chapter (which ended up as the prologue), and I ended up sending it to Megan. We played tennis with it after that, and got together twice for editing sessions after it was done. I’ve never enjoyed working on a book more. I’m very happy with how it came out.
[go to the Gypsy Discussion Page]
I think this is my best book to date. It was written in six weeks, which is damn fast for me. It came out pretty much the way I wanted it to, though. It’s about as close as I’m ever likely to come to horror. I’m happy with this one. Great cover, too; but I’ve always been lucky with covers.
[go to the Agyar Discussion Page]
After Phoenix, I thought I’d take a break from Vlad for a while, but I kept getting this image of Vlad, wearing a poncho and smoking a cheroot, walking into a bar. The image wouldn’t go away so I wrote this one to exorcise it.
[go to the Athyra Discussion Page]
A sequel to The Phoenix Guards. I had a blast writing it, and I think it came out all right. These books are almost more fun than I can stand.
[go to the Five Hundred Years After Discussion Page]
Another in the series. This is the book I wanted Yendi to be: I’m very happy with this one.
[go to the Orca Discussion Page]
This was a joy to write, and I even like how it came out. Emma is a wonderful writer, and it was honor to work with her. We wrote it just as it appears, by writing letters to each other, and let it develop as it went along. It’s a Victorian epistolary novel, or I suppose you could call it a fantasy for Hegelians.
[go to the Freedom and Necessity Discussion Page]
Another Vlad novel, and one I’m pretty happy with. I have a lot of sympathy with people who want to read the books in chronological order, so I wrote this one to help them out: it falls before and after Yendi. Heh heh heh. It also provided me with an excuse to read Clausewitz, which was actually fairly entertaining. The character of Napper is loosely based on the late Bruce Beesman, a guy I played a lot of poker with, and whom I miss.
[go to the Dragon Discussion Page]
Once more, back to Vlad. This one was fun to write, and I think it came out okay. So far, Vlad is keeping me entertained.
[go to the Issola Discussion Page]
This is a good place to explain that The Viscount of Adrilankha is not a trilogy, it is a three volume novel. That is, it should be thought of as a single book. The Khaavren Romances are, in fact, a trilogy, of which Viscout is the third novel. Therefore, these five books are clearly seen to be a triolgy consisting two one-part novels and one three-part novel. Each part consists of two “books.” Therefore, chapter four of book two of part three of the third book is easily seen to be chapter fifty two of the third novel, or chapter one hundred and twenty of….
Okay, to hell with it. Call it a trilogy. I don’t care.
[go to the The Paths of the Dead Discussion Page]
[go to Sethra Lavode Discussion Page]
Vlad is back, and this time he’s hungry. I mean, really hungry. I could explain the plot of this one, but I think I’m going to eat, instead.
[go to the Dzur Discussion Page]
My Own Kind of Freedom
The novel is currently available in multiple formats. Click below to download:
[go to the My Own Kind of Freedom Discussion Page]
I really wanted to do Vlad as Nero Wolfe with Loiosh as Archie Goodwin, so I did. I’m fairly happy with it. And, as usual, I love the cover.
[go to the Jhegaala Discussion Page]
I got to read the Code Napoleon when researching this one. It was strange and weird and much more interesting than I thought it would be. I guess the same could be said about the experience of writing about law and lawyers.
[go to the Iorich Discussion Page]
I’ve always wanted to see if I could put together fully independent short stories that, when brought together, make a novel. Turns out I can’t. But looking at the final result, this is one I’m happy with. I loved writing Paarfi again. And bringing Vlad and Khaavren together geeked my inner fanboy. Can I be a fanboy about my own stuff? Oh, right. That’s why I do it.
[go to the Tiassa Discussion Page]
Steven Brust & Skyler White
What can I say about this one? I love it, I’m proud of it, I’m kind of nuts about it. Almost certainly too much, but them’s the breaks.
Forthcoming Fall 2014
Hawk was a difficult book to write, because I was consciously playing with plot structure–usually not something I think about. In the end, I’m quite happy with how it came out. And I’m never going to do that again.
[go to Hawk Discussion Page]