The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Books

Jhereg cover
Jhereg
April, 1983

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]

[Purchase links: bn.com | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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To Reign In Hell
May, 1984

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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Yendi cover
Yendi
July, 1984

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]

[Purchase links: bn.com or Powell’s | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Brokedown Palace cover
Brokedown Palace
January, 1986

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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Teckla cover
Teckla
January, 1987

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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the sun, the moon, and the stars cover

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
May, 1987

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com ]

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Taltos cover
Taltos
March, 1988

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Taltos omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille cover
Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille
January, 1990

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.

[go to the Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille Discussion Page]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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Phoenix cover
Phoenix
November, 1990

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Taltos omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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The Phoenix Guards cover
The Phoenix Guards
August, 1991

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]

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The Gypsy cover
The Gypsy
By Megan Lindholm and Steven Brust.
June, 1992

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Barnes & Noble]

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Agyar cover
Agyar
March, 1993

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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Athyra cover
Athyra
April, 1993

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Athyra omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Five Hundred Years After cover
Five Hundred Years After
April, 1994

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]

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Orca cover
Orca
March, 1996

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Athyra omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Freedom and Necessity cover
Freedom and Necessity
By Emma Bull and Steven Brust.
Febuary, 1997

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Dragon cover
Dragon
November, 1998

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dragon omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Issola cover
Issola
July, 2001

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dragon omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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The Paths of the Dead cover
The Paths of the Dead
December, 2002

The Lord of Castle Black cover
The Lord of Castle Black
August, 2003

Sethra Lavode cover
Sethra Lavode
April, 2004

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]

[The Paths of the Dead purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]

[go to The Lord of Castle Black Discussion Page]

[The Lord of Castle Black purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]

[go to Sethra Lavode Discussion Page]

[Sethra Lavode purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]

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Dzur
October, 2006

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dzur omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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My Own Kind of Freedom cover

My Own Kind of Freedom
February, 2008

My Firefly novel, released under a creative commons license. You are free to download it and share it with your friends as long as it is not used for commercial purposes.

The novel is currently available in multiple formats. Click below to download:

epub [330KB] | kindle/mobi [427KB] | PDF [1.1MB]

[go to the My Own Kind of Freedom Discussion Page]

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jhegaala cover

Jhegaala
July, 2008

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dzur omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]

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Iorich
January, 2010

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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Tiassa
March, 2011

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]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.comAudible | Ebook: kindle or nook]

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 Incrementalists cover

The Incrementalists
Steven Brust & Skyler White
September, 2013

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.

 

[go to The Incrementalists Discussion Page]

[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | ebook: kindle or nook ]

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Hawk_comp_150

Hawk
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]

[Pre-order links: Powell’s or bn.com]

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126 Comments

  1. Just a suggestion, though it may seem a bit too self-serving for your taste: You might consider putting links to sites that the books can be purchased in this area. If I were to do it, I would have the picture of the cover be a clickable link to the Discussion Page for that book, and on the Discussion Page, that is where I would list the links of locations, which will take me directly to the site that I can purchase the book.

    Also, I don’t know if you did it on purpose, but you haven’t listed “The Desecrator”.

  2. I love the site upgrade! One thing: the thumbnail image for Jhegaala is actually Gypsy again.

  3. Are there any plans for the next Vlad Taltos book?^^

  4. skzb

    I’m working on Hawk now; about a third of the way through the first draft. Thanks for asking.

  5. Hi Steve,
    I’ve been an avid consumer of your books since 1985. Throughout all of those years I’ve built relationships with many of your creations. For the last decade or so a sadness has crept into my heart. …..I miss Kragar!
    I would think that Vlad probably feels the same way only more so.
    I have thought that while the mystery surrounding Kragar is in and of itself an enjoyable enigma. I am wondering if one day before #18 (17 houses +Taltos) I will have an opportunity to know my favorite supporting character of all time.
    30 years is a long time to wait, but oh what a ride!

  6. skzb

    Thanks. So far, there appears to be a fair bit of Kragar in Hawk.

  7. I was perusing the bookstore one day when someone recommended the Vlad Taltos novels. Not wanting to commit myself to a purchase yet, I borrowed the whole series from the library (which I read through in about two weeks). I loved them so much that I now have all 5 of the printed anthologies, but my question is, are there plans to release “The Book of Iorich” any time soon?

  8. skzb

    Thanks kindly. I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised, but I haven’t yet heard anything.

  9. The Vlad Taltos series is far and away my favorite series of books. I’m very much looking forward to the release of Hawk. I’m glad the series didn’t end with Pheonix, as mentioned above, or I wouldn’t have been able to read my favorite of the series, Issola.

  10. Hi Steve,

    I realise it says “books”, but it would be immensely helpful for completists like me to have a list of your short fiction that has appeared elsewhere. That fascinating poker piece in the Roger Zelazny anthology, the “Nightslayer” piece on Tor and no doubt others I haven’t read!

    Thanks,
    Derek
    P.S.: Minor typo, “Clauswitz” -> Clausewitz

  11. skzb

    Nuncupatory: Thanks for the correction. If someone has a list of the stories, I could post a link, but the idea of putting one together is too daunting. As a note, the character in the Zelazny anothology is a protagonist in The Incrementalists (Tor, September 2013), and in another story for another Zelazny anthology, scheduled for, uh, I’m not sure.

  12. I don’t know if this list is complete, but I guess it’s a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust#Short_stories

  13. skzb

    Much appreciated. I’ll see if Corwin or Felix wants to put a link on my front page.

  14. I’ll take care of that sometime this weekend.

  15. I love your books. Anyway unfortunately few have been published in Spanish, do you know if there is any plan to publish them in Spanish? .

  16. skzb

    Thanks, Carlos. I’m sorry, but I don’t know who might be planning what regarding publication.

  17. …just curious (and some of the participants act like reminding them that they have participated in this series is like grinding lemon into an open wound with sandpaper made out of salt, infused with gasoline — if this includes you, then … well, sorry!), but I wonder why you left out your foray into the Thieves World series? Personally, I enjoyed your contribution quite a bit, and not “just” because I was nostalgic for another romp through Sanctuary…

  18. skzb

    If you mean “left out” of a list of short stories, I didn’t make the list, so if something is missing from it, I don’t know why. But I was fairly pleased with that story, and have no reason to disavow it.

  19. Mr. Brust,
    thank you. I’ve enjoyed all your novels and short stories for years. As I enter the second half of my fifth decade I enjoy rereading Vlad’s journey most of all. If you never write another past Hawk, I would owe you a great debt, but I wistfully hope to see some burning questions answered in time. I find your comments on your own works fascinating and enjoy your website as much as any I can remember visiting. My hope is a long life for you sir*twinkle* ,and a hard , hard work ethic 😉

    Harry Hopper
    Kissimmee, Fl

  20. I was curious why some but not all of your novels are available in eBook format. You are one of my favorite authors and I would very much like to have all your works in electronic form.

  21. skzb

    It has to do with what I have rights to, and what Berkely wants to do. I’m checking into it.

  22. That makes sense. I always marvel why any rights holder wouldn’t want their works available in as many formats as possible. Why limit your readership? Seems crazy.

  23. Has there been any demand for your books to be translated into Japanese?

  24. skzb

    No idea. I don’t pay much attention to marketing.

  25. Love your writing. I have turned many friends to the Vlad series and all have been hooked like I was. Keep them coming…

    I drive for work a great deal and have become a user of Audible; several of your works are there already – any chance that your non-Vlad, non-Dragaeran works will go to Audible…(say yes)?

  26. Hello Mr Brust. Been a fan for many years. Thank you for the hours of entertainment. How is the first draft of Hawk coming along?

  27. skzb

    Thanks. Update coming soon.

  28. I have been an avid reader of your works since i was in my 20’s and have introduced many a fan to your works. but I am worried… I cant seem to find any info on anything new you have coming out, and it is March!! This is the time I usually get the thrill of the count down till the new Vlad book!!
    Just wanted to say how much I adore your writing style from the Viscount of Andrilanka series. That series is something else me and my Ex will always have in common and can actually agree on and laugh about! I love the evolution of your epic characters and am waiting with bated breath for your latest twisty and turny plot shift!! xxoo

    Mia Cavanagh

  29. skzb

    Thanks for the kind words, Mia. This will be out in September: http://www.amazon.com/The-Incrementalists-Steven-Brust/dp/0765334224/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362955577&sr=8-1&keywords=incrementalists

    I’m working on Hawk now, but can’t say when it’ll be out.

  30. skzb,

    I’ve read your books to tatters several times over.

    Thank you.

    Tom

  31. I’ve read almost all of your books to actual pieces, replaced them and eventually replaced those too (friendly theft and gifting seems to be common when a friend gets a sample). Yet I still manage to find something new, something I missed or something I finally understood the right way every time. Thank you for your amazing story telling! I look forward to Hawk when it lands.

  32. skzb

    Many thanks; that’s nice to hear.

  33. Skzb,

    I love the Talos books. I read them all multiple times.
    I can’t wait untill hawk is out. It’s a shame that writing takes more time then reading.
    But maby it’s also a good thing so it is something special to look out for.
    I have read a lot of books and i find the Talos story the best i ever read in my live.
    If wish they would make movies of them instead of the hobbit.

    many thx and good luck writing,

    Wouter

  34. Hi Steven, all i can say is that you have an ability to write books that can be re-read and still be fresh .. i first bought the sun the moon and the stars then the Vlad series and then all your others.. thanks so much for the reads and entertainment!! my fave book is Issola.. its magnificent

  35. skzb

    Wouter and Richard: Thanks kindly.

  36. I have loved this series since the first book. Many things that happened in my life seemed to parallel Vlad, y marriage my divorce, my kid being raised without me being in his life, I thank you for your insight into the character and helping me to gain better insight into myself. By far this has been one of the most unique settings I have ever read about. For years I wanted to make a dungeons and dragons type of game based on this world to share it with my friends who though they are fantasy fans are not as avid readers as myself. I am curious why you have not yourself either attempted to create some sort of RPG or be willing to work with someone else to do so. I know I would enjoy the experience of roleplaying in Vlad’s world. Anyway, thank you once again for you dedication and I hope you finish the series while i can still read (age and time do bad things to eyes).

  37. The audible books are great, but they have the wrong art up for some showing your collections as a single work (I have both so I know).
    Always a pleasure to read (and now listen) to your work.
    May the days of joy be slow and eternal and those not so great at the pace you desire,
    best wishes,
    Ed

  38. Was curious about the progress of the next Vlad novel, which brought me to the dream cafe. I’m glad to see that you are working on Hawk, hope for its release in 2013. Until then I will daydream about a good meal and fine wine at Valabar & Sons.

  39. I am so glad that your sister is doing so much better. I have all of your books and find myself re-reading the old ones until the new one comes out. I am looking forward to Hawk, but understand that the release might be delayed due to the current circumstances. I wish you and your family well and hope for the best of outcomes.

  40. Hi, I laughed at the comment that said “I’ve read almost all your books to actual pieces” because yeah, totally. I think I would have been cool with letting go of Vlad until I read Issola. That ending wrecked me so hard I dreamed about it for weeks. The beginning of Tiassa had me itchy because of the chronology, but oh man did that turn out fine. So yeah, now I am with all these other fiends checking your webpage for hints about Hawk 😀

  41. Just had this thought: Who would be the optimal reader for any work by Paarfi? All possibilities are making me laugh, and none seem to work. Makes for a fun mental game, though. Can’t imagine another narrative voice so challenging.

  42. skzb

    I’m not remembering the name of the guy they got, but he’s very good.

  43. @JP – I suggest Ian McKellen, being as dramatic as possible. That would be entertaining!

  44. @SKZB – I recently tried John Scalzi due to your association with him. I picked up “Old Man’s War”, and now I’m about half way through it. So far, I find it predictable and too complimentary of the main character. Those two combine to make reading it a little boring. I’m hoping that he matured as an author since then, as you did with your writing, but you started out at much higher quality (IMHO) than he did.

  45. Hi, Steven,

    I was wondering – can you perhaps get a message to Vlad for me? I have an offer for him should he decide to perhaps resume his old profession. A certain acquaintance of mine, upon having skimmed through (not read) Jhereg, called it “childishly absurd.” I find this insulting, and would like to give him reason to understand that his attitude is unacceptable.
    If Vlad won’t be available, perhaps you could see if Kragar could contact Mario?

    Aside from that, though, I must say I am one of the multitudes that wait impatiently for the next Dragaeran book, either the next in the story of Vlad’s life, or even another of Paarfi’s – ummmm… “historical” books. Perhaps Paarfi could write something on the even earlier history of the Dragaeran world: say, perhaps, when Verra and the other servants of the Jenoine rebelled and overthrew their masters? (Talk about a saga!)

    Thanks.

    Dan

  46. I have been on holiday, running Pirate’s Alley, otherwise known as the Gulf of Aden, under a security regime which included blacking out the ship’s visible lights, and banning us from our balconies and the open decks, after dark.

    I had a lot of fun considering the probable reactions of your characters in similar circumstances…

  47. Dunno about my characters, but I’d have been hiding under the bed, whimpering.

  48. No, you wouldn’t; there wasn’t enough room for the hat. I checked it out.

    Besides, I was not in any danger; I had a pleasant chat with the security team leader, in which I mentioned that my father had put in 35 years in the RAF. He had put in a mere 24 years in the Marines, and thus he would literally rather have died than see me raising an eye brow in his direction as I was hauled off as a hostage.

    For those unaccustomed to the military, I should explain that only civilians believe that the enemy are the people you are shooting at. The real enemy are the other armed forces on your own side….

  49. Pingback: Dreamcafe.com | about:Corwin

  50. Now When you are done with the entire Vlad Series, I do hope that you pick my pocket by selling a leather bound set of the entire series! =) After that we can talk about me starring in the HBO adaptation… =p

  51. skzb

    I’m good with that.

  52. I miss Kragar too. Hope that the draft is still on track, and any health issues with you and yours are well under control.

  53. Just wanted to thank you for the Taltos series, although it won’t be translated into German anymore. Guess I will start buying and trying to understand & enjoy the English ones.

  54. I read The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars almost 20 years ago and loved it, but unfortunately lost track of it. More recently my boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to your other books and I became a huge fan. Slightly later I discovered that the author of the Taltos books and The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars was the same person, and was quite excited to rediscover it, since it inspires me to do more creative things whenever I read it.

    I also love that you describe the Paarfi books as being almost too much fun to write, since I tend to feel that way about reading them. I’ve read the chapter near the beginning of The Phoenix Guards where Khaavren and Co describe their first day’s mentorship in the Phoenix Guards to the captain to a number of people as an example of just how darn funny the books are.

    Anyway, I hope you keep writing for many years, I want to learn as much as you can tell us about what happens to the characters and Dragaria. I am very much looking forward to reading Hawk!

  55. First: It took me seconds to realize where To Reign In Hell was going, and my immediate thought was “Ballsy as hell,..can he pull this off?” And, you did so, stunningly and beautifully. I have been reading your books since 1983 when I first discovered them, and must say quite frankly that Zelazny’s statement about you – which led me to you in the beginning – was fully warranted. Really found interesting Vlad’s encounters with the future child of Aliera. You have been a bringer of wonder, and delight, andyes, damnit, I am one of those who loved Cowboy Feng’s most because of the off the wall and eclectic associations from the time jumping, and the underlying plot wove it together well. The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars..actually for some weird reason reminded me of John Meyers-Meyers (Tell me you have read Silverlock),,? Brokedown Palace was simply superlative, and the point of it being placed across the barrier from the location of Vlad, was a subtle background bit. All that aside, I have fallen a few books behind and will have to rectify that, but I lost my whole collection and am starting over. Agyar was so beautifully written that it never really admits openly that he is …well..undead. I love your writing, and look forward to re(x 6 to 9) discovering your prior books and the new ones. Appreciate the hours of entertainment, and will have to find your music soon. Thanks!

  56. Mr. Brust, been a huge fan since 1992 or so when I was 14. I’ve read Jhereg at least twice a year since then and keep extra copies of Book of Jhereg and the Book of Taltos to give to people who don’t normally read fantasy, they are such engrossing and perfectly paced and voiced works that everyone I’ve given a copy loves them. Was completely enthralled while reading To Reign In Hell and Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille.

    I’ve used the name Taaltos for nearly all my main characters online games and several other things such as SteamID and what have you, I always meet other fans of your work in doing so.

    I’m writing this to express my gratitude for your amazing work, and also for permission.

    I’ve recently set up a twitch.tv account in which I stream a vast amount if games while I play them called ‘Taaltos plays…’, over 600 games on Steam, and I’d love to get more people into you writing by doing a livestream over several days reading the book Jhereg. I love reading outloud and making the characters come to life and sharing amazing stories.

    I’m asking for your blessing and permission. It’s not for profit or any monetary gain, just a way to get people into your amazing storytelling.

    Thanks for your time and some of the best books I’ve ever read,

    Joseph (Taaltos) Gilligan

  57. skzb

    Thanks kindly. And, sure, go ahead; sounds like a cool thing. And thank you for asking.

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  59. How’s the next Taltos book coming along?

  60. I am curious if there was ever an attempt to create an RPG based on drageara. Each of the 17 houses granting different attribute bonuses. A break down of available weapons, psionics, the three types of magic (witchcraft, sorcery and pre-empire sorcery). I would enjoy playing in that kind of a world. I tired to run a D&D equivalent years back but lost all the notes i used to create my makeshift version of the city. I know dragon magazine put a psuedo character at one point for Vlad and his jhereg. Anyway, it would be cool to own an RPG based on this world.

  61. skzb

    There’s been talk of it now and then.

  62. I just wanted to comment that I started reading the Vlad books in the 80s, not too long after you first started writing them. It’s now 30 years later. Dude, get a move on! I figure there should be 20 books in the series, right? One for each animal of the cycle plus ‘Taltos’. That means you’ve still got 6 to go! If you don’t hurry up and bring the whole series to a dramatic climax with all the loose ends wrapped up, one of us will be dead before you finish! That would irritate me!

    Seriously, I enjoy your writing. Keep it up. (Just hurry up, already!)

  63. Whilst I recognise the anguish expressed by Carpus, I have concluded that the best way to deal with this is to radically upgrade my exercise programme to improve my cardio respiratory efficiency, and thus to materially improve my chances of surviving until the final volume emerges.

    Incidentally, bouncing up and down on my trampette whilst reading the hardback of ‘The Incrementalists’ really did produce excellent results; I can thoroughly recommend it. The book was pretty good as well…

  64. Take your time Steve.

    Who would ever want the best series I have had the pleasure to enjoy end?

    I savor every book reading each book multiple times until the bindings give out. I don’t merely enjoy the storys I soak on the prose.

    Don’t ….. Rush……a…..thing…….

  65. I just re-read my copy of The Sun, The Moon and The Stars, and it’s still as enjoyable as when I first read it. (Which is to say, “very”.) It helps that I like works about the artistic process.

    But it leads me to wonder if there is a “The Death of Uranus” painting to match what the narrator describes?

  66. skzb

    Thanks; glad you like it. Part of it appears as the cover of the original release, rendered by Tom Canty.

  67. I have truely loved your books for the last 28 years since I was introduced to the Vlad series. Have you ever considered writing anything about Cawti and Norathar during their time as the Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg?

  68. skzb

    Thanks. It could happen someday if the mood takes me.

  69. Hi. Love your books, and own most in hardcover or paperback. But I would very much like them in ebook format. My problem is I have multiple devices (kindle and others) which have competing, proprietary formats. You link to both Amazon and B&N, but is there someplace like baen ebooks that sells them in a format I can download and then convert such that I can read on my kindle, tablet, etc? Would be happy to pay, just preferring not to do it more than once for the same ebook.
    Thanks

  70. skzb

    Nothing that I’m aware of. If anyone would know, it would be someone at Tor. Sorry, wish I could be more helpful.

  71. any news on when the next book, Hawk I believe it is called, will be released?

  72. If you can buy it in one proprietary format and convert it to something portable, then you don’t have to buy it in a portable version which is probably not available yet.

    I haven’t tried this and I don’t know whether it works. If it works it might work to varying degrees, some competing solutions may be better than others.

    http://www.ipubsoft.com/epub/convert-kindle-ebooks-to-epub.html

    A quick search for “jhereg epub” turned up a number of links to services that claim to let you download it for free. I can imagine ethical ways to use those. Like for example, if you download the material that you can’t find a way to buy, and then send skzb a check for 50% of the cover price. You should be cautious about viruses etc, since people who offer to give you other people’s property for free might have ways to make you pay.

  73. Hello Mr. Brust. Were your earlier Vlad books released in hardcover? I’m old school and like to turn pages, and I’d like to preserve your earlier work for my collection in HC. Sethra is my favorite character. Total bad ass.

  74. skzb

    Sorry, no, the early ones are paperback only. Maybe someday some nice small press will want to do hardcovers of them. Thanks for your interest and the kind words.

  75. having a week of beach vacation before me, I was thinking about which books I want to read (what else is the use of a week of sitting at the beach?) my first thought of course was to read the whole taltos series again (for at least the fifth time) – but as there’s no new book in the series, this seems a rather pointless goal. please please please, I need to know how the story continues (especially about Lady Teldra). as I know this probably won’t happen this year, I’ll just stick to reading the malloreon and belgariad from dave duncan again, but maybe there’s a chance for the next vacation?

  76. skzb

    Hawk will be out in October.

  77. Yay….good to have a firm date…now I can schedule my complete series re-read accordingly. 🙂

  78. Woot woot!! Was looking for hawk release date and I see your last comment. Cant wait for a new adventure in dragaera!! Although my poor wife is going to have to endure months of Vlad talk since I have to reread them all to prep for hawk.

  79. Steven – So I just discovered that an old college friend of mine has never read your work. Sorry about that. You can fire me as a publicist. Anyway, I was speaking highly of your writing, particularly your mastery of “voice,” and he asked for a recommendation. I described your entire corpus, which wasn’t, I think, especially helpful.

    So people must ask you this all the time – what to read first? What do you say? Just the most recent thing? Or back to Jhereg and work all the way through? Or what? Particularly with the Vlad books, it’s hard to know what to recommend.

  80. Last year you had mentioned looking into eBook release for your earlier books. You had indicated you were talking to Berkeley. Any word yet on eBook release after this discussion? Love Vlad’s series and would like to have the entire series in eBook format.

  81. Mr. Brust, is it true that you completely rule?

  82. skzb

    No, that would be Jenphalian.. I only rule when she’s busy.

  83. David: Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. When people ask me of which book of mine to read first, my answer depends on what sort of stuff they like. But my default answer is Jhereg, because it was my first novel, and if the guy doesn’t like it I can say, “Well, geez, it was only a first novel.”

  84. I second (or third or fourth or Nth) the curiosity about the availability of the whole Vlad Taltos series in electronic form. I know Google Play books has the later books in the series available, but I’ve been holding off buying them there until the earlier books were available as well. I wouldn’t be opposed to buying them from Amazon for the Kindle app (although with their current shenanigans, maybe that’s not the best option) or some other location.

    I have the books in paperback, but being able to carry them and many, many more (Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire, Dresden Files, Foundation, to name a few series) in a package (my tablet) that doesn’t require a back brace is convenient and I’m okay paying a couple bucks for the convenience.

    Thanks!

  85. Dear Mr. Brust,

    One day, when I was twelve, my dad, older sister, and I were in a Chapters bookstore. It was our favorite place to go when my dad visited, and we would spend hours checking out new books, old books, weird books…

    I picked up Jhereg and read the back, was intrigued by the cover, and managed to snipe a seat on one of the comfy chairs. I started to read, and fell in love with the sarcasm and style. My sis came up, grabbed the book, flipped through it, and said “you won’t like this book, and also it doesn’t look very good”.

    My dad had such a hard time getting me to put the novel down to go home that he ended up just buying it for me. “waste of money”, my sis said.

    Now I’m a spiteful little cuss (or at least I was back then), so I was determine to like it even if I thought it sucked. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try or pretend, because I loved it, and have loved everything else you have written. Anytime I read some olde time-y book like Jane Austen or even John Carter of Mars, I read it in the voice my brain assigned to Paarfi, and I cannot take those books seriously anymore because I’m reduced to stitches (although I still love them).

    Thank you for providing me and countless others with distractions on long public transit commutes, lazy days with vats of tea, and a perpetually salivating mouth anytime Vlad mentions food.

    Most of all, thanks for letting me stick it to my sister, who will never appreciate klava or the joy that comes from reading your books. She’s missing out.

    -Marjoleine

    Ps: have you ever actually made klava??

  86. skzb

    That was a delightful story. Thanks.

    My attempts at klava have always resulted in something more bitter than coffee, rather than less. But I haven’t given up yet.

  87. Hey Brust,

    Sometimes everything looks like a knee cap, and sometimes the Bitch Patrol just won’t stop putting up teleport blocks around my house. So I take my right hand and slap the organization and then take my left hand and shove a six inch stiletto into the right eye.

    That’ll make them see.

    Will Dark Star and Krager have an adventure together? I’d pay to read that.

    –A young writer you inspired over 17 years ago.

    PS: Vlad’s book Dzur made me hungry.

  88. skzb

    Good to hear from you again. And I dunno; could happen. No promises.

  89. Any chance you could create an a series of single volume of everything you created ? One volume for Taltos, another for short stories, another for …

    Would that be impossible due to an issue on who holds on the rights of certain products that you created?

  90. skzb

    Rights might be an issue, but a bigger issue is that I’m not a publisher. I don’t decide about volumes and such, I just write the words.

  91. So where did you learn about plot, character development, pacing, and other Writer Skills that you’ve mentioned on the blog? Did you just intuit them from favourite works, study them before diving into the pool, or what? As someone who is considering the waters, I was wondering how much of the craft you knew when you first drafted Jarhead. Did you do writing for a writers group before then? Cause, well damn, Jarhead is a nice first try >< 🙂

  92. When I first drafted Jarhead, I knew fuck-all except what I’d picked up from reading. I was lucky to have a very, very good critique group at the time I finished it. And thanks.

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  94. Downloaded ‘Hawk’. Started reading. Finished reading. Sooo … what’s/when’s the next (smile)? THANKS, SKZB!

  95. I just finished Hawk, and it has me more excited then ever for what is to come. I’ve been reading the Vlad Taltos books since I was about 12, and my dad bought me jhereg teckla and Taltos, and I have been anxiously awaiting to see how it all ends. I have re read the entire series more time than I thought I had the patience for. I hope you continue the series as you have been doing. I wish there was a way to properly express my love for your writing. Thank you for everything so far!

  96. I’m halfway on Hawk and I’m allready thinking about starting to read the series from the beginning or get the books I don’t have like Khaavren Romances etc. or do it both. I guess It’s gonna take at least 2 years to hear again from Vlad, am I right?

  97. skzb

    Something like, I guess. Working on the next one now, but don’t know how long it’ll take.

  98. Merry Christmas Sir, and Happy New Year. 🙂

  99. Steven,

    I’ve been a huge fan of Vlad and company since I started reading them in the early 90s. I know taht every good series comes to an end eventually but I hope to never see the end of Vlad and Loiosh. They’ve been very good friends through the years. I’ve visited the Dragaera many times and will come back time and again. Thanks for the great times

  100. skzb

    Many thanks, Adam.

  101. What are the chances that all the Vlad books will eventually get released in ebook formats? I’m especially interested in Nook format, since that’s what I own.

  102. skzb

    All the Tor ones are out, and I’m waiting on the contracts for the Ace ones to arrive in the mail. (Of course, I’ve been waiting for two months now, but I haven’t lost hope).

  103. Oh! That’s fantastic news! I have the first 8 or so in paperback, but I’d like to read them all again from the very beginning on my Nook, since it’s been so long since I read them the first time.
    I’ll keep watch!

  104. Steve,
    Your writing inspires my imagination.Vlad is a trophy of a character.
    Looking forward to more.
    Most importantly, thank you.

    Dave

  105. I just read Hawk. As per my usual Vlad experience, Loved it.

    Now kindly remember, when eventually the mini series is eventually cast,charismatic, but not pretty. Can you see someone like a young Brad Pitt as Vlad? yeeesh! 🙂

    I very much am looking forward to your next installment on the life of Vlad and his shenaniganss with odd assorted compatriots.

  106. http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii88/varyok/jhereg.jpg kind of looks like a jhereg. don’t you think?

  107. skzb

    Huh. Yeah, kinda does.

  108. darn. The only books I don’t have that you wrote in either ebook format or paperback is
    “The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars” and “Gyspy.” Darn publishers not releasing them in ebook format.

  109. SKZB:

    Sorry, I didn’t know there was a dedicated thread about your books. Reposting my question here…

    I just noticed that Book of Athyra and Book of Taltos are available for Kindle now, presumably with Book of Jhereg coming soon (I *DO* wish they’d published them as individual novels, but it’s better than never having them at all)…

    I just wanted to know if the source of these was scanned from hardcopy (I presume so, unless you have some VERY dedicated folks re-typing everything), and if so, if there have been any reports of errors creeping into the process. I’ve had some favorite authors with older works practically RUINED by cheap scanning and no error-checking…

    Thanks, and looking forward to finally getting to reread the older Vlad stories in my preferred format… 🙂

  110. Actually, is there any particular reason for the “Book of” collections (both in the first place, and now that we’re getting them in e-book form for the first time)? Their titles cause confusion with the individual novels, and being forced to have half of my collection in each form disturbs me in a “hobgoblin of little minds” kind of way. 🙂

    Thanks for your patience… 🙂

  111. skzb

    Reed: I don’t know. I’ve wondered about that myself. It isn’t how I’d have preferred it, but I trust publishers (generally) know their business. As for the first three ebooks, after about three years of struggle getting them out there (don’t ask), I’m just happy they exist.

  112. Hi there 🙂

    I met Vlad, Loiosh and Human beings in French. Kind of breakfast.
    Then, I had to learn reading English in order to follow the stream…

    I just finished Hawk, and felt here looking for some more Bitch Patrol kickin’ 🙂

    Thank you so much, Mr Brust, for the good times, past and coming !

  113. skzb

    That’s wonderful to hear, Giles. Thank you.

  114. Mr Brust, I just wanted to drop a line that I loved your Firefly story. It absolutely felt like the real deal; I don’t think you could have nailed the feel of the show nor the personalities of the characters any better. If only they’d restart the series… I don’t care if I have seen the movie.
    I’m feeling the need to visit Vlad and Loiosh and all their friends again… but beggars have to settle for what they can get. Best of health to you sir, and eagerly awaiting the next adventure!

  115. Steve,
    Thanks for the adventure. I reread the Taltos books once per year religiously, although Robin Hobb has encroached on some of the fantasy time allotted.
    I recently purchased Brokedown Palace and was swept away by the poetical style used. Is this typical of Hungarian prose? And will you be revisiting our friends in the east again?
    Thank you for the years of entertainment.

  116. skzb

    Thanks for the kind words. I’d say that the style is pretty typical of English translations of Hungarian folktales. I don’t know if I’ll be going back there; nothing currently planned, but who knows?

  117. Mr. Burst,
    I am a devoted fan of your work and, like Scott above, work my way through the Taltos series at least once a year. I would first like to express my appreciation for the hours of enjoyment you have brought to me. Second I am curious if there are any plans for a full length novel to continue or fill in the Khaavarden Romance storyline

  118. thankyou for many years of incredible reading

  119. If I may sir, I have loved your novels since I was 13. Vlad has to be my favourite character in any series I’ve read. He’s such a smart ass it kills me. Anyway, a few years back my husband managed to get a signed copy of Taltos for me and I am quite proud to say it sits on my self of collectables so I can brag about it when people are over. You have a wonderful mind and I’m looking forward to what comes after Vallista!

  120. skzb

    You’re very kind. Thank you.

  121. Read the entire library de Vlad over the last two months.
    As an old SF reader I skew a little away from fantasy. – but my favorite long time author, Roger Zelazny bridged whatever separation there might be between genres. And he liked you. As do I. Picked you up due to that connection and Jo Walton’s paean to you in her What Makes This Book Great, (that I just picked up).
    Actually read Cowboy Feng— more than a couple of decades ago.
    I question and admire how you have maintained a feel for a character over decades. Probably a unique achievement.
    Also, as a socialist, I appreciate your inclusion of class in the books, without making them didactic.
    Anyway. Thank you.

  122. skzb

    Thank you kindly! And sorry about the delay in approving your posts; I’ve been traveling and neglecting my blog. Mea culpa.

  123. I have been reading your chronicles of Vlad Taltos since the early 80’s, ever since Roger Zelazny said “Watch Steven Brust. He’s good. He moves fast. He surprises you.”

    I have been buying your books as they were published, first in paperback, then as hardcovers when you moved to Tor, for over 30 years. I have even (eventually) tracked down a hardcover edition of To Reign in Hell.

    Even after many readings, I still cannot help but giggle in pleasure while (re)reading To Reign in Hell or The Phoenix Guards. Probably the only books to actually make me giggle while reading.

    And after 30 years, I cannot even guess how many times I have gone back and reread the adventures of Vlad and his friends. A dozen? Two dozen? “Doesn’t matter!” as Napper used to say. The stories are always good and will eventually be read again (and again).

    I know that both I and others have asked about ever seeing the Vlad Taltos series reissued in leather clad editions some day. Now that we are in the age of Kickstarter and Amazon’s Independent Publishing Platform and other Print on Demand websites, would there be more of a chance that these might become a reality?

    Of course, I am trying to patiently wait for Tsalmoth (tentatively) and The Baron of Magister Valley…..

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