steve, portrait by ddb
[photo by David Dyer-Bennet]
I’m the author of thirty-some novels* and one solo record. I’m an enthusiastic amateur drummer, guitarist, banjo player, and poker player.

I’m being published by Tor Books.

My agent is Shawna McCarthy

The Dragaera mailing list is now officially open for use; go to dragaera.info for more information

I have, as I mentioned above, one solo record, “A Rose For Iconoclastes”.

I have written some of the songs for the Worldbeat band Boiled In Lead, including, particularly, Songs From The Gypsy, which is the recording of a cycle of songs I wrote with ex-BiL guitarist Adam Stemple, which cycle turned into a novel I wrote with Megan Lindholm, one of my favorite writers.

Speaking of favorite writers, I have the honor to be in a writer’s group with Emma Bull, Pamela DeanWill Shetterly, and the afore-mentioned Adam Stemple, who may never before have been afore-mentioned.  You’re welcome.

There’s been some speculation on the Internet about my politics. Without going into great detail, I’ll say that I am a Trotskyist sympathizer; for more information check out the World Socialist Web Site. Enough said.

There’s also been some speculation about the Pre-Joycean Fellowship. The best explanation I can make is that we exist to poke fun at the excesses of modern literature while simultaneously mining it for everything of value. Does that help? I didn’t think so.

“Dream Cafe” is a reference to the title song of a record by Greg Brown, who, along with Dave Van Ronk, is among my favorite songwriter/performers. Check them out if you haven’t.

If there are questions about the books, I probably won’t answer them because I enjoy hearing the speculations. But you never know; there might be something I want to talk about here, like the Cool Stuff Theory of Literature, or something. So ask. I’m at skzb@dreamcafe.com.

Cheers. Catch you on the Funway.

*Counting the collaborations but not counting the fanfic novel My Own Kind of Freedom.

two steves by ddb
[photos by David Dyer-Bennet]

137 thoughts on “About”

  1. The donate link is broken; it just takes you to the PayPal home page in both IE and Chrome.

  2. Re quotes:

    “Captain Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?
    Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
    Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.
    Rick: I was misinformed.”

    This is my favorite quote from Casablanca, of the many great lines: good choice :)

  3. I don’t know if you have already sold the rights, to the Vlad books to HBO or whatever, and I don’t know about the audiobook rights.

    Would you consider for a portion like 25% plus 50% merch?

    I have no qualifications except that I have read all of them more than once and having just listened to the entirety of the Wheel of Time (to the lame end) on audiobook, there is at least me as a possible audience.

    And really if GRRM can get an HBO series(which I am alternately bored by and excited for…)

    anyway if you feel like giving some control over to someone that has nothing but 30years of PnP gaming experience and a love for the text


    you apparently have my email so…

    Thanks for your time..


  4. I should add that I bought the hard cover of a memory of light, in case you thought I hate him just because he died



  5. Hello!
    Honestly, I have not known about this site before – as now I have come across it when looking about whether there are any fansites devoted to Dragaera.
    Most of this is going to be random praise, but, since that tends to read fairly well to any author, I hope you will not be annoyed too much. I am currently reading Dragon from your Vlad Taltos series, and, well, have been enjoying it greatly – I love Vlad’s observations about military life (but then, I like his observations on anything. And Loiosh’s. In fact, Vlad’s POV is one of the more amusing features of the books though I liked Kiera as well – never mind that I can’t shake the feeling Orca could well have happened in my country x3.)
    Two other things to remark – I really like how the books incorporate a good deal of central european culture – in Dragon for example, Vlad’s noish-pa has been cooking what we call langoš here, complete with garlic – and it’s indeed super common and tasty and not trivial to do right. (Though I think best with sour potato soup).
    The second thing – I just read that apparently, you are a marxist (of trockist persuasion but ah well x3) – something that I’ve been wondering about since some of the books (Teckla and the one after, with the king assassination) did involve very sensible descriptions of political change breeding (specifically, following the law of dialectics that says that change in quantity becomes change in quality, which is exactly why rebellions are hard to quash – the initial spark is just that, and could have been anything else) – which is something that a lot of writers (that, well, are otherwise, ideologically) gets wrong. (And, I really want to praise that unlike some authors on either side of the barricades, you don’t let political matters push out good story and good characterization in your writing – it’s an unfortunately frequent phenomenon with writers that hold strong political or ideologic beliefs and usually does a disservice to both the reader and the politics – I mean, think of Ayn Rand’s writing XD)
    So, I wish you all best with whatever may you write in the future (and as well, personal life), and send greetings from the Slovak Republic.
    Best regards!

  6. Thank you kindly. I’m delighted to hear from you, and that you’ve been enjoying the books. Yes, I love lángos. Yum. If you are curious about my politics, well, there’s plenty of stuff on this blog. :-) Take care.

  7. Your latest post, “The mechanisms of ignorance” lists 70 comments. But when I actually look at it, it shows only 48 comments. Earlier it listed the names of people who made the later comments but now those are gone.

    If you know why that happened then OK, accidents happen etc, but if you don’t know then it’s worth finding out.

  8. I just counted them, and got the right number (71 now). I can’t think why you would be missing some. So far as I know, you don’t have the capability to block someone, and in any case you’d know if you had. This is strange.

  9. I apologize. When you said it worked on your end I cleared my browser cache and then it worked for me. I had had other problems that were just on this website and I assumed the problem was on your end instead of mine.

    I’ll try to remember to think again the next time I make this mistake.

  10. Vlad series on HBO, AMC, etc would be awesome. But special effects are so expensive. Maybe in another ten years

  11. I’ve really enjoyed your Taltos and Khaavren books in the past. I’ve been reading your stuff for decades, but I’m a mass-market fanatic, and I haven’t been able to read any of the Taltos series since Jhegaala. If you have any influence over your publisher, please ask them to print your books in mass-market paperback again.

  12. Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I wish there could be mass market editions. So does my publisher. Unfortunately, I’m told, the numbers just aren’t there. But in any case, no, that isn’t the sort of thing I have any influence on.

    Again, thanks for your interest.

  13. Steve! It’s Mark Fowler, your old friend who lived with you in Vegas. Good to see you still around and kicking. Email me and let’s catch up.

  14. Hey, Mark. Good to hear from you. When are you going to move to Minnesota and start a D&D game for me? Hmm? Hmm?

  15. I read mostly on my Kindle these days. I have most of the earlier Vlad Taltos books in paperback, and the more recent ones in Kindle format, but the earlier books are not available on the Kindle. Is there a plan to make the earlier books in the series available in electronic form?

  16. Yes. A contract has been signed. I don’t know how long it will take to bring them out, however. If you have an email address for Ace books (I don’t) you may want to ask them. (Let me know if you find out; as you can imagine, I’m eager myself.)

  17. When I post comments on this blog, the NoScript app refuses to let me post them. It says it’s unsafe. Each time I have to confirm that I want to do this unsafe thing, and it gives the following message:

    UNSAFELY reloading a suspicious

    POST [http://dreamcafe.com/wp-comments-post.php]

    FROM [http://jetpack.wordpress.com/jetpack-comment/?blogid=43852987&postid=5655&comment_registration​=0&require_name_email=1&stc_enabled=1&stb_enabled=1&show_avatars=1&avatar_default=mystery&greeting=Leave+a+Reply&greeting_reply=Leave+a+Reply+to+%25s&color_scheme=light&lang=en-US&jetpack_version=3.6.1&sig=f1e6a57f11508a665ec4​f02555eb860484e39e39​#parent=http%3A%2F%2Fdreamcafe.com%2F2015%2F08%2F31%2Fon-trotskys-the-revolution-betrayed%2F]

    NoScript will NOT protect this request!

    I don’t know why. It doesn’t happen anywhere else. It isn’t any big problem for me to do this each time, I just wonder why it happens.

  18. Oops. That one has cleared up on your blog for my last few comments. Now it only shows up on Wil Shetterly’s blog. I’d never seen it anywhere except those two. I had a paranoid thought that “they” were doing it.

    I still have the issue that sometimes I don’t see any new comments on your blog unless I empty the Firefox cache. This is the only place I’ve noticed that. But there could be some blogs that don’t get much traffic that it happens on, and I don’t notice but just think that there have been no comments.

  19. Great fan of your books. ..through highschool, the Navy, and parenthood. Appreciate the great and (surely) demanding effort you have put into your art to entertain us. Also huge fan of Roger Zelazny (who I’ve only recently discovered was a friend of yours, and imagine the inspiration of you naming you son Corwin)…VERY cool!

  20. I just wanted to thank you for your many years of writing. I first picked up your books Taltos in High School never knowing there was an entire series. I have been a fan of Robert Jordan, and Pierce Anthony and currently have all your vlad series on audio book so i can listen while at work. It is wonderful hearing all these novels over again and listening to the new ones. I just downloaded your Firefly story and can’t wait to read it. Currently listening to Athyra and eating some turos csusza. Thank you for your contribution to my literal knowledge.

  21. Mr. Brust, I’m incredibly ecstatic that I’ve had the pleasure of reading your books! The Taltos series captured my attention as a teenager many years ago and helped shape all of my interests in fantasy since then. Now my passion for reading and fantasy is a huge part of my personality, and for the last twenty years, the Taltos series is still up date my favorite book series. (As far as individual books go, I’m torn between Jhereg and Issola. ^^” )

    You’ve been such a huge influence in my life, I would like to ask you for an honor. Is there any way that I can send you my original copy of Jhereg for an autograph? I’d be more than willing to pay for it, sir.

    Either way, I’m very excited to be able to tell you that I’m enchanted by your work and thank you for sharing your imagination with all of us. I know it sounds a little silly, but you have literally been my favorite writer for nearly my entire life.

    Much love, my friend.

  22. Absolutely. Send me an email and I’ll reply with my address. Then send a SASE and a note saying to whom you’d like it signed.

  23. Hey Mr. Brust,

    I’ve been reading your stuff since about 2000, and I’ve always enjoyed Vlad’s series. Is there somewhere on this site that mentions upcoming books? It’s hard going through Barnes and Noble’s every time checking your name and not seeing anything.



  24. Yes and no. If you click on the “books” link, it should have a list of everything in publication order. Also, I tend to blog when a book is done and when it publishes.

    Currently, Incrementalists #2 called The Skill of Our Hands should be in early 2017, and I have another book that I’m waiting to hear back on, and I’m working on Vallista.

    Thanks for asking.

  25. I just read dhur and I have to ask, since the book triggered massive repeated attacks of the munchies, if you have any plans to publish a cookbook with recipes from your books? It would be something I certainly would buy and even try. Your descriptions of the marvelous meals certainly made me want to try them.

  26. No such plans, exactly, but there have been ideas floating around about a sort of travel guide, that would include recipes and so on. Don’t know if it’ll happen, but we’ve been talking about it. Thanks for asking.

  27. Hi Steven

    Love your work.

    For those of us using Amazon Kindle from the Asia Pacific region (includes Australia and New Zealand) the coverage of your books is really sketchy.

    The Books of Jhereg and Athyra are available, but the Book of Taltos isn’t.

    The Phoenix Guards is available, but Five Hundred Years Later isn’t.

    The Incrementalists is available, but The Skill of Our Hands isn’t (not even for pre-order).

    None of The Viscount of Adrilankha novels are available.

    It’s very frustrating – if I were in the USA I could purchase them, but in New Zealand I can’t.

    When I contact Amazon they just refer to the publishers (which is their stsndard line).

    I’d love to buy more of your books. Anything you can do would be appreciated.


  28. That sucks. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much I can do–it’s all out of my control. I’ll ask some questions, though, in case I’m wrong.

  29. If Philip Berghan-Whyman will contact me, I will try to get him the books he wants. I have extras of some and may be able to get the rest.

    Mr. Brust, can you update your Attending Upcoming Conventions info so I can figure out where and when to enjoy your remarks again? And thank-you for the Incrementalists sequel; Phil is one of my favorite characters since “Calling Pittsburg”, and I wish I could be part of their story.

    Chris Wozney (aka Chris Paige) in Tucson, AZ:

  30. Holy crap. You remember him from “Calling Pittsburgh”? Wow. That is so awesome. Thanks for the smile on my face.

    P.S. You CAN be part of their story. We’ve let the thing sort of die, but it could make a comeback. We have forum, after all–figuring out where it is is the first test. And I still hope for a shared world volume.

    I’ll ask Jen to update the appearance page for me.

  31. FYI: UK amazon is not currently stocking _Taltos_ in ebook in either it’s own cover or in the collected set. They have _The Book of Jhereg_ and _The Book of Dragon_, but presumably due to oversight not the second one (or the individual books) either on their end or Tor UK’s.

    (My physical copies are an ocean away…)

  32. Hi Mr Brust.
    I just finished 500 years after again and something occurred to me. If teleportation was not really a thing before Adron’s disaster. How the the E’drien line get into their floating castles?

  33. For a book that describes an unspeakable tragedy that destroys an entire empire in moments in a sorcerous conflagration, FYA is SO FUNNY.

  34. Hey! Thanks for being so kind at Waxacon! You’re a classy guy! I hope to see you at the next one and am working on having an actual book by then. #Mustbedisciplined #Cantquitdayjob. :)

  35. Yes: like some of the above posters, I see that there is a problem getting Taltos, either as a separate book, or as its two-book collection, in ebook form in UK. I don’t know why this is. I personally think that given the global nature of information, being able to get an ebook in one country and not in another is STUPID!

    I am currently reading through The Book Of Jhereg trilogy. Love the first one especially. Love Loiosh! He’s so cheeky and mischievous! (I want a jhereg familiar now. How did you come up with the cool species name “jhereg”, and some of the other Dragaeran words? :) )

    I wonder what Loiosh’s name actually means, in “Fenerian”? I have had some guesses at it.. :)

    I think the way in which Vlad actually met and “mated” his wife Cawti in the second book is weird – but I’m open-minded, I’m an Anne Rice fan – so I’m prepared to take it on trust… :)

    I am reading it, as I have said, in ebook form on Google Play, seeing as that seems to be the most inexpensive and convenient way for me to order books at present. I have sampled Dragon as well.

    I *wish* I had discovered you when I was still a teenager! Which would have been in the 1980s. However, my school and my local library hardly had any Roger Zelazny in it: never mind yourself. :(

    And for some reason my sf buff friends didn’t know your work either! Frank Herbert yes; Anne McCaffrey yes; Ursula Le Guin sure (we had The Wizard Of Earthsea as a class book at school). Stephen Donaldson was in every British Woolworths during the 1980s. Julian May my best lad friend introduced me to. (She’s good.)

    This friend knew Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat: another excellent picaresque hero. But not your stuff… :(

    Time to catch up on unoffered opportunities at last then! Glad the Web lets one do this.

    And just as a final remark: I *knew* I would like your work, as soon as wsws.org got me interested enough in your stuff to look it up on the web. Even though you had a good old grouch at me a few months back – probably bcos I asked something which sounded silly without knowing the books – I knew I would like Vlad – though wasn’t quite sure what a world involving both elf-like beings and the “Mob” would be like! :) I’m finding out and I’m liking it: for Vlad is a very human character who is not at all a bad person really: and his Dragaeran friends are often – arrogant- but likewise not evil sadists – so that makes me happy enough! :) Not sure what all this stuff about Morrolan and his Demon Goddess is though! (You knew all the backstory of this world and characters long before you ever wrote the first book, didn’t you? Smartass!)

    But I knew I’d like the idea and I’d probably like Vlad, right from the first I heard about him. Why? Because he’s a sly, sideways-thinking picaresque character who also happens to be possibly the ultimate outsider in his society. And I’m a Lokean (that’s my “faith”) and I’m also of immigrant parents. QED.

    Oh: and I’m also about to read a certain book called The Lies Of Locke Lamora on Google Play too! Know it?! (I hope in the end to compare and contrast the author’s picaresque series with yours; his main character, his portrait of crime and society etc, with yours, on a blog! But that’ll be a while in the future!)

    I like books which deal with crime and the underclass. But preferably in a “rogue” type manner: one does not wish all one’s fiction reading to read like a “misery memoir”. Though I am into true life bios of criminals as well.

    I’m a big fan of Victor Hugo too. Which is why I don’t like it when wsws slag off films based on his work – whether or not they like the musical version of Les Miserables! Sometimes your pals’ site just misses the artistic point I’m afraid. Or the humanitarian one.

    Anyway, looking forward to working my way through to the current books of Dragaera.

    Hope you can get all the ones from Taltos onwards onto Google Play!

    Happy holidays btw! :)

    Oh and make sure you publish that travelogue/recipe book! Every popular writer who at all mentions food has at least one: and they obviously make money, so your publisher will be pleased! :)

    (I know Czech recipes; Polish recipes; German recipes: but no Hungarian. Oh wait I have one book I bought at a car boot sale: but it’s not very useful as it has loads of recipes for river and lake fish which are very difficult to get over here!)

  36. Thanks kindly, Liz. And sorry if I was a jerk before. Yes, I love Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard books. As for Loiosh, it’s just a transliteration of the Hungarian Lajos (Louis), which was the name of my father’s dog when he was a kid.

  37. First, thank you for your work. Big fan.

    Second, I have a question about Klava. I am preparing a Klava starter kit for a coffee and literature obsessed niece and the wood chip ingredient posed a question.

    Are the wood chips the kind used to smoke and/or grill meats? I cannot find a clear answer if these are safe as they were not created with the intention of being a soaking element. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Just finished Vallista. A delight, as always. And now, since I am back to waiting for the next Vlad, I am back to The Phoenix Guard and rediscovering the pleasure of Khaavren and his friends


  38. Thanks for the Colorado link!

    I did end up emailing some smoking wood chip manufacturers and they, not surprisingly, preferred not to speculate as to the safe use of their products outside intended design. However, one did point out that flavored wood chips are often used in the brewing of beer and those chips would, naturally, be safe for soaking in a liquid you intend to ingest.

    So, there you go.

  39. It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to brew one up, and I STILL haven’t figured out a way to get more than a couple of cups’ worth out of 1 batch of ingredients, meaning they’re more expensive than a starbucks’ :(

  40. I am not an expert and I have not tried the recipe.

    If you have tried it and you know what it’s supposed to taste like, you might try using a smaller amount of sawdust instead of wood chips. You use less, with a bigger surface area you might get a quicker result, and the filter that removes the coffee grounds will remove most of the sawdust too. It might lead to a cheaper, quicker result that might be as good or better.

    Similarly, various people claim that the eggshells provide calcium carbonate which balances some of the acid. If that’s all they do, you could get that result with small limestone chips. Chalk dust may be too small and get through your filter. Depending on other circumstances, you might have limestone chips or sand more available than eggshells, it might get results faster and/or cheaper, and the result might be as good or better.

    If you enjoy experimenting and keeping careful records, this sort of thing could be fun. Ideally for each run you would make at least one batch of regular klava at the same time. Get somebody else to help you test it double-blind.

    With one batch of klava and one experimental batch, you would leave the room and have them pour one cup of klava and two cups of other, or two cups of klava and one cup of other, and label them A B C randomly, keeping track of which is which. They leave the room and you come in and test.

    The first question is whether you can tell which one is different. If you guess the wrong one is different, then for all practical purposes there is no difference in taste. If you notice that you can’t tell the difference, then don’t bother guessing.

    The second question is which you like better, the cup that’s different or the cups that are the same. If you guessed wrong which is different then throw away this answer.

    If you think you can tell the difference but really you can’t, there’s a 1/3 chance that you will choose the right one entirely by accident. There are various ways to reduce that chance, but they take more effort.

  41. I put coffee+with+eggshells into a search engine and got a lot of hits.

    It’s basicly 3 approaches.

    1. Add eggshells to your coffee grounds. They usually recommend uncooked shells but some say it has to be cooked shells. The usual amount is 1 eggshell per 2 final cups of coffee. They speculate that the eggshells make the coffee less acid, and that makes it less bitter. Other things equal I would expect that to make it less sour and not less bitter, but there could be something going on other than just less acid.

    2. Cowboy Coffee. Break eggs and remove yolks. Mix crushed eggshells and whites and ground coffee. Dump into recently-boiled water. After 5 minutes, add a little cold water and it will help the globs of stuff to settle to the bottom. Ladle out your coffee.

    3. Swedish Egg Coffee. Break eggs into ground coffee, yolks, shells and all, with 2 T cold water. Stir. Dump into boiling water. Simmer 5 minutes. Add a cup of icy cold water. The globs will sink. If they don’t sink enough use a strainer when you ladle out the coffee.

    The latter recipes look like they sacrifice an egg to help the coffee grounds sink, and also they get some taste differences. They are not desperate enough to eat the egg-coffee-grounds mixture afterward.

    It looks like people just assumed that acidity was the issue. It might not be. If you can make two batches at once, please make one with eggshells and one without, and see whether you can actually tell the difference.

  42. Just about done my re-read of Good Guys and was hoping for a Commentary / Spoilers discussion on the blog. Any chance of that going up?

  43. Mr. Brust, Through your publisher back in late 2016, I sent a letter about your influence on my immediate and extended family. I enclosed a couple books asking for a signature for my niece. (Really!) Did you ever receive those? Every time I see my niece we sadly mention that there is no package from your publisher. :(

    Anyway, If you don’t do that kind of thing, just tell me to stuff it. :-) If you never did receive the books and letter, I can post the letter here. The books however are gone. (As I am a public school teacher, I can’t afford more at the moment.)

    Sorry to take up your time. I wouldn’t have mentioned this except that I found a copy of the letter as I was cleaning things. I figured, I’d ask.


  44. Crap. No. Never saw them! Bugger. Which publisher. If it was Tor, they’re just taking their time; if it was Berkely, god knows what happened. If you ever feel like trying again, get hold of Uncle Hugo’s book store here in Minneapolis, and I’ll head down there, sign them, and they’ll get them back to you. They’re very good about that stuff. And I’m deeply sorry that happened. And as a public school teacher, you have my respect and gratitude.

  45. Sending a letter and a book to you through Uncle Hugo’s. Thank you for being so gracious. (I really don’t recall which publisher I sent the original to.)


  46. Hello Steve. I want to share a mutual feeling that you expressed in your forward to Roger Zelazny’s “Manna From Heaven” 13 years ago.

    When I first read Lord of Light in 1972 I came away with an indescribable feeling. You put it perfectly: “..that what I wanted to do with my life was to make other people feel the way that book had made me feel.”

    Not having any talent for writing (and not for lack of trying), and knowing I could never create works of art that would affect others in that way, I decided to do something important, different. And I did. As life progressed there came times when I seemed to be in an uninteresting holding pattern. I would then re-read “Lord of Light” and be energized once more to strike down a new path. I’ve now been down many paths, most of them memorable.

    After reading your aforementioned forward, and admittedly never having known of you, I bought & read “To Reign In Hell” and was pleasantly surprised to feel a spark similar to those that coruscated from Zelazny stories. So your desire manifested in 1971 was at least partially successful.

    I just re-read that forward and decided that authors who write things that actually affect the way you feel should be told that their words are powerful and important. If you’re not too late.

    Thus, this note.

    Thank you.

  47. Has anyone else had problems posting via an iPhone or other mobile device? If I try that, it just endlessly spins. I haven’t had any problem posting via a computer based browser (obviously :-) ).

  48. In re: woodchips in Klava – woodchips are a thing which is often used in homebrewing. I’d check for food safe chips at a local homebrew store and try that out.

  49. Gentle Steven,
    I’ve just read The Incrementalists and I hope against hope that Phil and Ren’s plan worked with the book as evidence! I had the most amazing experience while reading the book. On page 242, where Ren comes to know herself just a little bit better, the page is full of glitter. It was magical the page lit up as I reached it. Somehow it feels profound.

    I love Phil and that he reminds me of Vlad Taltos in an undefinable way. Wry humor with a bit of introspection, perhaps? Indeed, I am a bit enamored of you as revealed in your writing. I appreciate your humor and skepticism, and your demonstrated ability to go on. I am delighted with a heroine named Renee as I seldom find my given name in a book.

  50. Years ago, my sister in law sent you books to sign for my husband and son. The boy is now 25 years old. Phoenix Guards and Five Hundred Years After are on the Top Shelf of my bookshelf followed by well read copies of the rest of your books. I recently cried reading the emails. And the fact that you talked Paarfi into signing the books as well… you are amazing!

  51. Sir,

    Just wanted to let you know that I finished reading the Phoenix Guards to my kids. They demanded more. We’re now halfway through 500 Years After. My voice may never recover, but sharing these wonderful books with my kids has been a pleasure. Many thanks!

  52. Oh, how old are they? Almost positive mine are too young at this time, but your experience sounds like a very positive one.

  53. 10 and 12. A lot of rolling of eyes during the ‘mushy’ bits, especially in Phoenix Guards, but the words alone are worth it. Just be warned, I can reread those books in a few days. Reading them out loud, however, and getting good different voices for all of the characters is both long and a trick.

  54. Dear Mr. Brust,

    Apologies for contacting you through a comment, I couldn’t find a better way.

    I’m a big fan of your books and an avid lurker on your blog. For a while now, I’ve been interested in learning more about the history of socialism. My problem is that I absolutely loathed history as a subject in school.

    For context: I was born in the “Old” Yugoslavia, so the history they taught my generation was edited, biased and taught by people who could make anything sound mind-numbingly boring. Even today, at the age of 41, I still have a strong dislike for history as a subject, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t stay ignorant forever.

    Could you recommend a book (or a few) that someone like me could read to start learning about socialism?

    Vojislav Stojković

  55. Can you tell me about the level of any sex/nudity in your books. If it is there is it frequent, graphic, fade to black? Thanks

  56. Okay, question. If I only have time to read one book prior to Magister’s release, to get me ready, it should be The Phoenix Guards, correct? Then it is settled. I will re-read The Phoenix Guards. Well actually I have already started.

  57. Mr. B! Mr. B! it’s me Hazel! I just want to let you know about dinner. The pot roast is in the crock pot and ready to go whenever you and Sport are hungry. Missy and I are going to that BLM thing at 7, so you two boys are on your own! I bought a copy of your new book, how you have time to write is beyond me, and can’t wait till my next day off to start it. And you still have to finish that whole ‘cycle’ thing-oops have to finish my own cycle, in the dryer! Ok I’m back, where was I? Seems like things are pretty serious around here lately, so whenever you need a massage just let me know. (knuckles crack) I’m ready to help.
    Remember, “life don’t have to be hard, it just sometimes is.”
    Keep up the good work champ, you make a lot of people smile in this town, and that ain’t bad.
    your friend and domestic engineer,

  58. If this is spam, it’s a pretty good job; if not, I can’t figure out what it is. Toby who? Hazel who? What?

  59. Toby’s a friend of mine, he talked to you once about Rex Stout, and it’s not spam, it’s pot roast, silly. It’s me Hazel “Hazel is an American sitcom from the 60’s about a live-in maid named Hazel Burke (played by Shirley Booth) and her employers, the Baxters” and I quote, dontcha know. See too much work can do this to you. Anyway, I was just taking the time to let you know how much we appreciate you and all you do, like taking the time to answer me fer instance. Your good people Mr. B. And that means a lot. You’re a busy man but I just wanted to let you know there’s always someone out here to talk to who will listen. Yours, Hazel.

  60. Dear Steve,
    I just had an odd stray question, and thought I would ask. If the Orb is continually circling the Empress/Emperor’s head, what happens when she/he goes to bed? Does it raise itself up to the ceiling, so she/he can lay their heads down? Does it stop glowing so it’s not too bright in the bedroom? Also, it was a pleasure all those years ago playing music with you at SoonerCon.

  61. Dear Steve,
    Just finished reading Vallista again (4th time?). I realized I never purchased the the rest of the series on kindle (so did) , and read them all again. Next is Khaavren.
    I’ve always enjoyed visiting your worlds and I want to thank you for the journey. I first purchased Jhereg when it was released in 83,the year I graduated High school. I look forward to the rest of the trip.
    Take care
    Sin city

  62. How is it that the Vlad Taltos chronicles haven’t been made into a video game yet?

    It has everything needed to be the next Witcher.

    Diverse combat and skills? You’ve got magic, witchcraft, assassinations and straight combat.
    A cool way to explore the environment? Loiosh has got you covered.
    Side activities and quests? Assassinations, business management, and beating random Orca thugs.
    Plot? The game can cover as many books as needed, or be a new story; Whichever it is, there are tons of interesting and likeable characters, lore about the world, and anything else you can possibly want in such a game.

    Seriously, pitch this to CDPR, or maybe even Ubisoft. It’ll be huge.

  63. The Vlad novels are a little too deep and substantive to be a video game back story, imo.

    Although skzb could probably find a happy home for a few extra milliion dollars…

  64. I tried to purchase “The Baron of Magister Valley” from Amazon. I had enough digital credits that it was free. But Amazon locked it up behind DRM. I want to own the books I buy. So I found an epub version that was also free. Now I’m confused, I love your books and brought most of them as hard copies. I want to pay you for your book. I have it now, but you have not been paid. How can I pay you?

  65. I approve of your desire to avoid DRM, and am grateful for the thought of paying me, but, seriously, don’t worry about it. Enjoy the book.

  66. Robert:There is a tip jar link on this site if you scroll down past the Recent Comments. skzb also has a Patreon–also linked below if you should feel like it.

    I’ll also note that searching “kindle dedrm” will lead you to tools that will aid in archiving your books without DRM. This is a very wise thing to do as the distributors are known to be capricious with regards to the books that you have bought.

  67. Thanks Steve Halter, I just sent $20 to the tip jar. It feels great knowing the author will get it all, rather than a small percentage of the sales.

  68. Hello.

    I have looking to verify if the following books have ever been released in hard cover format? Yendi, Teckla, Taltos, Phoenix, Athyra, Orca. I somehow found Jhereg in HC, but not these. Any source where to get these, if available, would be appreciated. (I already tried Amazon, ebay no luck :( )

    Michael Blue

  69. All of the ones published by Tor have hardcover editions, and I THINK none of the ones published by Ace/Berkely (the first several) do.

  70. Is there any way that could ever change? I have slots available for my Xmas gifts to receive in 2024…

  71. @SKZB, You probably get this all the time… any serious interest from the TV networks in turning your books into a series?

    I think one advantage it has is that the early books are self contained, and have a relatively small cast.

  72. I heard about Kay 2 years ago. She was The Hoover Dam. I had an idea to option To Reign In Hell and by time I got to it….then it just seemed wrong so I waited. Perhaps would you be willing to consider a few words on the subject? Flowers for the lady. I hope this isn’t crass.

  73. SKZB,

    Is there any plan to turn Baron of Magister Valley into an Audible?

    I absolutely adore your Taltos series (I’ve had my paperbacks for well over 20years and recent reacquired the series in audio) and the Khaavren romances are terrific both in hard copy and audio. But I find I learn a lot of nuance from the audio version. Any chance Baron of Magister will get the treatment?

  74. Thanks kindly. As far as I know, there are no such plans; I think the other Romances didn’t do well enough.

  75. I do not even listen to skzb’s books on Audible, and this concept infuriates me. Is it really that difficult to record someone reading a great book out loud, then converting that into a downloadable file?

  76. It is not difficult, though it costs… some. You need the several hours CLEAN work of the professional reciter (and there could be lots of do-overs, like in cinema). Converting the recorded result into a file is just the final and easiest part.

  77. Started buying up the Taltos books. i decided on the paper versions. This does mean that, here in 2022, i am traveling through 40 years of your past writing.
    so I bought the Book of the Dragon, and I’m sure you must be aware it’s missing text from Issola Chap 9. at least my copy is. Been rooting through the web, it’s rarely mentioned, and can’t find anything here. I was wondering if you had any place or link to just that missing text.

  78. We are getting really close to Tsalmoth being published. My copy is pre-ordered from my nearby locally-owner book store. Question: what Vlad book or books might be the most useful to read just prior to getting Tsalmoth in my hands?

  79. Good question! I’d like to know too. So far we’ve gone through Dragon, Phoenix, Hawk, and we just started Iorich.

  80. Vlad Taltos runs a restaurant, or ran one rather, but that’s beside the point. My friends hunger for the truth: What would Vlad Taltos’ spaghetti and meatballs recipe be? What spices and such goes into his marinara or meat sauce?

  81. Think of a fra diavolo sauce, except with hot sausage instead of seafood, and build on cooking the onion low and slow (paprikas style) as the base.

  82. Hello Steve, It was nice meeting you again, this time at Rain Taxi. Have you started a writer’s club? Thanks,

  83. It was good meeting you, too. Yeah, I’m in a critique group with Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Pamela Dean. We’ve been going for about 40 years now.


  84. Yes, but these days it is either at a convention, or at my local SF book store (Uncle Hugo’s) when a new book comes out.

  85. I’d like to thank you Steven.

    Your books mean a lot to me; Too much maybe. Hell, certainly.

    I grew up reading way too much fantasy; I wish I’d discovered you earlier in my life.

    I’ll be reading Lyorn the day after tomorrow here; I need the escape currently.

    Again, thank you.

  86. Love your books, over the years I have bought every one as it has come available often having to add it to my “to be read” stack. I just finished Lyorn today, and I have to admit I checked to see if there was an afterword listing the melodies for the various lyrics as included… particularly of interest as those lyrics fit various melodies I seem to know, to the point I checked them against my automatic “sing along” habit and was quite successful a few times. That actually made the book even more enjoyable for me, and if there is a melody list somewhere I’d very much like to see it.

    I very much am looking forward to Vlad’s continued story, as soon as I see whatever comes next I will be pre-ordering it. Thank you so much for the hours of pleasure!


  87. Marianne: Thanks kindly. Yes, on this very blog. Skip down a blog entry or two and you’ll see “Lyorn Discussion–Major Spoilers.” The songs are the spoilers.

Leave a Reply